ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Voters will be going to the polls in Bernalillo, Corrales and Rio Rancho on Tuesday to make decisions on who will occupy the governing body seats in their communities for the next four years.
The elections involve the mayor’s position in all three communities, three council seats each in Rio Rancho and Corrales, and two in Bernalillo. Rio Rancho residents will also be voting for a municipal judge.
Bernalillo Mayor Jack Torres is unopposed in his bid for re-election, while his counterparts in Corrales and Rio Rancho, Phil Gasteyer and Tom Swisstack, have decided to step down.
Rio Rancho’s mayoral contest is a four-way race between former mayors Jim Owen and Mike Williams, and political newcomers R. Morgan Braden and Gregg Hull.
Braden is a business owner and emergency medical technician; Hull is a former business owner. Owen was an Intel site manager and now runs a business. Williams is retired from a career in law enforcement and was a District 1 city councilor for 12 years.
Longtime Rio Rancho council District 2 incumbent Patty Thomas is stepping down. Sandra Atwood, Darlene Collins and Dawnn Robinson are vying for her position.
Atwood is an insurance agent, Collins is a former U.S. Air Force officer who runs a consulting business, and Robinson is a former U.S. Army officer and business owner.
In District 3, incumbent Tamara Gutierrez is hoping to fend off a challenge from Cheryl Everett, while, in District 5, incumbent Tim Crum is facing opposition from Tom Buckner, Paul Howell and Shelby Smith.
Gutierrez is a longtime Intel human resources staffer; Everett has held numerous positions in sales, marketing and municipal administrations.
Crum is a U.S. Navy veteran who works in state government; Buckner is retired from a career in banking and finance; Howell is a local business owner; and Smith is a retired Rio Rancho police officer and fitness business owner.
The municipal judge’s race pits incumbent G. Robert Cook against law enforcement veteran Jeffrey Goen and small-business owner Ramon Montaño.
Rio Rancho city rules require runoff elections in contests involving three or more candidates if no one receives at least 50 percent of the votes cast.
In Corrales, former village administrator Chris Allen and local businessman Scott Kominiak are vying to replace Gasteyer as village mayor.
In village council races, Gasteyer is running unopposed for the District 3 seat. Medical laboratory consultant John Alsobrook is running for re-election to District 4 against David Dornburg. District 5 incumbent Ennio Garcia-Miera, who has had a career in finance, marketing and higher education, is facing a challenge from Tom Brown, who has had a career in sales.
In Bernalillo, incumbent Dale Prairie is hoping to hold on to his town council seat, while Councilor Santiago Montoya is stepping down. Ernestina Dominguez and John A. Estrada are the challengers.
Dominguez was formerly village clerk in Corrales and assistant city clerk in Santa Fe; Estrada is the former Bernalillo fire chief.