ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Rio Rancho’s next municipal election is eight months away but one city resident is already going public with plans to seek the council seat long held by Patty Thomas.
Former Rio Rancho Tea Party President Dawnn Robinson has been announcing her intention to run for the District 2 seat at events around the city.
Thomas, a Democrat, has held the seat since 2001 when she was appointed to fill an uncompleted term.
She was elected to the seat in 2002, and re-elected in 2006 and 2010.
Thomas did not return calls asking about her intentions for the March 2014 municipal election.
The redistricting plan councilors approved in 2011 defined District 2 as a narrow portion of west central Rio Rancho bordered by Progress Boulevard, a dirt road, to the north, Unser to the east, 10th Street to the west and Idalia in the south, with two small areas south and east of the intersection of Idalia and Unser.
Robinson, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, has lived in the city for nine years, has taught Constitution classes at Calvary Chapel in Rio Rancho and home schools her 10-year-old son.
“Why I’m running, honestly is we have a lot of serious issues and we need to stay focused on solving them,” Robinson said in recent interview.
She believes the council should prioritize public safety, road repair and waterlines instead of embarking on new construction projects.
Robinson has never held public office before; she stepped down from her Tea Party leadership position before deciding to run.
Municipal elections are non-partisan.
Rio Rancho’s municipal election will be on March 4, 2014; the mayor’s position, and council seats in districts 2, 3 and 5 will be up for grabs.