Republican and Democratic candidates file for primary election


A total of 44 candidates will by vying for your votes in the June Primary Election after filing the necessary paperwork on Tuesday to appear on the ballot.

In the state Representative District 7 race, incumbent Republican Kelly Fajardo, who is self employed, is running for re-election. She has no challengers for the party’s nomination.

Teresa Smith de Cherif and Andrew Barreras are vying for the Democratic nomination. Smith de Cherif, a medical doctor from Los Lunas, was appointed to the Valencia Soil and Water conservation District board in 2008 and was elected to a second term in 2013. Barreras, a one-term state representative, is a real estate broker and restaurant owner.

In the state Representative District 8 race, incumbent Alonzo Baldonado, a real estate broker, is running unopposed in the Republican Party primary.

Democratic candidates vying for the District 8 seat include Jim D. Danner, a retired educator from Belen; and Frank Otero, a former Los Lunas Board of Education member and a retired N.M. Department of Health facilities manager.

Longtime state Rep. Don Tripp, a Republican, is once again going it alone in the District 49 race this June, while Democrats Erik Gale Hawkes, of Magdalena, and Dell P. Washington, of Belen, are looking to replace him.

Vickie Perea, a Republican, who was appointed to the District 50 seat by the governor last year after Steven Easley passed away, has no opponents in June’s primary. The sole Democratic challenger is Matthew McQueen, of Lamy.

In the District 69 Democratic race, incumbent W. Ken Martinez will be challenged by Nicole Lee Shult, of Bluewater. There are no Republican candidates in this race.

Three Valencia County Commission seats are up for grabs this year. In the District 1 race, incumbent Republican Mary Andersen is not seeking re-election. Rowena Elaine Tachias, a Bosque Farms business owner, is the only Republican in the race.

The Democrats vying for the seat include Mark Aarron Leeder, of Los Lunas; and Helen Cole, also of Los Lunas, who is an administrative assistant with the New Mexico Department of Health.

Lawrence Romero, who represents District 3, has chosen not to run for re-election, leaving the District 3 seat open to fellow Republicans David Hyder and Gregory Spragg.

Hyder, of Los Lunas, is a retired business and organization consultant, while Spragg, of Bosque, is self employed.

On the Democratic side of the ticket, Norbert A. Schueller and Michael Melendez are asking voters for their support. Schueller, a Belen resident, is a retired legal researcher and writer; and Melendez, of Rio Communities, owns a construction company.

Republican Jhonathan Aragon, who was appointed by the governor to fill the vacant District 5 county commission seat when Donald Holliday resigned last summer, and who is a veterinary assistant, has no primary opponent. Democrat Christian Garcia, of Peralta, was the only candidate to file for his party for that race as well. Garcia is the president of CG’s Concrete, Inc., and a former councilor for the town of Peralta.

With the retirement of the Honorable William Sanchez from the Division III District Court bench, voters will be casting their ballots for Democrats Joshua J. Sanchez, a Los Lunas attorney; and Walter M. Hart, of Los Lunas, who works at the New Mexico Attorney General’s office.

On the Republican side, Allen R. Smith, a Los Lunas attorney, and attorney Paul Trujillo, of Jarales, will be on the ballot.

According to the New Mexico Secretary of State’s website, Trujillo filed in the Division 1 race on Tuesday, the position held by District Court Judge James Lawrence Sanchez, which is not up for election. Trujillo’s name was removed from the website Tuesday afternoon, but was later added to the Division III race just before 5 p.m.

The candidate who wins in November will preside over the Family Court Division in Valencia County.

In November, six judges in the 13th Judicial District Court, including Judge Violet Otero and Judge James Lawrence Sanchez, of Valencia County; Judge Camille Martinez Olguin, of Cibola County; and Chief Judge Louis McDonald, Judge George Eichwald and Judge John Davis, of Sandoval County, will be asking for voters to retain them to the bench for six-year terms.

These offices are subject to non-partisan retention election in the 2014 General Election. To be retained, a judge must receive at least 57 percent in affirmative votes cast in the retention election.

Magistrates in Divisions I, II and III are all running for re-election to keep their seats.

In the Division I race, Judge Tina Garcia, a Democrat, is running unopposed in both the primary and general elections. Judge John “Buddy” Sanchez, a Republican, has no challengers in the Division III race, in both the primary and general elections.

Magistrate John R. Chavez, a Republican who retired as a colonel from the U.S. Army, was appointed earlier this year to the Division II bench after Judge Danny Hawkes retired. He is running against fellow Republican Joshua A. Sanchez, of Bosque, who is the owner of Sanchez Demolition Inc.

On the Democratic side of the ticket, Phillip “Shorty” Romero, of Los Lunas, the chief clerk at district court, will face off against Albert Tapia, of Peralta, an electrical contractor, specializing in HVAC controls; and Jodie M. Gallegos, of Belen, who is in the medical field.

Voters will also go to the polls in June to vote for their party’s candidate for Valencia County sheriff. Republican Louis Burkhard, the incumbent, and former Peralta judge, will be challenged in June by Archie Jose Romero III, of Los Lunas, a retired Los Lunas police officer.

Democratic candidates include former Valencia County sheriff Rene Rivera, of Los Lunas; and Emily L. Montoya, of Tomé, a former deputy sheriff and business owner.

County Assessor Viola Vallejos cannot run for re-election due to term limits, but fellow Democrats Orlando T. Montoya, Beverly Dominguez-Gonzales and Mary Castillo are asking voters for their support in June’s primary.

Montoya, a Los Lunas resident, is the department’s chief appraiser, while Dominguez-Gonzales, of Tomé, is a former two-term Valencia County assessor. She is currently the pre-prosecution diversion program administrator for the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s office. Castillo is a retired state employee and is currently a customer service representative for New Mexico Water Service Company.

Republicans will cast their ballots for Michelle Garcia, of Los Lunas, who is an appraiser.

Probate Judge Jaime Baca, who is facing charges of domestic violence, is not seeking re-election on the Republican ticket.

Charles Kent, of Los Lunas, and who is self employed, is the sole Republican candidate.

Democrats who are vying for the position include Jamie Goldberg and Joe Ray Chavez. Goldberg, a Los Lunas resident, is the district court administrator and has served eight years on the Belen Board of Education and four years on the UNM-Valencia Campus Advisory Board. Chavez is a city of Albuquerque employee.

The deadline to register to vote in the Primary Election is 5 p.m., Tuesday, May 6.

Absentee voting begins Tuesday, May 6, while early voting starts on Saturday, May 17. Election Day is slated for Tuesday, June 3.