With municipal elections being held around the Tricounty area next week little change will be the watchword—with a few exceptions.
Elections will be held March 1. Early voting is ongoing; the last day to cast an early vote is Feb. 26.
In Moriarty, for example, only the incumbents threw their names into the hat for another term, meaning that there will be no change in Moriarty’s city government after Election Day.
Three councilors, Dennis Shanfeldt, Bobby Ortiz and Steve Anaya, had terms which expired. Each man declared his intention to run again, but none will face a challenger.
The same is true for the city’s municipal judge, Dorothy Encinias-Pachta, who will face no opposition for that position.
In Edgewood, the only contested race is that of the mayor, in which incumbent Mayor Brad Hill is facing a stiff challenge from John Bassett, an Edgewood rancher who formerly served as chairman of the town’s planning and zoning commission.
The two men faced off in an Edgewood Mayoral Forum Feb. 17, hosted by The Independent. That forum is online at The Independent’s website, edgewood.news.
Two positions on the Edgewood town council, now held by John Abrams and Sherry Abraham, are uncontested, meaning that both will get another term. The same is true for the town’s municipal judge, Bill White, who is uncontested in that race.
In Estancia, Stella Chavez is seeking re-election to a 2-year position on the board of trustees. She was appointed to the position which was vacated when Sylvia Chavez was appointed mayor following the resignation of Ted Helsley.
Another seat, held by incumbent Josie Chavez, formerly Josie Richards, will face a challenge from Manuel Romero.
Romero is an 84-year old political newcomer.
In Willard, three people are vying for two seats on the village council, with the two highest vote-getters to be seated on the council.
Two are incumbents: Mayor pro tem Ricardo Garcia and Lorine Mendez. Marina Garley is also hoping to win a seat on Willard’s village council.
In Mountainair, there are two open seats on the council, now held by incumbents Barbara Chung, wife of the town’s police chief, and George Immawahr.
In a contentious race, those two seats are being sought by six candidates altogether, including challengers Michael Hays, a retired history teacher, Adrian Padilla, a Forest Service firefighter, Ed Von Kutzleben, formerly Mountainair’s police chief and Peter Nieto, an insurance agent.
The two highest vote-getters will be seated on the town council.