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Local candidates file for state, county office races

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — More than a few of the primary races for public office in Sandoval County will amount to a rematch of recent elections.

Candidates running for state representative seats in the county and several county elected positions filed with the county clerk Tuesday. The primary is June 3.

Among the familiar faces is Rep. Jane Powdrell-Culbert, a Republican and training consultant in Corrales, who is running unopposed to keep the House District 44 seat she has held for many years.

Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque in House District 23, a retired police officer, has a free ride in the primary, but faces Democrat Catherine Begaye, an attorney who lives and works in Albuquerque, on the general election ballot. Begaye also is unopposed in the primary.

District 57 will see a replay of the 2012 contest between Republican Jason Harper, a research engineer, and Democrat Donna Tillman, a retired business professor. Harper won the seat two years ago. Neither has a primary opponent.

The District 60 race will be between Republican incumbent Tim Lewis, a local history teacher, and Democrat Linda Allison, who lost a bid in 2012 for the Senate District 40 seat to Republican Craig Brandt. Neither Lewis nor Allison has primary opposition.

In District 65, longtime incumbent James Roger Madalena of Jemez Pueblo will be challenged by District 1 Sandoval County Commissioner Orlanda Lucero in the Democratic primary. Lucero is stepping down from the county commission at the end of the year because of term limits. Madalena is the father of Commissioner Darryl Madalena. There are no Republican candidates in District 65.

Two county commission seats are up for grabs this year.

Vying for Lucero’s District 1 position will be Democrat James Dominguez of Bernalillo, a former public works field supervisor for the Town of Bernalillo, and Republican Gary Miles of Placitas, a supervisor with the Coronado Soil and Water Conservation District. Neither has opposition in the primary.

Republican Don Chapman, a senior investment broker, is seeking re-election as District 3 commissioner. He faces a challenge in the primary from Michael MacDonald, a Rio Rancho businessman. There are no Democrats in the primary.

County Assessor Tom Garcia, a Republican, will have to fend off a primary challenge in June from Leroy Lovato, a former municipal candidate in Bernalillo, and Pete Salazar of Placitas, a who ran against Garcia in 2010. The winner of that primary will face Democrat Antonio Montoya, who graduated from Rio Rancho High School in 2005.

Republican Sandoval County Sheriff Doug Wood faces no opposition in the primary. Three Democrats are vying for the Democratic nomination: John Paul Trujillo, former county sheriff; Steve Reynolds, a captain at Sandoval County Detention Center; and Jesse James Casaus, a deputy sheriff with the county.

The magistrate Division I race features two Democrats in the primary, incumbent Richard Zanotti and Daniel Tallon of Placitas, a local attorney. There are no Republican candidates.

In Division II, Democrats Bill Mast, an attorney in Bernalillo; Benito J Aragon, publisher of New Mexico Mercury; Timothy Herrera, a business owner in La Jara; and Joseph F. Ramirez, a political newcomer, will face off in the June primary. No Republicans filed for the office.

Division III incumbent Delilah Montano-Baca, a Democrat, is running unopposed.

The probate judge race will be a rematch of the 2012 election, pitting Democratic incumbent Charles Aguilar against Republican Lawrence McClain, a planning and zoning commissioner for the county. Neither has primary opposition.