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Filing Day - Eleven file for Luna board posts

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By The Staff

Three incumbents on the Luna Community College Board of Trustees are seeking re-election while one of their colleagues has opted not to seek another term.

In all, 11 people filed to run for the four seats up for grabs in the March 5 election.

Noticeably absent from the list of candidates is Ambrose Castellano, who has serve on Luna’s Board of Trustees since about 2000.

Vying for the District 1 seat are Thomas Jerry Maestas, the incumbent and current chairman of the board, and Kenneth C. Medina.

In District 3, incumbent Levi Alcon Jr. is running against Peter A. Martinez and Ernie Chavez.

The District 5 race pits incumbent Abelino Montoya Jr. against Anthony D. Marquez.

With Castellano not seeking re-election to the District 7 seat, that position has drawn four candidates: Patrick Marquez, Richard N. Rivera, Daniel J. Romero and JoAnn Alcon-Ortiz.

The deadline for filing to run as a write-in candidate is 5 p.m. on Jan. 29.  The candidates who prevail in the March 5 election will win six-year terms that begin on April 1.

Castellano said his decision not to seek another term was due to several factors. He said he’s already been on the board for about 13 years and thinks it’s time to step aside and let someone with new ideas come in.

“I really enjoyed fighting for the betterment of the school for the kids,” Castellano said. “Luna is such an important institution.”

He said it’s vital to the communities it serves because of the opportunities it affords students.

Castellano said another reason for his decision is because he no longer feels he is being effective. He said he’s been through five administrations and saw how each one operated.

He said he has been pushing for things to get done that aren’t getting done and added that he doesn’t have the support of the administration.

He said one of the important programs that Luna offers is dual credit and concurrent enrollment, which allows high school students to get credit both at Luna and at their high school. He said it’s a great program but added that he thinks there’s room for improvement.

Castellano said he also works in Santa Fe, making it difficult to  find time for his Luna responsibilities.