Town of Taos councilman Darien Fernandez has announced he will be adding his name to the list for the upcoming 2018 mayoral race for the Town of Taos.
Fernandez joined current Mayor Dan Barrone and others, in a bid for the position, which will be filled following the March 6, 2018 election. The official filing date for the position is January 9, 2018, so other candidates have a few months to officially make their announcement. According to town clerk Renee Lucero, potential candidates make their announcement official with the town on the date they file.
"For over a year a lot of different people have been asking me to consider a run," Fernandez said. "They feel like there is a lot of distrust still between the citizens and the town government and they feel like I'm the best one to unite them again."
According to Fernandez, his campaign will focus on three major platforms of respect, leadership, vision for the future of Taos. Touching briefly on the need for industry besides tourism in Taos, Fernandez said he will look at focusing more on local businesses and entrepreneurs who wish to succeed with their endeavors in town.
"We see a lot of people leave the community and go work somewhere else because all they see is service industry jobs," Fernandez said. "As a community there is a lot we can do to move away from the tourism industry jobs. We can't have it be the only really driver in this community. People want to see more than just tourism; people want to see jobs that pay a living wage."
Along with the mayoral race, the councilor seats of Judith Cantu and George "Fritz" Hahn will be up for the taking in this upcoming election as well as the position for municipal judge. Cantu said she is planning to run again; Hahn have not yet said whether or not he will seek to retain his seat. If Fernandez wins the mayoral race, he will have to appoint someone to fill his seat on the town council for the remainder of his term.
The version of this story that appeared in the Nov. 2 edition of The Taos News incorrectly identified the writer, who is reporter Jesse Moya.