Candidates file for primary election

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The petitions are in and the paperwork is signed. And at the end of the day on Tuesday, Valencia County had 44 primary candidates ready to battle it out in June for the primary election.

In the Valencia County Commission District 2 race, there are six candidates — four Democrats and two Republicans.

Democrat Ralph R. Miramontes, of Los Lunas, is back for a second try at the commission seat. He ran unopposed in the 2008 primary, but lost the November general election to out-going Commissioner Georgia Otero-Kirkham. Miramontes is a district court office administrator.

Facing him in the primary will be first-time candidate, Torres G. Leyba, of Meadow Lake, a self-described public servant, and Alicia Aguilar, a Los Lunas real estate agent and former county commissioner. Aguilar finished her second term on the commission in 2004.

On the Republican side, Jimmy Baca, of Tomé, will go up against Tim Pruitt of Los Lunas. Baca is a former magistrate, a 13-year teaching veteran of the Los Lunas Schools, retired Albuquerque police officer and currently works for a company that supplies security for the federal courts in Albuquerque.

In District 4, former county commissioner Charles Eaton, of Belen, will be taking on Richard Herrera on the Democrat ticket. Eaton is currently the county fire chief and served one term as commissioner from 1992-96. Herrera owns Damacio's Chile Shack in Los Chavez.

There are three Republican candidates hoping to make it through to the general election. Jerry Don Gage, of Tomé, Toby Michael Jaramillo, of Belen, and Alberto C. Carrillo, of Belen.

Gage is an operations manager, Jaramillo is a service writer for Tillery Buick GMC in Los Lunas and Carrillo is a retired businessman.

Prior to this years redistricting of the county, Carrillo ran unsuccessfully for the District 3 seat in 2002.

While both commissioners for Districts 2 and 4 are in their second term and unable to run again, District 5 Commissioner Donald Holliday, a Democrat, is finishing up his first term and is hoping for a second. The Bosque Farms resident is the owner of Holliday Fencing.

Holliday will be challenged by Republican Benito S. Serna, also of Bosque Farms, a retired field superintendent for Valley Improvement Association. Neither Serna nor Holliday have primary competition, so they will both move on to the November ballot.

The seat of Valencia County Clerk attracted four candidates, three Democrats and one Republican.

Democrats Lawrence E. Kaneshiro, Lucy D. Gonzales and Debi Barreras-Wright, all of Los Lunas, have declared their candidacy. Peggy Carabajal, a Republican, drew no primary challenger.

Kaneshiro is currently the information technology administrator for the city of Belen, Gonzales is a bookkeeper for the Valencia County treasurer's office and Barreras-Wright is the owner of Casa de Pizza in Belen.

Carabajal is the bureau of elections director for Valencia County, a position she has held for five years.

County Treasurer Dorothy Otero Lovato, of Jarales, is running for a second term. She served as chief deputy treasurer in the department for 10 years before being elected treasurer for four years. Lovato has no primary challenger.

There are two Republican candidates vying for the spot on the general election ballot. Henry J. Wirth, of Los Lunas, served in the U.S. Army for 30 years and worked for the U.S. Public Health Service before retiring in 2000. He has since earned his master's of business administration from the University of Phoenix.

Lorel L. Campbell is a Los Lunas accountant and will be running against Wirth in June. She ran for the position of treasurer in 2008, but didn't make it through the primaries.

The race for the District 29 State Senate seat will be a familiar match-up. Incumbent Michael Sanchez (D-Belen) drew Republican challenger David C. Chavez.

The two local attorneys faced off in the 2000 race for the position. Sanchez, who has held the seat since 1993, beat Chavez by 1,054 votes, 8,594 to 7,540.

Chavez enters the race after serving one two-year term in the state House of Representatives, holding the District 7 seat.

Neither has a primary challenger.

In District 30, incumbent Sen. David Ulibarri (D-Grants) will face three challengers from his own party and one Republican. Ulibarri is the former Cibola County manager and was elected to the Senate in 2006.

