Two incumbents easily held onto their seats Tuesday in an Albuquerque Public Schools board election that drew relatively good turnout.
According to unofficial results, David Peercy, board president, and Lorenzo Garcia, board vice president, were each re-elected by wide margins for District 7 and District 3, respectively.
And two new faces will join the board – longtime West Side Democratic ward chair Candy Patterson won the District 5 seat, while marketing administrator Elizabeth Armijo will represent District 6.
The Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office could not be reached for turnout figures Tuesday, but participation was relatively strong.
This year, the number of early voters exceeded the total participation in the 2015 school board election. Over 8,800 people cast early ballots this year, compared to a total of 6,567 voters in 2015.
In District 3, Garcia took 65 percent of the vote, beating out three official candidates and a write-in to win a third term representing the North Valley and Downtown.
“I am looking forward to it,” Garcia told the Journal. “I feel very blessed and very lucky. I had good, strong support.”
The retired public health expert said he will focus on the district’s money woes – the Legislature cut $25 million from the current fiscal year’s budget and more reductions are on the horizon.
Peercy prevailed against three opponents to get 64 percent of the vote for District 7, the far Northeast Heights. He will also serve a third term.
Peercy, a retired Sandia National Laboratories scientist, could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.
Newcomer Patterson also had a decisive win for the District 5 seat vacated by Steven Michael Quezada, who moved on to become a Bernalillo County commissioner. She received 57 percent of the vote in a field of four candidates.
“I look forward to working collaboratively with all the board members,” said Patterson, a longtime West Side community activist. “I am very excited about who we have on the board today.”
The final APS race, District 6, drew the largest number of contenders. Armijo prevailed against five other candidates, winning 53 percent of the vote to represent the Northeast Heights and East Mountains. Incumbent Don Duran, a former board president, did not seek a second term.
A call to Armijo was not returned Tuesday.
The Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office will canvass the election Friday morning.
While the race drew more voters than some past years, total participation was still modest. For instance, only about 4,000 people cast ballots for Peercy, the candidate who attracted the strongest support.
One incumbent fell in the Central New Mexico Community College Governing Board race.
Annette Chavez y De La Cruz, former director of the CNM’s South Valley campus, beat Melissa Armijo, who was seeking another term. Chavez y De La Cruz received 55 percent of the vote.
Two incumbents did prevail.
Pauline J. Garcia beat Robert Chavez handily for District 1, earning 64 percent of the vote. Nancy Baca won District 5 with 57 percent, defeating Gina Naomi Dennis.
Thomas Swisstack, former Rio Rancho mayor, was unopposed for District 3.
Former CNM president Michael Glennon won in District 7, taking over the seat from incumbent Michael DeWitte, current board chairman, who did not run again. Glennon received 70 percent of the vote. He faced one other candidate, Harold Murphree.
In Rio Rancho, incumbents for Districts 3 and 5 walked away with wins Tuesday night, earning re-election alongside newcomer District 1 candidate Wynne Coleman.
Unofficial results from the Sandoval County Bureau of Elections office showed Coleman with 265 votes, ahead of Natalie Nicotine with 236 votes and Margretta Franklin with 70 votes.
District 3 incumbent Martha Janssen ousted her opponent with 93 votes to William Dunn’s 89 votes.
District 5 incumbent Catherine Cullen ran unopposed and ended the night with 100 votes.
Rio Rancho Observer staff writer Antonio Sanchez contributed to this report.