- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The largest statewide Native organization in Alaska is breaking with decades of tradition and endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

The Alaska Federation of Natives says it’s the first time it has endorsed a presidential candidate in the organization’s half-century of existence.

The federation’s board of directors voted Tuesday to endorse the Democratic nominee.

The federation says in a Wednesday news release that some board members abstained from voting “because they needed further internal discussions with their groups.”

The federation says Clinton’s “priorities are so much in line with our community’s priorities that the board was compelled to break with tradition.” Without mentioning GOP nominee Donald Trump, it says the other choice would lead to the marginalization of Native Americans.

The decision comes as thousands of delegates gather in Fairbanks, where the federation is holding its annual conference this week.

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