First Rio Communities election set for Tuesday

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Voters will get their chance Tuesday to vote for the first mayor, city council and municipal judge in the first ever Rio Communities municipal election.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 14, at First Presbyterian Church, 85 Manzano Expressway, in Rio Communities.

The mayor, the judge and the two councilors voted into office with the fewest votes will hold office for two years; the two councilors who receive the most votes will serve for four years.

Those running to be the first mayor of Rio Communities are Mark Gwinn, 61, a retired superintendent of operations at BNSF; Seth Pfefferle, 58, a graveyard shift clerk at Allsups; and Michael Vallejos, 46, co-owner of High Desert Industrial Supply.

There are nine candidates running for four seats on the city council, including, Nella Bunny Guenther, 74, a retired therapist and ESL volunteer tutor; George Moscona, 70, a school counselor, workshop facilitator and a licensed professional clinical counselor; and Kaylon Northcutt, 48, a former respiratory therapist and stay-at-home father.

Other candidates are Paul DeWitt, 66, a van driver for Renzenberger; Elizabeth Sagrestano, 65, a retired secretary; Mary Lee Serna, 68, who is also retired; Cynthia Shetter, 52, a wife and mother and co-chairwoman of Let's Move that Food; Frank Stasi, 69, a painting and drywall contractor; and Helga Woerner, 76, a retired bookkeeper and accountant.

Those running to be the first municipal judge are 34-year-old Heather Benavidez, a trial court administrative assistant in the 13th Judicial District Court; and Syl Saavedra, 68, a retired educator.


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