Candidates seek local offices under new law

Editor’s Note: This updates a story earlier this week.

Tijeras mayor Gloria Chavez is being challenged for the post by village councilor Jake Bruton—one of the local elections that will happen Nov. 5 under changes due to the Local Election Act, passed in 2018.

Today is candidate filing day for towns, school boards, and soil and water conservation districts around the state.

The Local Election Act consolidates elections, and moves elections for municipalities and school boards, along with soil and water conservation districts, to November. Historically, those elections have had a much lower voter turnout.

Candidate filing day was Aug. 27. Those who wish to file as a write-in candidate must do so before Sept. 3, which is also the deadline to withdraw a candidacy.

Elections will also be held in Mountainair and Estancia, the two towns in Torrance County that opted in early under the Local Elections Act.

In Tijeras, incumbent Chavez is being challenged by Bruton for the mayor’s position, Bruton currently holds a seat on the village council. Two council positions are up for election as well, with four candidates running.

Incumbents Maxine Wilson and Don Johnson are being challenged by Yvette Garcia and Jeffrey Claypool.

Two positions on the town’s board of trustees are up for election in Estancia, and two are up in Mountainair as well.

School board elections will be held for the Moriarty-Edgewood School District, the Mountainair School District and the Estancia School District.

A crowded field is seeking one of two open seats on the Mountainair town council: Debra Vetterman, Ernie Lopez, Ashley Chavez, Brandon Overholser, Jeremy Oliver, Shanna Kayser and Aurora Zamora.

In Estancia, two seats are open. Stella Chavez, Wayne Glover, Norma Gonzalez, Martin Lucero and Albert Lovato all tossed their hats in the ring.

The Moriarty-Edgewood School District has three positions up for election, and four candidates: Charles Armijo, Cris Encinias, Elizabeth Howells and Albert Chavez.

Howells, Armijo and Chavez are current members of the board, where they serve as president, vice president and secretary, respectively. Encinias is challenging Armijo for Position 2 on the school board.

The Estancia school board has two positions up for election and three candidates. Incumbent Kendra Encinias-Otis is seeking another 4-year term, and Diann Walker-Boyd and Keith Sandy are seeking a position as well.

The Mountainair School Board has three positions up for election, and five candidates.

Candidates for the board are Darrell Roberts, Maria Rubi, Michael Montaño, Victor Romero and David Bingham.

Roberts is running unopposed for Position 1.

Position 2 is currently held by Frances Gonzales, who is not seeking re-election. Montaño and Rubi are both running for that seat. Romero is currently in Position 4, being challenged by Bingham.

Conservancy districts will also be holding their elections for boards of directors.

The Edgewood Soil & Water Conservation District has three positions up for election, and three candidates: Lewis Fisher, Mark Anaya and David King. All three are incumbents; King is chairman, Fisher is vice chair.

Claunch-Pinto SWCD has three positions up for election and two candidates, Felipe Lovato and LeRoy Candelaria. Claunch-Pinto’s website does not include the current board members, and the person answering the phone at press time did not know the current board make-up.

The Ciudad SWCD has three positions open, and four candidates: Maria Young, Thomas Allen, Daniel Lyon and Daniel Conklin.

For more information, visit the Secretary of State’s website at sos.state.nm.us.

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