LoRenzo Bates re-elected to serve second term as Speaker of the 23rd Navajo Nation Council
WINDOW ROCK – As the first order of business during the opening day of the Winter Council Session, the 23rd Navajo Nation Council re-elected Speaker LoRenzo Bates (Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse’Daa’Kaan, Upper Fruitland) to serve a second two-year term as the Speaker.
“I am honored and thankful to my Council colleagues for their support and I look forward to serving the Council and all of our Diné Citizens for two more years in this capacity,” said Speaker Bates, who took the oath of office administered by acting Chief Justice Allen Sloan
The selection of the Speaker began with open nominations, which allowed an unlimited number of nominees to be considered for the position. The nominees included Council Delegate Otto Tso (Tó Nanees Dizi) and Speaker Bates.
Each of the two nominees were then provided 15 minutes to present their platform to the 24-member Council. Delegate Tso received (6) six supporting votes, while Speaker Bates received (16) sixteen supporting votes to secure his second term as Speaker of the Council.
Speaker Bates presented a platform centered on the accomplishments of the current Council including the approval of the largest spending packages in the history of the Navajo government totaling over $330 million for water infrastructure projects, economic development projects, community development, and agricultural projects. He also emphasized the need for the Council to stay the course on its ongoing initiatives including the negotiation of an amended gaming compact with the state of Arizona, the settlement of water rights for the Little Colorado River, the ongoing implementation of water infrastructure projects, and several others.
“I am confident that this Council will move forward together with ongoing initiatives to help the Navajo Nation which includes our elders, youth, veterans, and many more,” added Speaker Bates.
According to 2 N.N.C. §282, the Speaker of the Council shall serve a term of two-years “at the pleasure of the Navajo Nation Council.”