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Cobell endorses Republican Renzi in Arizona

Elouise Cobell, the lead plaintiff in the Indian trust fund lawsuit, on Tuesday announced her endorsement of Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Arizona) for re-election.

Cobell said Renzi, a first-time Congressman, has stood up for Indian Country. She cited his opposition to a rider that seeks to strip Indian beneficiaries of their rights to an accounting of their trust funds.

"Indians of Arizona are in a position to help all Indians around this nation by getting out the vote to re-elect Congressman Renzi," Cobell said in a letter to tribal leaders in Arizona. "I urge you to go to the polls and make sure that when November 3rd arrives we have still Rick Renzi in the House of Representatives and in a position to defend our rights."

Renzi's first bill he introduced was to benefit the Zuni Tribe and resolve their water rights in Arizona. He has fought for increased funding for the Bureau of Indian and the Indian Health Service. He withheld his vote from a budget resolution because he said it shortchanged Indian education and health care.

Renzi's district includes parts of the Navajo Nation and the San Carlos Apache and White Mountain Apache reservations. He has made several trips to reservations since holding office.

Renzi is facing Democrat Paul Babbitt, who cites his ties to the Navajo community. The Navajo Nation council endorsed both candidates.

Cobell, a Montana resident, also has endorsed Sen. Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) for re-election.

Relevant Links:
Paul Babbitt -
Rick Renzi, campaign site -
Rick Renzi, U.S. House site -

Related Stories:
Navajo Nation council nearly endorses Renzi rival (10/20)
Renzi wins endorsement of Navajo Nation Council (10/19)
Navajo council asked to choose Renzi over Babbitt (09/14)
San Carlos Apache Tribe hosts rally for candidates (09/10)
Arizona Republicans finally attracting Indian vote (08/09)