Former independent representative Sylvania Laughter dies Saturday at 63

Sylvia Laughter, a former representative from Kayenta, died Saturday

The Senate and House Democratic caucuses announced Laughter’s death in a Monday news release. She was 63.

Laughter served in the state House of Representatives from 1999 to 2005 and is the only independent candidate to serve in the state House or Senate since Arizona was granted statehood in 1912. She initially served as a Democrat but often voted with the GOP before leaving the party in 2002 during her final term.

Reps. Jasmine Blackwater-Nygren, D-Red Mesa; Myron Tsosie, D-Chinle; and Sen. Theresa Hatathlie, D-Coalmine Mesa, issued the following statement about Laughter’s death:

Laughter, funeral, Covid, Senate, House, Navajo Nation, Kayenta, Navajo Code Talkers, World War II, Diné Asdzání Naat’áanii, Hatathlie, Diné Asdzání Naat’áanii, Blackwater-Nygren, Red Mesa“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Representative Sylvia Laughter. She worked tirelessly to represent her district and continued to make an impact in our community after her service in the Legislature. She was a true trailblazer for other Navajo women to serve in the Legislature. It’s heartbreaking to lose such a humble true Diné Asdzání Naat’áanii. We send our deepest condolences and prayers of comfort to her family and loved ones.”


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October 2022