Navajo Nation Senator Begay Switches Political Party Affiliation

Published: Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - 3:58pm
Updated: Friday, November 27, 2015 - 8:10am
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State Senator Carlyle Begay changed parties on Monday. The member of the Navajo Nation is now a Republican.

Begay, 34, represents the Navajo town of Ganado. He was first appointed to the State Senate in 2013 to fill a vacancy and was elected as Democrat the following year. The move is not a surprise. Begay was the only Democrat to vote for the Republican budget during this year's session.

The move further strengthens the GOP in the Arizona Legislature. In addition to control of the House, Republicans now have an 18-12 majority in the Senate. Begay said his new party is more aligned with his beliefs as a Native American and feels he can be a more effective legislator as a member of the majority.

Northern Arizona University political scientist Fred Solop spoke about what sort of impact Begay’s decision could have.

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