#NativeVote18: Gavin Clarkson Receives Unanimous Endorsement of the Coalition of Large Tribes

Gavin Clarkson (third from left) with tribal leaders

Published May 21, 2018

Clarkson (Choctaw) is seeking Republican nomination for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Gavin Clarkson (Choctaw), a Republican candidate for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, was unanimously endorsemed by the Coalition of Large Tribes, which includes some of the largest tribal oil and gas producers in the nation.

Gavin Clarkston

The resolution endorsing Clarkson was introduced by chairman Mark Fox of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations and seconded by President Russell Begaye of the Navajo Nation.

In addition to Navajo and MHA, the other members of the Coalition of Large Tribes include
Blackfeet Nation
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
Eastern Shoshone Tribe
Fort Belknap Indian Community
Oglala Sioux Tribe
Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe
Spokane Tribe of Indians
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes
Ute Indian Tribe
The unanimous endorsement notes that
  • Clarkson is the only tribal member in the race with more than a quarter-century of tribal economic development experience throughout Indian Country, including among the tribal nations in New Mexico; and
  • Clarkson was the President of the Native American Law Students Association at Harvard Law School where he was a cum laude graduate; and
  • Clarkson was the first tribal member ever to earn a doctorate from the Harvard Business School; and
  • Clarkson is the only veteran, schoolteacher, economic development professional, and licensed investment banker in the Republican Primary; and
  • Clarkson was the faculty sponsor of the Native American Business Students Association at New Mexico State University; and
  • Clarkson has been named the nation’s “leading scholar in tribal finance” by The Financial Times and has been cited by Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today on matters of tribal finance and economic development, subjects he has taught as a professor at the University of Michigan, the University of Houston, the University of Montana, and at New Mexico State University where he is currently on a leave of absence; and
  • Dr. Clarkson has publicly called for any state that takes tribal gaming compact money to offer tuition waivers for any enrolled tribal member at any state university, college, junior college, or post-secondary vocational school in that state; and
  • Clarkson’s primary economic expansion plan involves eliminating dual taxation on job creators in Indian Country, both in New Mexico and nationwide, which will provide a $2 Billion economic stimulus to New Mexico and up to $40 Billion nationwide without costing federal taxpayers a single penny; and
  • Clarkson is the only candidate in the race who respected tribal sovereignty and culture enough to ask for and receive permission from the Zia Pueblo to use its sacred symbol in his campaign literature
Clarkson stated that “It was my honor to be endorsed by the Council of Large Tribes. More than 20% of my campaign’s financial support has come from Indian Country, and many of those tribal leaders have also echoed many of the themes of my campaign, which is based on Three E’s for Excellence:
  • Economic Expansion
  • Empowerment
  • Enforcement

The primary for the nomination is June 5, 2018.


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