Meet the Candidates

Commission2.jpg
Democrat.jpg
candMiramontes,Ralph 1 COL.jpg

Ralph Miramontes

Ralph Miramontes

Age: 51

Occupation: 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

Education: High school diploma; UNM; seminars

Previous elected political offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“This is not my first time running for county commissioner District 2. I have worked hard for what I have and the only thing I have to gain from this seat is working harder for my family, friends and constituents. I am asking for your vote.”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“I would like to have a program created in developing a comprehensive road improvement and maintenance database, which prioritizes improvements based on need and usage.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our county, and how do you propose to address them?

“1. Road improvements and maintenance. I would propose the development of a county-wide database — listing all dedicated county roads and prioritizing improvements based on conditions and usage; 2. I will work to provide a budget for the sheriff’s department that provides a larger and more visible presence of officers.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“The county should consider coordinating its efforts with all the government bodies in Valencia County to attract new businesses, and provide assistance to our existing businesses to grow and increase employment. The governmental entities in Valencia County should work together to focus on promoting and enhancing job opportunities.”

Republican.jpg
candRichardson,Troy 1 COL.jpg

Troy Richardson (R)

Elected to Valencia County Commission

Troy Richardson

Age: 41

Occupation: Project manager at Maez Water Sources

Education: Two years of college

Previous elected political offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“I am open-minded and willing to work with all of my constituents regardless of political affiliation or status. I am a strong supporter of small businesses and local agriculture.”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“Residential and commercial development is necessary within our community and must be addressed with careful consideration and well thought out planning in order to preserve the agricultural legacy within our county. By working together, development can be mutually beneficial for economic growth as well as preservation of farmland.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our county, and how do you propose to address them?

“Lack of funds for infrastructure and essential services. We must look into county spending and find a more efficient use of our money. Road maintenance/improvements and public safety are my top priorities, and appropriation of funds for these services is essential.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“Local businesses are the backbone of our community and contribute more to our economy than out-of-state companies. By developing programs to help ensure the success of local businesses such as tax incentives, we can promote economic development, which will help bring more job opportunities to our county.”

Commission4.jpg
Democrat.jpg
candBaca,Leroy 1 COL.jpg

LeRoy Baca

Lost District 4 commission seat

LeRoy Baca

Age: 68

Occupation: Retired

Education: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees

Previous elected political offices: Belen Board of Education, two terms

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“Being a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission for eight years, I have learned the process necessary to start as a commissioner on day one. I’m a retired educator; my experiences lend very well in communicating with the public. My bachelor’s and master’s degrees will play a critical role in making decision for our county.”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“One important issue is the Comprehensive Plan. It has not been updated in 15 years. It must be brought up to date; it’s the instrument that legally guides the future of Valencia County in terms of planning the infrastructure of the county. Roads and the sanitary program need immediate attention.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our county, and how do you propose to address them?

“The pandemic is creating difficult situations for some residents. The county needs to help those that are in dire need of subsistence. If we communicate with social programs and those providing the daily necessities for the community: like cooling and heating, internet and electric company we can make life easier.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“It’s important we work with businesses to hire additional workers in cooperation with state and federal assistance. It depends on how much money is available. We must encourage people to shop in our county to help businesses help our community. Federal assistance has been provided and it must be used fairly.”

Republican.jpg
CandBizzell,Joseph 1 COL.jpg

Joseph Bizzell

Won District 4 commission seat

Joseph Bizzell

Age: 47

Occupation: Electrical contractor

Education: Lineman apprenticeship; four years trade school

Previous elected political offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“Historically, I’ve honorably served, whether in the Navy or as a civilian, I’m dedicated to being an upstanding community member, business owner, neighbor, husband and father. I’ve volunteered on the NM Apprenticeship Council for the past four years and now I’d like to honorably serve on the commission.”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“The major concern I have is the hospital. It’s been 12 years since the start of the initial conversations about a hospital. Quite frankly, 12 years is 12 years too long. This issue must be tackled by cutting through the red tape. Valencia County residents deserve answers.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our county, and how do you propose to address them?

“A commission’s job is to ensure growth, safety, economic stability, and partnerships between local cities and the county. We must ensure our county residents feel a sense of security. This would include businesses, places of worship and charitable organizations. Positive reinforcement of our law enforcement and emergency personnel is essential.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“Economic growth is important. Not only will I support new business, but want be a resource for old businesses that are looking for innovative ways to improve. We need to encourage our youth to develop partnerships with employers who are willing to teach a trade that’s just as important as education.”

Commission5.jpg
Democrat.jpg
candTynan,Dave 1 COL.jpg

Dave Tynan

Dave Tynan

Age: 66

Occupation: Retired engineering manager

Education: Bachelor of Science, UNM. Master of Arts, Ball State University.

Previous elected political offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“I have a ‘Vision for Valencia County.’ This vision includes: A protected green zone. Planning and zoning that stimulates economic development while preserving our rural heritage. A hospital providing medical care and jobs. Parks and recreation facilities. Extended roads, water and sewer infrastructure. High speed internet. Recycling programs. Renewable power generation.”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“High speed internet is lacking in parts of the county. This rose to a major issue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic The CARES Act provided funding for rural and under-served areas. I will go after that funding to provide high-speed internet for more county residents and addresses.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our county, and how do you propose to address them?

“I feel the most important challenges are economic development, high speed internet, agriculture and health care. Working with constituents we will implement a ‘Vision for Valencia County’ by establishing a business council, installing high speed internet, promoting and supporting sustainable agriculture, building a hospital with a sustainable business model.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“With local experts, I will establish a business council to advise the county commission. We will advocate for small businesses, provide outreach and attract businesses, targeting businesses that are suitable for the county. The county will work to provide incentives for business development, and support workforce training programs.”

Republican.jpg
candAragon,Jhonathan 1 COL.jpg

Jhonathan M. Aragon (R)

Re-elected to Valencia County Commission

Jhonathan Aragon (I)

Age: 33

Occupation: Chairman of Valencia County Commission and veterinary assistant

Education: Associate of General Sciences, UNM

Previous elected political offices: Valencia County Commissioner, District 5, 2013-Present

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“Experience! I have worked alongside colleagues to advance our common goal of improving the quality of life for Valencia County residents while leaving political affiliations at the door. My record of fighting for the interests and needs of my constituents speaks for itself.”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“The most complex issue Valencia County faces is the hospital project. I have worked tirelessly with fellow commissioners to overcome litigation and identify medical needs within our community. I am confident that we can have a successful bid process within the next several months and a competent provider in 2021.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our county, and how do you propose to address them?

“Access to health care, growth and infrastructure. With a growing population, we must strategically plan to improve communication, roads and housing for our community. In return, this will provide necessary infrastructure to attract businesses and continue functioning at our highest potential. Community input is very important in this process.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“By promoting positive growth, investing in our infrastructure, and strategic planning to make Valencia County a desirable place to live and to foster economic development. Highlighting the amazing attributes our county possesses and promoting quality of life from working and living in our community.”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.