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Candidates set for Navajo presidential contest

In this May, 5, 2010, file photo, provided by the Joe Shirley Jr. Campaign, Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. speaks with reporters in Window Rock, Ariz. A ruling by the Navajo Nation Supreme Court on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, clears the way for election officials to set a date for the presidential contest. The high court upheld the dismissal of a challenge against Begaye, who will face Joe Shirley Jr. for the tribe's top elected post. (AP Photo/Joe Shirley Jr Campaign, George Hardeen, File)

In this May, 5, 2010, file photo, provided by the Joe Shirley Jr. Campaign, Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. speaks with reporters in Window Rock, Ariz. A ruling by the Navajo Nation Supreme Court on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, clears the way for election officials to set a date for the presidential contest. The high court upheld the dismissal of a challenge against Begaye, who will face Joe Shirley Jr. for the tribe’s top elected post. (AP Photo/Joe Shirley Jr Campaign, George Hardeen, File)

A ruling Wednesday by the Navajo Nation Supreme Court clears the way for election officials to set a date for the presidential contest.

The high court upheld the dismissal of a challenge against Russell Begaye, who will face Joe Shirley Jr. for the tribe’s top elected post.

The tribe’s Office of Hearings and Appeals had rejected arguments that Begaye did not demonstrate unswerving loyalty to the tribe as required of presidential candidates.

Former presidential hopeful Myron McLaughlin then appealed to the high court.

The Supreme Court justices did not address Begaye’s qualifications. Instead, they ruled that McLaughlin’s challenge was untimely filed.

The presidential race was separated from the Nov. 4 general election after Chris Deschene (des-CHEE’-nee) was disqualified in a language fluency case. 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