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11 people file candidacy for 3 APS board seats

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There is no shortage of candidates for the Albuquerque Public Schools board election that will be held Feb. 3.

Each of the three seats up for grabs will have a contested race, with a total of 11 people filing for candidacy Tuesday.

“There seems to be a lot of turnout” for candidates, said District 2 candidate Peggy Muller-Aragon as she left the Bernalillo County elections office shortly after the 5 p.m. filing deadline.

She is challenging incumbent Kathy Korte, who is seeking a second term.

In District 4, where incumbent Marty Esquivel will not run, six candidates filed.

At least four of them are former or retired APS teachers, including John Jake Lopez, Sina-Aurelia Pleasant Soul-Bowe, Barbara Petersen and Charles MacQuigg. Mark Gilboard and James Osborn are also running in District 4.

MacQuigg, who also ran in 2007 and 2011, has an ongoing lawsuit against the district. He sued in 2012 after the board banned him from board meetings, arguing the ban violated his First Amendment rights. The board argued his behavior at meetings was disruptive, which he disputes.

In March, the judge in the case granted MacQuigg a preliminary injunction, saying he could return to board meetings.

With the exception of MacQuigg and the incumbents, none of the other candidates has run for the school board in any of the past four school board elections.

In District 1, board President Analee Maestas, who is seeking a second term, is being challenged by Colt Balok and Madelyn Jones.

The number of candidates is consistent with recent APS board elections. In 2013, when four seats were up for grabs, there were 10 candidates. In 2011, there were 15 candidates in a three-seat race.

In 2009, there were 11 candidates for a four-seat race and in 2007 there were 10 candidates seeking three seats.

APS holds elections every two years. The elections are staggered with either three or four seats open during each election. Candidates serve four-year terms.