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