TUBA CITY, Ariz. - Navajo Nation Councilman Joshua Lavar Butler announced April 28 he is running for a seat in the Arizona House of Representatives.
Butler, a Democratic Party candidate, is seeking one of two seats in the Arizona House of Representatives representing Legislative District 7. The district has two seats in the House and one seat in the Senate. Jamescita Peshlakai (D-Cameron) and Albert Hale (D-St. Michaels) are the current seat holders in the House of Representatives, and Carlyle Begay (D-Ganado) serves as the state senator.
Peshlakai and Begay will both run for the one seat in the State Senate. Hale has not announced his intention for re-election as a state representative yet.
Legislative District 7 is the largest in the state of Arizona and includes the counties of Mohave, Coconino, Navajo, Apache, Gila, and Graham. The district stretches from Peach Springs, Arizona located on the Hualapai Reservation, across the Navajo Nation and Hopi reservation, and south to San Carlos and Bylas, Arizona.
According to a press release from Butler's campaign staff, Butler is running to be a voice for rural Arizona.
"There comes a time when you know your advocacy is needed at the next level," Butler said. "Our legislative district needs a stronger voice at our state capitol, our state leaders need to hear more about issues important to our district, issues important to rural Arizona."
Nomination petitions are due May 28.
"It's amazing the support we have already received and I am extremely humbled by the outpouring of support across the legislative district," Butler said. "I think this outpouring of support is a signal for change and a new direction for our district."
Butler's platform includes issues related to education, healthcare, supporting small businesses, improving services for veterans, helping to improve government-to-government relationships, government reform, helping to balance the state budget, improving communication in the district and helping to improve bipartisan cooperation.
"My platform will be our platform," said Butler. "I plan to travel across the legislative district on a listening tour to listen to the concerns of our constituency. I will not dictate a platform and force people to support it. Over time, our platform will be refined."
Butler is currently completing his last year of his four-year term on the 22nd Navajo Nation Council. He serves on the Health, Education and Human Services Committee. He is also the Navajo Nation's designated voting member of the National Indian Gaming Association and the Arizona Indian Gaming Association where he advocates for economic development through Indian gaming and protecting jobs that provide income to support families.
Butler is an alumnus of Northern Arizona University and he is the owner of a public relations firm based in Flagstaff with offices in Camp Verde, Arizona and in New Mexico.
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