Plenty of competition in races

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By David Giuliani

San Miguel and Mora counties will have their share of competitive races in the June 1 Democratic primary.

San Miguel County Sheriff Benjie Vigil is fending off four opponents in the Democratic primary — Las Vegas police detective Roy Pacheco, Las Vegas police Officer Clarence Romero, former Las Vegas Officer Joseph Santillanes and Ben J. Lujan.

In the Division 1 race for San Miguel County magistrate judge, Judge Philip Romero will be facing local paralegal Ruth Trujillo. The winner of that race will face Republican Daniel Holguin Sr. in the November general election.  

Romero, who has served as judge for 14 years, didn’t have any opposition four years ago. His Division 2 colleague, Chris Najar, elected in 2006, is running unopposed.

Both San Miguel County Commission members up for election this year have drawn opponents.

District 1 Commissioner June Garcia is facing Ron Ortega, who ran for that post four years ago; Rock Ulibarri; and Joe Lucero, who works in the county assessor’s office.

District 3 Commissioner Albert J. Padilla will be facing an opponent who has a very similar name, Arthur J. Padilla, a former county commissioner who works in the county planning and zoning office. The county has a policy that its employees running for office have to take a leave of absence in the weeks before an election.

County Assessor Elaine Estrada, elected in 2006, has no opponents. In the probate judge race, incumbent Horace Lucero will run against Christopher Torres.

For state representative in District 70, Richard Vigil, D-Ribera, elected in 1998, has three opponents, Luna Community College employee Eric Michael Cummings, newspaper publisher Chris Lopez and Barbara Perea Casey, a former state lawmaker who has served as a school administrator in both local districts. The winner of the primary race will face Republican Mel Root in November.

District 68 state Rep. Thomas Garcia, who is registered to vote in Ocate but lives much of the time outside his district in Las Vegas, is running unopposed.

In Mora County, the sheriff’s race will likely attract the most attention. Sheriff Roy Cordova’s undersheriff, Tim Marquez, is running against him for the top position. Other candidates are Thomas Garza and Greg Laumbach. The winner will face Republican Robert Romero.

Mora County Magistrate Judge John Sanchez, a Republican, is facing Samuel Valdez in the GOP primary. In the Democratic primary are Charles Trujillo and Alfonso Griego.

In the County Commission races, the District 1 candidates are Paula Garcia, who is active in the acequia organizations; Joseph Weathers and Miguel Martinez. The GOP hopeful is Antonio Pino. In District 2, incumbent Gene Maes is taking on former Commission Chairman Rosalie Regensberg, Richard Fresquez and John Paul Olivas.

• All candidate are Democrat, unless otherwise designated.


Magistrate judge Division 1

• Philip Romero

• Ruth Trujillo

• Daniel Holguin Sr., Republican

Magistrate judge Division 2

• Chris Najar

County Commission District 1

• June Garcia

• Ron Ortega

• Rock Ulibarri

• Joe Lucero

County Commission District 2

Albert J. Padilla

Arthur J. Padilla

County Assessor

Elaine Estrada


Roy Pacheco

Clarence Romero

Joseph Santillanes

Benjie Vigil

Ben J. Lujan

Probate judge

Horace Lucero

Christopher Torres

District 70 state


• Eric Michael Cummings

• Barbara Perea Casey

• Richard Vigil

• Chris Lopez

• Mel Root, Republican


Magistrate judge

ª Charles Trujillo

• Alfonso Griego

• John Sanchez, Republican

• Samuel Valdez, Republican

County Commission District 1

• Joseph Weathers

• Paula Garcia

• Miguel Martinez

• Antonio Pino, Republican

County Commission District 2

• John Paul Olivas

• Gene Maes

• Richard Fresquez

• Rosalie Regensberg

County Assessor

• Paul Duran


• Timothy Marquez

• Roy Cordova

• Thomas Garza

• Greg Laumbach

• Robert Romero, Republican

Probate judge

• Louis Martinez

• Edward Aragon

• Diane Carrillo, Republican

District 68 state representative

• Thomas Garcia