White Mountain Apache wrap up heated primary election

Feb 2, 2012

At the Fort Apache Reservation south of Show Low, two Tribal Council incumbents faced  defeat in yesterday’s primary.

The White Mountain Apache tribal election followed a raucous campaign season that culminated with a judge unsuccessfully trying to halt balloting.

Longtime Councilman Reno Johnson Sr. came in third in a field of three candidates, and won’t be able to compete in the general election in April.

The Election Commission barred Councilman Rubert Lupe Sr. from running because he did not meet the qualifications to run in his district.

Lupe has been an outspoken critic of the tribal chairman.

A tribal judge ruled that Lupe should be on the ballot, but his name was not added.

Lupe has filed a lawsuit appealing that decision.