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Two write-in hopefuls in mayoral race

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By David Giuliani

Two residents have filed as write-in candidates for mayor in the March 2 municipal election.

Pat-rick Romero and Daniel Holguin Sr. will face mayoral candidate Alfonso Ortiz.

Or-tiz’s name will be the only one on the ballot. Voters will have to write in the names of Romero or Holguin, and poll workers won’t be able to assist voters with the write-in candidates’ names.

Write-ins have a difficult time winning, but it’s not impossible. In 1980, Joe Skeen won southern New Mexico’s congressional race as a write-in. He served for more than two decades after that.

Ortiz, a retired Highlands University professor who is San Miguel County’s treasurer, is a longtime local politician, having served on the City Council in the 1970s and 1980s and on the West Las Vegas school board.

Romero, too, has been in the spotlight for many years. He is also a retired Highlands professor and has served on the Las Vegas City Schools board for years.

When candidates had to file to get their names on the ballot earlier this month, Romero entered City Hall with about 15 minutes left before the deadline. But City Clerk Cassandra Fresquez couldn’t sign him up as a candidate because he didn’t bring information proving that he was a local voter. He didn’t have enough time to go to the county clerk’s office to get the documents.

He couldn’t be reached for comment over the weekend.

Holguin, 37, a computer engineer and professional photographer, moved to Las Vegas in 1981 and is a 1990 graduate of Robertson High School.

Holguin, an Albuquerque native, was a Las Vegas city police officer from 1993 to 2001, and then he went to Nashville to work in the music industry for several years. He returned to Las Vegas in the last year.

Holguin said he wants to bring “citizen leadership” to the Meadow City, pledging to help revitalize the community. He said he is distressed to see longtime local businesses such as Ludi’s grocery store close.

If he is elected, Holguin said he would work to boost the Police Department, upgrading its computer system and retaining officers. As it is, the city pays to train officers, who often move soon after to better-paying departments in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, Holguin said. That’s a big waste of city taxpayers dollars, he said.

“It’s a frustrating issue, and it’s plagued the city for years,” he said.

Holguin also said he wants to make sure the city moves on all shovel-ready projects.

“I want to do all that I can to listen to what people have to say,” he said. “I think there is an opportunity for someone to do something different.”

In the Ward 1 City Council race, the candidates are former longtime Councilman Macario Gonzalez, appraiser Roland Medrano, dance company owner Tonita Gurulé-Giron and retiree Bruce McAllister.

In Ward 4, the council candidates are local auto shop owner David L. Romero, businessman Mike Roybal and radio show host and DJ Joseph P. Baca Jr.

Incumbent Eddie Trujillo is the only candidate for municipal judge.

Voters will also decide on a proposed new city charter.