Sharon Clahchischilliage Endorses Ben Shelly and Rex Lee Jim
September 13, 2010 - 12:23pm
Northern Navajo, NM—Navajo Presidential Contender Sharon Clahchischilliage endorsed Ben Shelly and Rex Lee Jim for President and Vice President today in a sweep of four northern Navajo chapters on Sunday.
“I am here today to give my support to Vice President Ben Shelly,” said Sharon Clahchischilliage, standing before an audience in Cove, Ariz. with her husband beside her. “In looking at everything I’m going with Shelly.
Clahchischilliage came in fourth place in the northern Navajo’s 20 chapters capturing 3,139 votes. She campaigned on prioritizing government budgeting and government accountability.
“He has leadership,” she said. “He has the experience. He will be able to work with the Council. I want someone who will represent me and that is Ben Shelly.”
The Shelly-Jim campaign took their message today to Sanostee, Shiprock, Red Valley, and Cove. Clahchischilliage accompanied Ben Shelly to all four chapters.
Clahchischilliage in 2007, while serving in Washington set up meetings with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to advance the Navajo Nation’s funding needs into the federal budget. It was the first in the Navajo Nation’s history for the Navajo government to work three years in advance to work Navajo projects and anticipated spending increases for services into the President’s annual budget to Congress.
“When Navajo Nation officials met with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget on July 25, it was not to talk about president’s proposed Fiscal Year 2008 budget nor even the FY 2009 budget. The focus of the meeting was on 2010,” Michelle Tirado writes in the American Indian Report, a national publication published in Washington, D.C.
“We have to watch what is going on nationally,” Tirado writes quoting Clahchischilliage. “What we also see, in order to fund the war, the United States is also looking at some of those programs that are perceived as duplicative services or they are looking at unexpended amounts from these programs—millions of dollars that are unexpended.”
During Clahchischilliage’s service in Washington, in 2009, the Navajo-Gallup water pipeline bill was passed by Congress, a $1.3 billion water project that proposes to build the massive water pipeline that will serve communities and homes along the U.S. 491 highway between Shiprock and Gallup as well as several northern Navajo communities. The project includes a water line extension into Window Rock and St. Michaels.
Navajo Nation worked with New Mexico, county, and Gallup city government officials for more than 30 years to get this legislation passed through Congress. This milestone accomplishment now sits in negotiations with the state which are marked for completion by December. Appropriations for funding the project will follow in years to come.
“When I was in Washington, D.C., he came to Washington,” said Clahchischilliage of Ben Shelly today. “That’s the kind of leader we need. He knows how to work with Congress in asking for what we need.”
Clahchischilliage’s endorsement for Shelly-Jim follows Anthony Begay, Arbin Mitchell, and George Herrera’s, candidates for Navajo president in last month’s primary election.