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County incumbents hold off challengers in primary

Bremin Espinosa, 1 1/2, helps his father Gilbert place his ballot into the machine for tabulation. (Rio Rancho Observer—GARY HERRON photo)
Bremin Espinosa, 1 1/2, helps his father Gilbert place his ballot into the machine for tabulation. (Rio Rancho Observer—GARY HERRON photo)
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Every incumbent who appeared on the ballots of Rio Rancho voters emerged victorious in Tuesday’s primary election, according to unofficial results from the Sandoval County Bureau of Elections.

In the Republican primary for the District 3 Sandoval County Commission seat, incumbent Don Chapman of Rio Rancho easily fended off Michael MacDonald, garnering 60 percent of the votes cast, the unofficial results showed. He has no Democratic opposition in the general election.

“I want to thank my supporters, I’m glad it’s over with, and I’m ready to get to work,” Chapman said.

Incumbent County Assessor Tom Garcia won the Republican nomination for that position with 42 percent of the vote, outdistancing challengers Leroy J. Lovato and Pete Salazar. Garcia, of Rio Rancho, will face Democrat Antonio F. Montoya in the general election in November.

“Thank you to all the people who voted and were able to make out that I was someone who had kept my promises, and basically we have one more test to go to finish the job we started,” Garcia said in a phone interview.

In the three-way Democratic primary for county sheriff, unofficial results showed Jesse James Casaus gained 46 percent of the vote, well ahead of challengers Steve L. Reynolds and former Sheriff John Paul Trujillo. Casaus, a deputy with the sheriff’s office, will run against incumbent Republican Sheriff Doug Wood, who was unopposed in the primary.

In an interview, Casaus said he has a lot of work ahead of him but feels confident he can defeat Wood.

Incumbent Division 1 Magistrate Judge Richard Zanotti will keep his seat, according to the unofficial results. He beat Daniel Tallon with 54 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary. Zanotti has no Republican opponent in November.

With the vote split between four Democratic candidates, Bill Mast won the race for magistrate judge in Division 2 with 38 percent of the vote. He finished ahead of Benito J. Aragon, Joseph F. Ramirez and Timothy S. Herrera. No Republican filed for that office.

In other primary races, Joshua J. Sanchez beat Walter M. Hart with 65 percent of the vote to win the Democratic primary for Division 3 district court judge in the Thirteenth Judicial District, while Allen R. Smith beat Paul E. Trujillo and carried the day in the Republican primary with 66 percent, unofficial results showed.

Several candidates appeared on the ballot Tuesday in uncontested primaries and will have an opponent in the general election.

Democrat Catherine Begaye hopes to unseat state Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque, in House District 23.

District 57 state Rep. Jason Harper, R-Rio Rancho, faces a challenge from Democrat Donna Tillman.

Democrat Linda Allison will campaign to unseat District 60 state Rep. Tim Lewis, R-Rio Rancho.

Republican Gary Miles will go head-to-head against Democrat R. James Dominguez in the race for the District 1 seat on the Sandoval County Commission.

In the race for probate judge, incumbent Democrat Charles Aguilar will face Republican Lawrence D. McClain.

District 44 state Rep. Jane E. Powdrell-Culbert, R-Corrales, and Magistrate Judge Delilah Montaño-Baca, the Democratic incumbent in Division 3, ran unopposed in the primary and have no opponent in the general election.

The turnout rate Tuesday among Sandoval County voters, with five Democrats vying for the gubernatorial nomination, was 18 percent for Democrats and 12 percent for Republicans.

Sandoval County Primary, Contested

Local Races

Unofficial results from the election Tuesday are:

County Commission, District 3

Democrats

none

Republicans

Don Chapman*………………………………..604

Michael MacDonald…………………………401

County Sheriff

Democrats

Jesse James Casaus……………………3,075

Steve Reynolds……………………………..1,578

John Paul Trujillo…………………………2,056

Republican

Doug Wood*………………………………..3,219

County Assessor

Democrat

Antonio Montoya…………………………..5,268

Republicans

Tom Garcia*………………………………….1,384

Leroy Lovato………………………………….1,011

Pete Salazar……………………………………..871

Magistrate Judge, District 1

Democrats

Daniel Tallon………………………………..2,762

Richard Zanotti*…………………………3,256

Republicans

none

Magistrate Judge, District 2

Democrats

Benito Aragon……………………………….1,927

Timothy Herrera……………………………1,427

Bill Mast……………………………………….2,367

Joseph F. Ramirez……………………………567

Republicans

none

* = incumbent

Source: New Mexico Secretary of State’s website

 

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