Who will lead the Navajo Nation?

  Six candidates for the Navajo Nation presidency are officially in the running for the August 8 primary. Only two will face off in the November general election. For now the list of candidates reads like a directory of tribal leaders. Current tribal president Peterson Zah is seeking a third term. Running against him are tribal vice president Marshall Plummer and Navajo Speaker of the Council Nelson Gorman. A fourth candidate, excommunicated Mormon Church leader George P. Lee, must survive a criminal trial over child molestation charges to stay on the ballot. Remaining candidates include Indian Health Service administrator Roselyn Curtis, who, if elected, would be the first woman to lead the tribe, and Window Rock attorney Albert Hale. Former tribal president Peter MacDonald does not appear on the ballot, but could have an impact through his diehard supporters on the reservation. From his Pennsylvania prison cell, the longtime tribal leader still controls a substantial voting bloc, says Tom Arviso Jr., editor of the Navajo Times. Polling the far-flung residents of the reservation is nearly impossible, but Arviso says that Zah, Plummer and Gorman are the likely front runners.

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