Los Lunas

It was a glimpse back at history Tuesday when the mayor of Los Lunas and two village councilors were elected to serve their community — just as they had been together in 1982.

Louis Huning was re-elected to serve a sixth term as mayor alongside Councilors Charles Griego and Robert Vialpando, who were both chosen once again by the voters of Los Lunas to serve another four-year term.

The trio began their careers with the village back in 1982 when all three men were sworn into office for the first time.

A total of 1,758 voters turned out to vote for the position of mayor. The end results showed Huning ahead with 945 — 54 percent — compared to Frank Otero’s 622 — 35 percent — and Victor “Bud” Williams’ 191 — 11 percent.

Huning is a general partner with Huning Limited Partnership in Los Lunas.

“I’m excited and so thankful to the public,” Huning said. “They have the confidence in Robert, Charles and I to continue with the issues the city has before it. I’m awestruck.”

Not far behind Huning, with 622 votes, Otero said he did “pretty good for running against a veteran.

“I had a lot of fun, too. I want to wish the mayor and the council the best of luck. And, I will be back.”

With 191 votes, Williams said, in reaction to the news, “Apparently the voters have spoken. I accept their choice.”

This is the first time city officials have been elected by district. Competing against two other candidates, Charles Griego retained his seat in District 2 of the village council.

A total of 589 voters cast ballots in District 2. Griego came away with 305 votes, followed by Pete Serafin with 212 votes and Robert Cantrell with 72 votes.

Griego has been re-elected every four years since 1982. He is the manager and president of Heritage Title of Valencia County Inc.

“I’m very grateful. I think the people are giving us the mandate to continue the progress of the last 20 years. That’s the most important thing,” Griego said.

In his second try for a seat on the village council, Serafin thanked all the people who supported him during the campaign.

“I ran a good race. I want to thank my sons, Mark and Carlos, along with my election committee. I also want to wish the council good luck,” he said.

Cantrell commended Griego for “running a good race.”

“Perhaps, I didn’t get my issues across. Everybody likes to win. Now I can use my time to make plans about the future.”

Out of 319 votes, Vialpando seized the seat for District 4 on the village council with 253 votes. His competitor, Ruben Garcia, received 66.

Vialpando served two non-consecutive terms on the Los Lunas Village Council. He served from 1982 to 1986 and was elected to the position again in March of 1998. He is the owner-operator of Vialpando Signs, where he designs and manufactures signs.

“I think the people spoke tonight,” Vialpando said after seeing the numbers. “There were a lot of tough issues out there. It showed the people believed in us. I’m thrilled they support the current administration.”

Garcia said the last day of campaigning was a fulfilling experience for him. “Everybody was like a family today, laughing and talking to each other. It was hard work, but it was worth it,” he said.

“I feel, if we work with the council, we’ll make a better council and a stronger community. We all need to stand strong and see progress in the Village of Los Lunas.”

One man went from being a former Los Lunas Village Councilor to becoming the new Municipal Court Judge Tuesday night.

With 913 votes, Jeff Aragon was elected to replace Municipal Court Judge Richard Luna, who is retiring after 34 years.

“This is a sign people believe in me. I will not let them down,” Aragon said amongst family and friends at city hall.

Aragon was a member of the Los Lunas Village Council for 12 years and is employed at Smith’s Grocery Store.

Aragon came away with 52 percent of the votes, compared to candidates Lorrie Mauer with 30 percent and Patrick Ortiz with 18 percent.

Ortiz, who racked up 313 votes, said he was somewhat disapointed at the outcome. “It was a lot of work. I’m a little sad. In four years, maybe I’ll run again. The whole campaign was a learning experience, and I got to meet a lot of new people.”

Candidate Lorrie Maurer, who received 913 votes and works as a court clerk at the Los Lunas municipal court said: “I feel wonderful. I ran a good, clean race. I’m so proud of myself and my family. They walked every step of the way with me. I am not a loser. I feel like I won.”

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Jennifer Harmon