On the first day of early voting, Saturday, Oct. 17, people had to wait in line at the Belen Community Center for about an hour and a half at some points in the day.
Clara Garcia | News-Bulletin photo

It’s down to the wire, with just days left before the Nov. 3 General Election.

Early voting will be happening through Saturday, Oct. 31, and polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. across Valencia County on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Races on the ballot this year range from national offices to local county competitions.

There are also statewide general obligation bond questions and constitutional amendments for voters to weigh in on.

Valencia County Commission

District 2

In the District 2 Valencia County Commission race, Democrat Ralph Miramontes is running against Republican Troy Dean Richardson.

Miramontes is a prosecution assistant for the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s office, and Richardson is a project manager.
District 4

Democrat Leroy Baca faces Republican Joseph Aaron Bizzell in next week’s general election.

Baca is a retired University of New Mexico-Valencia campus teacher, and Bizzell is a contractor.
District 5

Democrat David M. Tynan is facing Republican incumbent Jhonathan Aragon in the District 5 race.

Tynan is a retired engineering manager, and Aragon is a veterinary technician.
Valencia County Clerk

Running for Valencia County Clerk on the November ballot are Democrat Aurora Dolores Chavez and Republican Michael E. Milam.

Chavez is the chief deputy county clerk for the Valencia County Clerk’s Office, a position she has held since 2013. Milam is a real estate broker for Keller Williams Realty and an owner broker for Preferred Property Management.

Valencia County Treasurer

In the race for Valencia County Treasurer, Democrat Michael P. Steininger is running against Republican incumbent Deseri Sichler.

Steininger is the special director for the State of New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration, local government division, budget and finance bureau; and Sichler is running for her second term.

New Mexico State Senate

District 29

Democrat Paul Baca and Republican incumbent Gregory A. Baca are on the November ballot for District 29 senate seat.

Paul Baca is the president and CEO of Valley Improvement Association and the owner of the Long John Silver/A&W/Kicks 66 in Belen. Gregory A. Baca, a Los Lunas attorney, is running for his second term.

The district includes parts of Valencia and Bernalillo counties.
District 30

In District 30, Democrat incumbent Clemente Sanchez was upset by challenger Pamela M. Cordova in the primary. She is on the November ticket with Republican Joshua A. Sanchez.

Cordova is a retired educator, and Sanchez owns his own business.

The district includes parts of Valencia, Socorro, Cibola and McKinley counties.
District 39

Incumbent Elizabeth Stefanics, a Democrat, faces Republican Joseph C. Tiano in the General Election.

Stefanics has held the seat since 2016 and is a retired consultant. Tiano is a retired law enforcement officer with 24 years of experience.

District 39 includes parts of Valencia, Torrance, Lincoln, Santa Fe and San Miguel counties.
New Mexico House of Representatives
District 7

Democrat Santos Griego and incumbent Republican Kelly Fajardo face off on the General Election ballot for the District 7 seat.

Griego is a journeyman inside wireman with the IBEW, and Fajardo is a small business owner.

District 7 is entirely within Valencia County.
District 8

In District 8, incumbent Republican Alonzo Baldonado is being challenged by Democrat Paul Matthew Kinzelman.

Kinzelman is a cargo pilot and former computer engineer, and Baldonado is a real estate broker and small business owner.

District 8 is entirely within Valencia County.
District 49

In District 49, incumbent Republican Gail “Missy” Armstrong is unchallenged. She is self-employed.

The district includes parts of Valencia and Socorro counties, and all of Catron County to the west.
District 50

There are three candidates on the ballot for District 50 — Democrat incumbent Matthew McQueen, an attorney; Republican Christina L. Estrada, a self-employed rancher and rental property owner; and Libertarian Jerry Gage, a retired veteran.

The district includes parts of Valencia, Bernalillo, Torrance and Santa Fe counties.
District 69

In the District 69 race, Democrat incumbent Harry Garcia will face Republican Roy Randall Ryan.

Garcia has been a small business owner in Cibola County for more than 30 years. Ryan retired from law enforcement after 33 years.

District 69 includes parts of Valencia, Cibola, Bernalillo, McKinley and San Juan counties.

13th Judicial District Attorney

Democrat Barbara Romo is running against Republican Joshua Joe Jimenez for the position of 13th Judicial District Attorney.

Romo is the chief deputy district attorney for the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and Jimenez is one of the partner attorneys at Payne and Jimenez, a Los Lunas law firm.

