Allen, Pacheco victors in primaries for Bernalillo County sheriff’s race - Albuquerque Journal

Allen, Pacheco victors in primaries for Bernalillo County sheriff’s race

John Allen and Paul Pacheco. (Courtesy the candidates)

In the crowded race for Bernalillo County sheriff, Democrat John Allen and Republican Paul Pacheco each dominated their opponents to win their respective primaries.

Allen, a former BCSO homicide sergeant, was ahead of the six other Democrats with 41% of the vote based on partial, unofficial election results Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Pacheco, a former Albuquerque Police Department officer and former state representative, was leading over the three other Republicans with 48% of the vote.

They were both leading their closest competitors by double digit percentage points.

The two men will face off against each other and Libertarian Kaelan Ashby Dreyer in November’s election. Dreyer was unopposed in the primaries. The current sheriff, Manuel Gonzales, can’t seek reelection because of term limits.

Allen, who stepped away from a gathering of family and friends at his house to speak with the Journal, said he was “feeling awesome” and really excited about his victory.

He stressed that with his experience at BCSO he knows how the department works and he also knows what issues need to be addressed within the ranks — such as fear of retaliation and low morale among deputies.

“We have so many problems in front of us, it’s not just crime, it’s so many other issues,” Allen said. “I believe I’m the best candidate to be able to multi-task with the experience that I have and the experience that I’ve had over the years … I know what the current problems are in law enforcement and how to address them properly.”

Pacheco, on the other hand, said he thinks there are “huge differences between what Mr. Allen thinks is appropriate for law enforcement and what really needs to happen.”

Speaking with the Journal on his hands-free device as he drove home from Mark Ronchetti’s watch party, Pacheco said he was very thankful to be nominated and humbled by the support that voters showed for him.

“We need to get back to basics and get back to making sure there are enough police officers on the street to handle calls for service,” he said. “And making sure there are enough officers to do proactive policing, such as traffic enforcement and investigating suspicious people and more importantly getting back to community based policing.”

Crowded field

It was a packed field on both sides of the aisle.

Among the remaining Democrats, Rudy Mora — Gonzales’ former undersheriff who also led the Pueblo of Laguna Police Department — garnered second place with 27% of the vote. The remaining candidates all had 10% or less.

They include: Patricio Ruiloba — a former Albuquerque Police Department officer and former state representative; Larry Koren — Gonzales’ undersheriff; Philip Snedeker — a former Quay County sheriff; Sheridan Lund — an electrician who has never worked in law enforcement; and Matthew McCoy — who does not appear to have a campaign website and did not respond to the Journal’s questionnaire or request for an interview.

Among the Democrats, Ruiloba had significant support from his former colleagues in the statehouse and had raised $115,603 — more than any other candidate in either party. Allen had raised $81,350 and had been endorsed by numerous state senators and representatives, as well as U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury.

In terms of Republicans, Dereck Scott, who worked for the Sandoval County Detention Center, was in second place Tuesday night with 23% of the vote. David Bibb, a former chief of police in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and Joshua James Ryan Lawrence, a self-described constitutional activist and teacher, each had around 15%.

Pacheco had raised the most among the Republican candidates, with $77,551 contributed to his campaign coffers. The remaining candidates had raised less than $3,300 each.

Judicial races

In the two races for 2nd Judicial District Court judge both contests were won by sitting judges.

Tuesday night, Judge Bruce Fox had squeaked past Edward Benavidez, a retired Metropolitan Court judge, with 51% of the vote to Benavidez’s 49%.

And Judge Jennifer Wernersbach blew past attorney Emeterio Leroy Rudolfo with 64% of the vote to Rudolfo’s 36%.

Home » 2022 election » Allen, Pacheco victors in primaries for Bernalillo County sheriff’s race


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