Russell Begaye

Tribal businessman upsets former Navajo president in race

FILE - In this Nov. 2014, file photo, Navajo Nation presidential candidate Russell Begaye, center, speaks with a group during the Navajo Nation elections outside of the Shiprock Chapter House in Shiprock, N.M. Voters on the country’s largest American Indian reservation are choosing a new president who will have to deal with rampant unemployment and a lack of infrastructure while helping tribal members through a bitter dispute that has divided communities. (Alexa Rogals/The Daily Times via AP, File)FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Russell Begaye easily beat a former two-term Navajo Nation president for the top post on the country’s largest American Indian reservation, ending a tumultuous election season that was extended by nearly five months amid a heated court fight over a candidate’s ability to speak fluent Navajo.

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