KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. - Eight current political county and state candidates, all Democrats, came to Hopi this past week to talk with community members, share their platforms and shake hands with potential supporters in a tribally sponsored "Meet the Candidates Night" at the Hopi Veterans Memorial Center.
Two candidates, Valarie Wyant-Democrat and Deanna Romo, are both running for the post of Clerk of Superior Court. They gave their platform ideas and proposals to a group of Hopis, Navajos and non-Natives who attended the Thursday night event.
U.S. Senator John Dougherty was hosted privately by former Hopi Tribal Chairman Vernon Masayesva. He spoke about his push for alternative and renewable energy, Native natural resource management and workforce option for current undocumented illegal immigrants affected by the proposed SB 1070.
Dougherty is a former investigative journalist with degrees in journalism and economics. Also represented at the event was Cathy Eden, who was represented by one of her campaign workers. She holds a Ph.D in Organization and Management, an MS in sociology and BS in political science. Both candidates agree that energy independence is a necessary step for Arizona citizens and want to see a balanced budget.
For the District 2 state senate post, the only candidate represented was Gloria Hale-Showalter, Navajo, who holds an MA in education administration and BA in elementary education. She served as a former two time Arizona delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Showalter has 21 years of school leadership in her background.
Three Democratic candidates - Pat Carr, Tom Chabin and Albert Hale - for the District 2 state representative seat were present. Each gave their ideas and personal inspiration for new political pathways for Arizona.
Chabin, a long time Hopi reservation resident since 1979, was clearly a favorite among his Hopi and Navajo community. He spoke of his past reservation living experience and what that deep connection means to him while working in a rural area like Hopi and Navajo, citing numerous past accomplishments to his political record.
Pat Carr also credited living full-time on the Navajo reservation to bring him closer to Native issues and concerns. Carr is married to a Navajo. He also exhibits a broad educational background that gives him extensive experience in handling educational issues.
Albert Hale, the last speaker of the evenings, spoke of his experience as an attorney and former state senator citing numerous accomplishments such as improved roads, equalization and opportunity for job opportunities for minorities in Arizona. He also elaborated what he plans on doing to help create more job and education opportunities for rural Arizonans.
Members of the Hopi Elections Committee spent the past two weeks organizing this special candidate night. Its success was evident by the number of interested community members who showed up to pick up campaign materials, register to vote in the upcoming election and to listen to what potential county and state candidates had to say about moving political progress forward for isolated areas like Hopi and Navajo communities.
Members of the Committee include Karen Shupla, Alphonso Sakeva and Marcelena Lomayaktewa.
A special guest in the audience was Jesse Thompson from the Navajo County Board of Supervisors, who was there to support the Hopi Elections Board and its educational outreach evening.
"It's good to know that many of our Hopi and Navajo community want to meet and understand the political process, to see in person, who will best represent their local concerns, I really want to thank the Hopi Elections Board for making the effort to get this information out to the local people and provide them with information to help vote for their perfect candidate," Thompson stated.
More information about Hopi elections and voting information can be obtained by calling (928) 734-2507.