Navajo president fails to make it through primary

Ben Shelly, Kenneth Maryboy
In this Friday, Aug. 1 photo, Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, left, talks with presidential candidate Kenneth Maryboy, as they wait to speak at the Navajo Nation presidential candidate debate sponsored by the Native American Business Organization in Tempe, Ariz. There are 17 candidates in the 2014 primary election for Navajo Nation president. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) – Navajo President Ben Shelly’s hopes for a second term were dashed Tuesday when he failed to make it through the tribe’s primary election.

Navajo voters chose to send former President Joe Shirley Jr. and one-time Arizona Rep. Chris Deschene to the November general election. They were among 17 candidates vying for the top elected post on the country’s largest American Indian reservation.

The results are unofficial until certified by the tribe’s elections office.

Shirley served two terms as president, leaving office in 2011. He previously was a social worker, and longtime Apache County supervisor and tribal lawmaker.

Deschene is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He has worked as an engineer and lawyer, and served one term in the Arizona House.

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