VSWCD mill levy passes; de Cherif and Moya re-elected

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One candidate was literally jumping for joy while it was smiles all around for everyone else Tuesday evening after the results of the Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District election were announced.

Incumbent for board Position 4 Teresa Smith de Cherif beat out challenger Lawrence Sanchez, 266 votes to 143.

Joseph Moya

“I love the people of this county,” de Cherif cried out as she saw the unofficial numbers. “I think this election has created a huge political space for people in this community who want to run for office and do good work.”

During her campaign for re-election, de Cherif said she received harassing phone calls, was accused of trying to manipulate the election outcome through the absentee ballot process and had her campaign signs, which featured her picture, bashed in.

“The people have stood up and said this election matters; it matters that you run a clean, transparent campaign,” she said. “I love this county.”

The other big victory on the ballot was the quarter mill levy, which passed 284 votes in favor, 136 against. When those numbers were announced, VSWCD Board President Joseph Moya just smiled and laughed quietly.

“Well, I feel better than I did this morning,” Moya said.

Moya’s seat was also up for re-election, but he was unopposed, garnering 279 votes.

The president thanked everyone who came out to vote, saying the funds would be of great help to the district to continue programs, purchase new equipment and leverage funds for cost sharing programs for local farmers and ranchers.

Teresa Smith de Cherif

Fellow board member Abel Camarena called the passing of the mill levy a triumph, but also a trust on the part of the public.

“We will make good use of their money to benefit everyone in the district,” Camarena said.

The unofficial results of the election will be sent to the state Soil and Water Commission in Las Cruces within the next seven days for a final canvass and certification.


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