SALT LAKE CITY – A Navajo man is winning a Utah county commission race where he fought get on the ballot for the first general election after a judge ruled that local voting districts were illegally drawn along racial lines.
Votes counted as of Thursday show Democrat Willie Grayeyes is leading with 55 percent of the vote over Republican Kelly Laws.
A Grayeyes victory would make the San Juan County Commission majority-Navajo for the first time.
Grayeyes has said that he wants to help address disparities faced by Native Americans in the southeastern Utah county that overlaps with the Navajo Nation.
While county leaders acknowledge those issues, they say it’s wrong to lay the blame on the county when tribal and federal governments also play a large role in Navajo Nation services.