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Bush, Kerry campaigns spar in New Mexico

The presidential race took to New Mexico on Tuesday with the campaigns sparring over which candidate is better for Indian Country.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) thanked tribal leaders in the state for supporting him. Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., the Navajo Nation council and the All Indian Pueblo Council, which represents 19 Pueblo tribes, have endorsed Kerry. Nester Nez, one of the surviving original Navajo Code Talkers, blessed Kerry at a rally in Albuquerque yesterday evening.

The appearance prompted President George W. Bush's campaign to send out a statement from Sen. Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico). In it, Domenici said "American Indians in New Mexico deserve to know the truth about what President Bush has done for their people. From education to healthcare to economic development, the record cannot be disputed."

Both campaigns have made a big play for New Mexico, which went to Democrat Al Gore in 2000 by just 366 votes. With Native Americans making up 10.5 percent of the population, Native voters have the power to sway a close election.

Get the Story:
Code talker blesses Dem campaign (The Boston Herald 10/27)
Kerry Asks for City's Help on 8th N.M. Visit (The Albuquerque Journal 10/27)
Statement by U.S. Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) (GeorgeWBush.Com 10/26)

Related Stories:
Most New Mexico tribes back Kerry-Edwards (10/26)
Ron Allen: Why this Republican supports Kerry (10/26)
Domenici: Navajos 'out of touch' for Dem support (10/25)
Navajos see hope in a Kerry administration (10/25)
White House wonders why Indians not receptive (10/25)
House rivals both win backing of Navajo council (10/21)
Navajo Nation council nearly endorses Renzi rival (10/20)
Navajo Nation council endorses Kerry for president (10/20)
Renzi wins endorsement of Navajo Nation Council (10/19)
Ron Allen, Wilma Mankiller: Bush too little, too late (10/15)
Navajo council asked to choose Renzi over Babbitt (09/14)
Kerry campaign counting on Native American support (08/10)
Bush blasted for response on sovereignty (8/9)
Kerry pledges support for Indian Country (8/9)
Kerry touts agenda of inclusion at UNITY (8/6)
Kerry to focus on Indian issues during Southwest trip (8/5)
Navajo Nation voters chose Kerry in Ariz. primary (2/12)
Navajo president attends Kerry rally in N.M. (2/3)
Kennedy meets with tribal leaders to promote Kerry (2/2)
Democrats turn to states with key Indian votes (1/28)
Democrat presidential hopefuls eye Indian voters (11/18)