FLAGSTAFF — A small northern Arizona tribe chose new leadership Thursday as it faces the potential loss of coal royalties that make up a huge chunk of its budget.
Tim Nuvangyaoma received 969 votes in the race for Hopi chairman, beating out tribal lawmaker David Norton Talayumptewa's 642 votes.
Clark Tenakhongva was elected vice chairman with 949 votes. Tribal lawmaker Lamar Keevama trailed with 656 votes.
Turnout was low with 1,622 votes cast out of more than 11,000 eligible voters.
Economic development will be a major focus in the new administration. The Hopi Tribe will lose 85 percent of its budget if a coal mine closes as expected in 2019.
Nuvangyaoma says he's up for the challenge will reach out to Hopis for potential solutions.