Window Rock state Representative Chris Deschene filed more than 10,000 ballot petitions with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office yesterday, qualifying him to run for that office in this year's election.
Deschene, a former Marine Corps major, claims he's the first native American to ever file to run for statewide office in Arizona. While that may not quite be on par with the groundbreaking, Barack Obama moment his campaign's pimping it as, he appears to be right.
We did some poking around on the Secretary of State's Web site and various news archives and couldn't find another Native American who's ever run for statewide office in Arizona.
Deschene's campaign manager, Sean Bowie, tells New Times that while there have been candidates for Congress who were Native American, Deschene really is the first one to run on a statewide level.
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Deschene is running for secretary of state as a Democrat and will need to beat Sam Wercinski -- a one-time member of former Governor Janet Napolitano's cabinet -- in the Democratic primary.
The winner of the Democratic primary will probably face Secretary of State Ken Bennett in the general election.