Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Two to Join County Commission
By Sean Olson
Journal Staff Writer
Two new members will join the Bernalillo County Commission, as incumbent Teresa Córdova lost to a Democratic rival and Michael Wiener won the Republican primary but won't face an opponent in November.
County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver handily won her Democratic primary on Tuesday, taking a huge lead over opponent Ambrose E. Chavez.
Art De La Cruz upset Córdova in the South Valley's District 2 race, holding a lead with 52 percent of the vote. Córdova garnered 36 percent and Andrew Leo Lopez, 11 percent.
"I am so happy with the people of District 2," De La Cruz said. "I want to make this the best place to live in the entire metro area."
De La Cruz faces Republican Cecilia C. de Baca, who was unopposed. He is a 25-year veteran of county government and more recently a city employee, and ran unsuccessfully for the District 2 seat in 2004.
Córdova faced an uphill battle for re-election after a controversy broke out over her son's grade being changed by Albuquerque Public School officials so he could graduate from Rio Grande High School.
Wiener led the Republican District 4 commission race over opponents Ivonne Nelson and Ned Fuller. Wiener had about 56 percent of the vote, compared with Nelson's 22 percent and Fuller's 22 percent.
The results are unofficial, with 403 of 423 precincts reporting late Tuesday.
Wiener does not have an opponent in the general election.
"I'm deeply humbled by the support people gave us," Wiener said Tuesday night.
Wiener, no stranger to public office, has served on the Albuquerque City Council and in the state Senate.
District 4 stretches along the far Northeast Heights across the river to the West Side. Tim Cummins, also a Republican, has served in the seat for eight years. He is running for the Public Regulation Commission.
He said he has an ambitious agenda, including halting tax increases, putting jail inmates to work growing their own food to save on costs, and reforming property tax law.
"I want to make sure there are no looming taxes whatsoever," Wiener said.
Toulouse Oliver led Chavez, a real estate agent, with 70 percent of the vote late Tuesday, according to unofficial election results.
More than three-fourths of the county's votes had been tallied by 10 p.m.
She will face Richard Lloyd Abraham in November's general election.
"I'm really hoping that this election and the way it went will give voters confidence in my abilities, especially for the next election in November," she said.
Toulouse Oliver has served as county clerk for the past 16 months. County commissioners appointed her to the post after Mary Herrera left her term early to become the secretary of state.
Journal staff writer Juan Carlos Rodriguez contributed to this report.