He will face Clemente Sanchez and Randolph Collins of Grants and Maxine Velasquez of Laguna.

Sanchez, who ran for the position in 2008, but lost in the primary, is the director of the small business development center at the New Mexico State University Grants campus, and Velasquez is an attorney.

Republican Vickie Perea, of Belen, is a retired director for the city of Albuquerque. She has no primary competition and will face the candidate who makes it through the Democratic race.

A new district for Valencia County this election season is state senate District 39, currently held by Democrat Phil A. Griego. A realtor and consultant, Griego, of San Jose, has held that seat since 1997.

He will face fellow Democrats Jack Sullivan and Nicole Castellano, both of Santa Fe. Sullivan is a registered professional engineer with Sullivan Design Group in Santa Fe and served eight years on the Santa Fe County Commission from 2001 to 2008.

No Republican candidates filed for the District 39 race.

A former state representative is taking another swing at his district. Democrat Andrew J. Barreras, of Tomé, represented District 7 for two terms until he lost the seat in the 2010 election to David C. Chavez. Barreras is a restaurant owner from Tomé.

He will face Leroy Baca, a retired math teacher also of Tomé and Michelle L. Mares, of Los Lunas.

Kelly K. Fajardo, a Republican from Belen. has no primary challengers for the seat. She is a small business owner, specializing in website design and multimedia consulting.

Republican Alonzo Baldonado is attempting to snag his second term as the representative for District 8. The real estate broker was elected in 2010.

He will face Democrat Frank Otero, a former Los Lunas Board of Education member and a retired facilities operations manager for the New Mexico Department of Health. Neither candidate has a primary opponent.

Representative Don Tripp of Socorro, a Republican, drew no challengers from his own party or from across the aisle this election season. The jeweler has served in the House since 1999.

This years redistricting also pushed state representative District 50 into Valencia County. Democrat Rhonda King decided not to run for the seat again, after 12 years of service.

That void will be filled by one of four candidates. Stephen P. Easley, a Democrat from Eldorado and a former Alamogordo city councilor, will face off against Patricia Lincoln, of Estancia.

Lincoln served on Torrance County's planning and zoning board and has worked as the county's representative to the Mid-Region Council of Governments.

On the Republican side is Charles Larry Miller, of Edgewood, and Gerald L. Chavez, of Mountainair. Miller has a doctorate in curriculum and instruction and spent 31 years working in schools, including 15 years at Moriarty High School and nine years as a superintendent.

New Mexico House of Representatives District 69 incumbent, Democrat W. Ken Martinez, makes his first appearance in Valencia County thanks to redistricting. The Grants attorney has held the seat since 1999 and is running unopposed.

The 13th Judicial District Attorney Lemuel Martinez, of Grants, is running for his fourth term. He will be challenged by Republican Kenneth E. Fladager, of Rio Rancho. Fladager is a senior trial attorney with the 2nd Judicial District. He has worked there since 1999.

And Democrat LaDonna L. Giron filed as a candidate for the vacant position of 13th Judicial District Court Judge. Giron, of Los Lunas, has been an assistant district attorney for the 13th Judicial District prosecuting crimes against children and sex crimes since January. For seven years prior to that, Giron operated a solo law firm in downtown Albuquerque.

In the U.S. Senate, Republicans Heather Ann Wilson and Gregory Eddie Sowards have filed, as have Democrats Hector Balderas and Martin T. Heinrich

Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce is unchallenged in the District 2 race, but he will face one of two Democrats in November — either Evelyn Madrid Erhard or Frank McKinnon.

The U.S. Representative District 1 race drew six candidates total, three Democrats, three Republicans.

Vying for votes on the Democratic side are Martin J. Chavez, Eric G. Griego and Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The Republican candidates are Janice A. Arnold-Jones, Dan Lewis and Gary D. Smith.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.