The 13th Judicial District includes Valencia, Sandoval and Cibola counties.

Magistrate Court Judge, Division I

After the retirement of former magistrate Tina Garcia, the Division I seat was placed on the primary ballot.

Democrat Heather Benavidez and Republican Miles R. Tafoya are running for the seat.

Benavidez was appointed to the Division I seat in late March after she filed to run for the position. Tafoya is a surveillance officer for the Valencia County DWI Drug Court.

13th Judicial District Court Judge

The candidates running for the three divisions in the 13th Judicial District Court judgeships are all unchallenged Democrats — Division 4, Cibola County, Amanda Sanchez Villalobos; and in Divisions 5 and 7, Sandoval County, Democrats James A. Noel and Chris G. Perez.

The judges running for retention include George P. Eichwald, Cindy Mercer, James Lawrence Sanchez, Allen Smith and Cheryl Johnston.

2020 Bond Questions

There are three bond questions on the ballot this year to fund capital improvements at senior centers, libraries and schools around the state.

Bond Issue A is for $33,292,141 statewide for certain senior citizen facilities, including $260,000 for vehicles at the Belen Senior Center and $200,000 for the Del Rio Senior Center.

Bond Issue B is $9.5 million for academic, public school, tribal and public library resource acquisitions.

Bond Issue C is $155,973,967 statewide for certain higher education, special schools and tribal schools, and includes $1.5 million for fire safety upgrades at The University of New Mexico-Valencia campus.

If all three bond issues are approved, the 2020 property tax year mill levy has been set at 1.36 mills, the same as the 2018 and 2019 rates, meaning the bonds are not expected to increase property taxes.

The State Board of Finance estimates in a 10-year period, the three bonds would cost about $10.99 per $100,000 of asset value. Of that, Bond Issue A accounts for $1.83, Bond Issue B accounts for $0.54, and Bond Issue C accounts for $8.62.

Constitutional Amendments

Amendment 1

The amendment proposes to reduce the number of Public Regulation Commission members from five to three, with no more than two members from the same political party. Members would no longer be elected, but instead appointed for six-year terms by the governor, with the consent of the senate, from a list of nominees submitted to the governor through a newly established Public Regulation Commission Nominating Committee.

The amendment would also amend the Constitution of New Mexico to narrow the scope of the PRC’s constitutionally granted regulatory powers to public utilities, while still allowing the legislature to assign responsibility for the regulation of other public service companies to the commission by law.

Amendment 2

This amendment proposes to allow the Legislature to adjust the term of a state, county or district officer to align or stagger the election of officers for a particular state, county or district office throughout the state.

No statewide elective office would be subject to adjustment. The proposed amendment also clarifies that officers elected to fill a vacancy in office shall take office on the first day of January following their election.

Early Voting Sites

10 a.m. to 6 p.m., through Saturday, Oct. 31.

Belen Community Center, 305 Eagle Ln., Belen

Bosque Farms Public Library, 1455 W. Bosque Loop, Bosque Farms

Valencia County Administration Building, 444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas

Voting Convenience Centers

7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 3

Ann Parish Elementary, 112 Meadow Lake Rd. Los Lunas

Belen Community Center, 305 Eagle Ln., Belen

Belen Public Library, 333 Becker Ave., Belen

Bosque Farms Public Library, 1455 W. Bosque Loop, Bosque Farms

Daniel Fernandez Campus-Century High School, 32 Sun Valley Rd., Los Lunas

Del Rio Senior Center, 351 Rio Communities Blvd., Rio Communities

Don Jose Dolores Cordova Cultural Center, 426 Jarales Rd., Jarales

Fred Luna Multi-Generational Center, 197 Don Pasqual, Los Lunas

Logsdon Hall, 19676 N.M. 314, Belen

Los Lunas Schools Administration, 119 Luna St., Los Lunas

Manzano Vista Fire Station, 311 El Cerro Mission Rd., Los Lunas

Meadow Lake Community Center, 100 Cuerro Ln., Los Lunas

Peralta Elementary, 3645 N.M. 47 Peralta

Pueblo of Isleta Veterans Center, 4001 N.M. 314, Los Lunas

Thomé Dominguez de Mendoza Community Center, 2933 N.M. 47, Tomé

University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus, 280 La Entrada Rd., Los Lunas

Valencia County Administration Building, 444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.