Sandoval County Treasurer Laura Montoya and state Sen. John Sapien fended off their respective Democratic challengers as nearly one-third of Sandoval County’s eligible voters cast votes in Tuesday’s primary election.
Unofficial county results showed about 32 percent of the county’s 70,248 eligible voters voiced their opinion, with 22,769 votes tallied.
According to county results posted on the New Mexico Secretary of State web site, Montoya of Rio Rancho outpaced newcomers James Baca and Eugene Rinaldi, both of Bernalillo, to win the Democratic nomination for treasurer. She had about 58 percent of the vote, compared to Baca’s 20 percent and Rinaldi’s 22 percent.
Montoya said her victory indicates voters want honest government to represent them and are happy with the work she’s done as treasurer.
“They trust me to collect, protect and invest their hard-earned tax dollars,” she said.
The Republican candidate for treasurer, Leroy Lovato of Bernalillo, was unopposed.
Dave Heil won the Republican nomination for the District 4 seat on the Sandoval County Commission, beating fellow Rio Ranchoan Issach Martinez by a 78-22 percent margin.
“I think the effort we put forth getting out and getting with the people – visiting voters – made a big difference and I look forward to the next step in this journey,” Heil said.
The Democratic candidate for the seat, Alexis Jimenez, had no primary opposition.
In the race for the county commission District 5 seat, F. Kenneth Eichwald of Cuba was the apparent winner over Anna Messer, also of Cuba, 56-44 percent, for the Democratic nomination. The GOP did not field a candidate for the post.
- In the Republican primary for county clerk, Donald Lemm of Rio Rancho beat former county commissioner Pete Salazar. Lemm had about 58 percent of the vote to Salazar’s 42 percent. The Democratic candidate, incumbent Eileen Garbagni, was unopposed.
- In one of the few local legislative races that had a contested primary, Senate District 9 incumbent Sapien of Corrales secured the Democratic nomination with a victory over Jodilynn Ortiz of Placitas. Sapien won with a 62-38 percent margin.
“It’s a decisive victory,” Sapien said. “Anything over 55 percent is going to get you a nod that your constituents want you back.”
The Republican candidate in District 9, Diego Espinoza of Rio Rancho, was unopposed.
The primary winners will appear on the ballot in the November general election.