BOSQUE FARMS — Three candidates are vying for two council seats in the village of Bosque Farms this year.
The seats currently held by William Kennedy and Rick Goshorn are up for reelection in the March 1 municipal election.
Goshorn, who was appointed to the position in April 2020 to serve the remainder of now Mayor Russell Walkup’s term, did not file to run.
Those who filed last week are Tim Baughman, Michael Cheromiah and Kennedy.
Baughman is running for public office for the first time. He retired as a major from the New Mexico State Police in 2008, after 27 years of service. Baughman graduated from the state’s police academy in 1981, and was a member of the 195th session of the FBI National Academy in 1998.
He is a private contractor, owning and operating his own business as a law enforcement liaison for Safer New Mexico Now, a New Mexico Department of Transportation contractor. Baughman has overseen and assisted with traffic safety grants for the NMDOT for the last 13 years.
A life-long resident of Bosque Farms, Baughman said he decided to run for council because he enjoys the lifestyle of the village and is concerned about future growth.
“I like the village atmosphere. My dad served on the very first village council and I want to try to make a difference,” Baughman said. “I have no agenda; I’m not for big growth and changes for lack of a good reason.”
Michael Cheromiah is the alternate judge for the village. He ran for the municipal judge position in 2020, but lost to Dolly Wallace.
“I want to help make Bosque Farms a better area,” said Cheromiah, a teacher. “I want to help maintain the ruralness of it, help preserve what has been created over the years.”
Cheromiah earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and religious studies from The University of New Mexico in 2018. He is currently studying at Cairn University, pursuing a master’s degree of education.
Kennedy was elected to his fourth term on the council in 2018, and is retired from selling heavy equipment parts and service. He has a BBA in business.
Kennedy said he decided to run for another term to carry on the work the current council has done and maintain the institutional knowledge of the village.
“Our clerk is retiring this year and I think it’s going to be an all-hands-on-deck situation,” Kennedy said. “I’ve also been involved in writing many of our ordinances.”
While the three seats are technically “at-large” — meaning candidates can live anywhere in the village and there are no council districts due to the village’s population — Village Clerk/Administrator Gayle Jones said voters might not see the candidates presented on the ballot that way.
Jones said she received direction from the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office that the two seats needed to be assigned position numbers — Position 1 and Position 2 — and candidates needed to file to run for one of the positions.
“We normally don’t have positions on the ballot. It’s always been at-large, the top two vote getters win,” Jones said. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense because we don’t have districts.”
Jones said when candidates filed to run on Jan. 4, they were asked to indicate which position they wanted to run for — Cheromiah and Baughman indicated Position 1, while Kennedy picked Position 2.
“If they put the candidates on the ballot by position, then Mr. Baughman and Mr. Cheromiah will run against each other and Councilor Kennedy will basically be unopposed,” she said. “However, when I uploaded the candidate information to the SOS website, it indicated “at-large, pick two,” so I’m not sure how it will be on the ballot.”
The News-Bulletin reached out to the SOS through the office’s media contact asking about the issue of ballot positions in the absence of districts, but received no response before going to press.
Election day for the Bosque Farms municipal election is Tuesday, March 1. Voting the day of the election will be at the Bosque Farms Public Library addition, and early and absentee voting will be at the village offices, both at 1455 W. Bosque Loop, Bosque Farms.
Early and absentee voting will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., beginning Tuesday, Feb. 1, Monday through Friday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 26.
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.