Chris Deschene

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Christopher Deschene
Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 2nd district
In office
Personal details
Citizenship  USA
 Navajo Nation
Political party Democratic Party
Residence St. Michaels, Navajo Nation, Arizona
Alma mater United States Naval Academy
Arizona State University
Occupation Lawyer

Christopher L. Clark Deschene is a member of the Navajo Nation and was the Democratic Party's candidate for Secretary of State in Arizona in 2010.[1] He is the first member of a Native American nation to have run for the second highest office in the state.[2]


Deschene was born in California,[3] but moved with his parents, a homemaker from Dennehotso and a welder from the area North of Tuba City, to Lechee where he spent his youth; he attended High School in nearby Page.[1] After graduating from High School in 1989, Deschene attended the United States Naval Academy from which he graduated in 1993 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a commission as a 2nd LT in the United States Marine Corps. His grandfather was a Navajo code talker during World War II.[4] Deschene was deployed on several missions overseas, including the Persian Gulf and Southeast Asia.[3]

Deschene attended Arizona State University, graduating with a law degree and a master's degree in Science Engineering and subsequently co-founded Law Office of Schaff & Clark Deschene, specializing in questions of energy infrastructure.[3]

Political career[edit]

Deschene has been a member of the Arizona State Legislature since 2009, representing District 2. He is a member of both the Committee for Natural Resources and Rural Affairs and the Committee for Water and Energy. Prior to his election to the legislature, he was the chair of the Apache County Democratic Party from 2007 to 2008[1] and the chair of the Native American Democratic Caucus.[3] In 2010, he won the Democratic Party's nomination for secretary of state, beating Sam Wercinski with 62.7% vs. 37.3% of the votes. On October 9, 2014, Deschene was disqualified from the 2014 Navajo Nation Presidential Election by the Navajo Nation Office of Hearings and Appeals for failing to show fluency in the Navajo language.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Archived February 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Campaign website. Accessed 2010-10-10.
  2. ^ a b Arizona Diné fare well in primary. Navajo Times. 2010-08-26. Accessed 2010-10-10.
  3. ^ a b c d Christopher Deschene. Biography. Arizona State Legislature. Accessed 2010-10-10.
  4. ^ "About Chris". Retrieved October 11, 2010.