Monday, November 01, 2010
Navajo Nation could elect first woman president on Tuesday
"We're getting more and more excited," Lovejoy told E&E Daily. "We have a lot of support. People are just looking forward to a new leader for the Navajo Nation -- a brand new leader, new ideas, a fresh face, just a fresh government." Lovejoy, who lost in her bid for president four years ago, downplayed the role that gender has played in the campaign. "That's not really why I'm running. I happen to have the kind of leadership skills, I believe, in my abilities and in my leadership quality," she said. "I just happen to be a female." Still, Cate Stetson, a New Mexico American Indian law attorney, called Lovejoy's success stunning.
"It's a really interesting society with women having a lot of responsibility in the family and in the community, and yet, of course, there's so many of them -- the men -- well, they get like men and think that that's the way it should be because it's always been," Stetson told Peterka. Lovejoy's opponent Ben Shelly, who declined an interview request from E&E Daily, recently plead not guilty to charges of fraud, conspiracy and theft after allegations he used discretionary funds to benefit his family. The Navajo Nation also faces a major change in the structure of the Navajo Tribal Council, which will drop from 88 members to 24 on Jan. 11. (Read more, subscription required)