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Leger, Ortiz, Rivera win

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By David Giuliani

Las Vegas attorney Nicolas Leger edged out former City Councilman Richard Maestas in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

In the District 5 race, Leger got 573 votes, or 52 percent, to Maestas’ 534, or 48 percent. District 5 covers parts of the east and west sides of Las Vegas as well as much of eastern San Miguel County.

Leger will face Republican Fred Romero in the November general election.

Leger appeared to be better funded in the race, running many newspaper advertisements as well as radio ads. Maestas didn’t have much in the way of advertising.

In the race in District 5, Marcellino Ortiz cruised past three challengers, taking 430 votes, or 42 percent. Former County Commissioner Eloy Gonzales finished second with 315 votes, or 31 percent, followed by Ramon Lucero, a project manager at an engineering firm, with 147 votes, or 14 percent, and Joe Lopez with 136 votes, or 13 percent.

Ortiz will face Republican Mary Bridget Maloney in the November general election.

In the race for county clerk, Melanie Rivera, a 13-year employee of the clerk’s office, beat her cousin, Richard Medina, in a landslide with 4,318 votes, or 75 percent, to his 1,464, or 25 percent.

Rivera is the supervisor for the clerk’s Bureau of Elections, but she has been on leave for the last few weeks. She will succeed Clerk Paul Maez, who couldn’t run for a third four-year term because of term limits.

In his campaign for commission, Leger stressed his experience as a real estate lawyer, which he said involved areas of the law such as water, land and land-use planning that have much to do with the role of the County Commission.

He has been generally supportive of county management, praising the progress over the last decade. He has called for the hiring of a grants writer, which he said would bring more money to the county.

As with many candidates, he emphasized that he wants to improve county road.

“Through smart development, we can increase our tax base and generate more revenues to improve county services,” Leger stated in response to a questionnaire. “However, development can come at a cost to the beauty of our county.”