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Tribal Council calls for Navajo to fill late senator’s seat

June 7, 2019

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation Council is calling for New Mexico’s governor to appoint a Navajo to fill the seat of state Sen. John Pinto, who died last month at the age of 94.

The Council said Friday it passed the legislation during a meeting in Window Rock, Arizona, in hopes of ensuring that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will select another Navajo Nation citizen to represent Pinto’s district.

Pinto was a Democrat who represented a district near the Four Corners area since the 1970s.

A Navajo Code Talker in World War II, he was the longest-serving state senator in New Mexico history.

The governor, a Democratic, will name a senator from a list submitted by San Juan and McKinley county commissioners.

The person appointed to represent his district will have to run in the 2020 election.

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