The Navajo Nation Council says it is endorsing Democrat Martin Heinrich in New Mexico's U.S. Senate race.
Navajo Nation Council Delegate Russell Begaye said Tuesday the council is backing Heinrich because of his support for "issues of great importance to Navajo," such as social security, veterans' benefits, and Indian health care.
The endorsement comes after the Navajo Nation Council sent Heinrich's Republican opponent, Heather Wilson, a letter earlier this month in support of her energy platform.
The EPA has been working to force utility companies to install better pollution controls and retire some coal-fired units at plants in northwestern New Mexico, where many Navajos are employed.
Heinrich is backed by environmental groups for his support of clean air and renewable energy policies while Wilson has been advocating for the coal industry.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.