Candidates file for mayor, council and judge races in Taos

It’s going to be a field of mostly familiar candidates running in the Taos municipal elections March 4.


It’s going to be a field of mostly familiar candidates running in the Taos municipal elections March 4.

Three men are running for mayor, including incumbent Darren Córdova, town councilor Fred Peralta and county commissioner Dan Barrone.

All three had previously made their intentions to run public. Barrone has moved to town to be eligible to run in the race.

For council, six people are vying for two open positions. Certified candidates include Rudy Abeyta, Judi Cantú, Fritz Hahn, Pavel Lukes, Amy Quintana and Cynthia Spray.

Abeyta is the incumbent, having served two terms on the council as well as a one-year appointment. Incumbent Michael Silva is not seeking re-election; he has announced his intentions to run instead for Taos County commissioner.

Quintana was elected to the council in 2008 but lost a reelection bid in 2012.

Cantú and Lukes have both unsuccessfully run for council in previous elections.

Spray was a town contractor as head of the Arts and Cultural District until it was taken over by the county last year. Spray was registered to vote at an Arroyo Seco address until Tuesday (Jan. 7) when she changed her residence to a house off La Loma Street near the center of Taos. Only town residents are eligible to run in town elections, and the town clerk can only verify someone’s voter registration address to determine if they meet candidate requirements.

Current municipal judge Richard “Dickie” Chávez will face challenger Cyndee Perez, the town’s legal assistant, this year’s election. Chávez ran unopposed in 2010.

Candidates were required to officially file paperwork to run Tuesday (Jan. 7). The candidates were certified by the town clerk and ballot positions will be determined Thursday (Jan. 9).

Six people — including Cantú, Quintana and Lukes — ran for two open council seats in 2012. Four candidates ran for two council seats in 2010, and seven people ran in 2008.

During his re-election bid in 2010, Córdova faced Jeff Northrup in the mayoral race but walked away with a commanding victory.

Voter turnout in municipal elections has been steadily dropping in recent years. Turnout dipped 23 percent between 2008 and 2012.

In Questa, current village councilors Mark Gallegos and Brent Jaramillo will take on incumbent Mayor Esther García. Sitting councilor Lawrence Ortega and former councilor Julian Cisneros are running unopposed for two open council seats.

For Red River, mayor Linda Calhoun has no challenger in her re-election bid. Calhoun was first elected in 2006.

For Red River council, Ronald Cherry and Ben Richey are the only candidates running for two open seats.


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