Early voting in the special election to fill the vacant seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for New Mexico Congressional District 1 began on Tuesday, May 4.
The congressional district includes a small part of Valencia County — voting precincts 6, 16, 22, 28, 49, 50, 56 and 60 — on the east side of the county.
Communities in those precincts include Meadow Lake, Monterey Park, El Cerro Mission, Cypress Gardens and El Cerro.
The seat became vacant when Rep. Deb Haaland left the position when she was selected as Secretary of the Interior earlier this year, and now a special election must be held to fill her seat for the remainder of her term.
There will be four candidates on the ballot — State Rep. Melanie Stansbury, Democrat; state Sen. Mark Moores, Republican; Chris Manning, Libertarian, and Aubrey Dunn, independent.
Stansbury, a resident of Albuquerque, has served in the legislature for two years, and represents parts of northeast Albuquerque and the Foothills.
Moores, of Albuquerque, works in health care and has represented northeast Albuquerque in the New Mexico Senate since 2013 and is a former University of New Mexico football player.
Manning, of Farmington, is an auditor who has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with an emphasis in history and served in the military for six years.
Dunn, a rancher who lives in Torrance County, served as the Commissioner of Public Lands for four years, is an auctioneer and has been a licensed New Mexico real estate broker for more than 40 years.
Absentee voting for the special election also began Tuesday, May 4, and the last day to request an absentee ballot is Tuesday, May 18. Absentee ballots must be returned by mail or deposited in a ballot drop box by 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 1.
Early in person voting is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, May 4-28, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, May 29, at the Valencia County Clerk’s office, 444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas.
Early voting is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, May 15-29, at the Valencia County Administration offices, 444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas.
Same-day voter registration and ballot drop boxes will be available at voting locations during the times and days they are open for the election.
On Election Day, Tuesday, June 1, ballots can be cast from 7 am. to 7 p.m. at:
•Ann Parish Elementary
112 Meadow Lake Road
•Meadow Lake Community Center
100 Cuerro Lane
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.