Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
  Around Town

Candidates line up for shot at state, county offices

—Signpost Staff

Filing day for state candidates in the June primary brought out names familiar to eastern Sandoval County along with a few surprises.

In the surprise category, District 9 Senator John Sapien, D-Corrales, drew opposition within his own party in the form of Jodilynn Ortiz from Placitas. Republicans are fielding Diego Espinoza of Rio Rancho as part of the GOP campaign to wrest control of the Senate from Democrats.

District 9 covers southeastern Sandoval County including Placitas, Algodones, Bernalillo, Sandia Pueblo, and part of Rio Rancho.

Another surprise came in Sandoval County Commission District 5 for the seat currently held by Commissioner Darryl Madalena of Jemez Pueblo, who is term-limited after two four-year terms. Madalena’s cousin Joshua Madalena, also of Jemez Springs, filed as a Democrat but was forced to withdraw over a conflict with a federal law restricting federal employees from running in partisan elections.

That leaves Anna Messer and F. Kenneth Eichwald, both Democrats from Cuba running to be the nominee. The primary winner may get the job since no Republican filed in the rural district covering a diagonal swath of the county from southwest to northeast corners.

Independent, small-party, and write-in candidates, however, have their own filing day on June 30 after the June 7 primary. Voter registration closes on May 10, the same day county clerks can begin mailing absentee ballots.

Early voting starts on May 21 and ends on June 4. Statewide all seats on the state House and Senate are up for election.

For his part, Darryl Madalena filed to replace his father representing House District 65. The elder Madalena has held the seat since first being elected in 1984.

Also campaigning for the position is Derrick Lente, a Democrat from Sandia Pueblo. No Republicans filed for the nomination in the district covering the western half of Sandoval County, six pueblos around the Jemez Mountains and much of Bernalillo.

In commission District 4, three residents of western Rio Rancho residents filed for the vacancy created by Republican Commissioner Glenn Walters bumping against term limits. They are Republicans David Heil and Issach Allen Martinez and Democrat Alexis Jimenez.

Incumbent District 2 Commissioner Nora Scherzinger, a Corrales Democrat, is running for her party’s nomination without opposition. On the Republican side, Jay Block of Rio Rancho is his party’s only candidate for the nomination.

In House District 22, Placitas, Algodones, and residents east of the Sandia Mountains will see a repeat of the 2014 election when Representative James Smith, R-Sandia Park, defeated Democrat John Wallace of the Placitas. Neither candidate drew opposition in the primary.

Incumbent Representative Jane Powdrell-Culbert, R-Corrales, is running for reelection as the only GOP candidate in House District 44, which encompasses parts of Corrales, southeastern Rio Rancho and western Bernalillo. Also running unopposed for the nomination is Democrat Robert Benton Howell of Bernalillo.

Other countywide primary contests:

County Clerk: Incumbent Eileen Moreno Garbagni, D-Bernalillo; Republicans Pete David Salazar, Placitas; Donald Lemm, Rio Rancho.

County Treasurer: Incumbent Laura Montoya, D-Rio Rancho and Democrats James S. Baca and Eugene Rinaldi, both of Bernalillo; Republican Leroy Joseph Lovato, Bernalillo.

District Attorney: Incumbent Lemuel Martinez, D-Grants; Republican Peter Ortega, Los Lunas

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