Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Sitting commissioners to square off


March 18, 2020

Ron Warnick

Quay County Clerk Ellen White goes over filing requirements with Daniel Garcia of rural Tucumcari, who is running for Quay County Commission's District 1 seat in the Democratic primary. He faces Robert Lopez of rural Tucumcari in the June 2 primary. Garcia filed just a few minutes before the 5 p.m. filing deadline March 10.

Two sitting Tucumcari city commissioners will face each other in the Republican primary for Quay County Commissioner District 2 on June 2.

District 5 city commissioner Todd Duplantis and District 4 city commissioner Chris Arias each filed for the county's District 2 during the final hour of filing for primary elections March 10 at the Quay County Clerk's Office. They also will face a third primary challenger for the seat, Jerri Rush of Forrest.

Current Quay County District 2 commissioner Mike Cherry is term-limited after this year, as is District 1 commissioner Sue Dowell.

Duplantis said he'd been considering running for a county seat for several years.

"I thought it was an opportunity to continue with the work of the county, as well as working with the community," Duplantis stated in a text message Monday evening.

"I think it's fine with Commissioner Arias running as well. I'm sure he has great intentions as well," Duplantis added.

Arias said he ran for county commission because he wanted to see growth in the region.

"It is my strongest belief that a rising tide raises all ships; and that growth in one portion of the county extends to all," Arias stated in a text Monday night. "I have always aimed to better my community and be of sound moral reasoning. I believe now is the opportunity for me to have the most positive impact. If elected, my only promise is to do what is best for Quay County and all her citizens. I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve the City of Tucumcari and District 4, and I am proud of the work we have accomplished. I take this opportunity to run as a true test of faith that together we can better all of Quay County."

As for running against a fellow city commissioner, Arias stated: "Todd and I have a well-rounded working relationship as colleagues of the City Commission, and I anticipate a positive and clean primary. Having known both I have the utmost respect for both Mrs. Rush and Commissioner Duplantis, and I know Quay County is poised to be in good hands."

Rush stated her reasons for running in an email Thursday: "I do feel that we need some representation of the more rural areas of our county. As someone who has lived down a county road for 26 years, I understand the importance of some of these services, perhaps better than someone who lives in town.

"As far as Mr. Arias, and Mr. Duplantis are concerned, I have known Chris Arias since he was in 4-H and I think he's grown into a good man," Rush added. "I am not personally acquainted Mr. Duplantis, but I see that he is doing a lot of good in the city of Tucumcari."

No Democrat filed for the county's District 2 office.

In Quay County District 1, Robert Lopez and Daniel Garcia, both of rural Tucumcari, will face each other for the Democratic nomination for Dowell's seat.

No Republican filed for that office.

Emails to Lopez and Garcia requesting comment were not returned.

Both county commission seats are four-year terms.

Longtime District 8 state Sen. Pete Campos drew a Democratic primary challenger from Connie Trujillo of Las Vegas for a four-year term.

Several incumbents will be unopposed for several county and state offices in the primary and general election:

• County Treasurer Patsy Gresham, a Republican (four-year term)

• County Clerk Ellen White, a Democrat (four-year term)

• District 7 state Sen. Pat Woods, a Republican (four-year term)

• District 67 state Rep. Jack Chatfield, a Republican (two-year term)

Timothy Rose, 10th Judicial District Attorney who is up for re-election this year, switched his party affiliation from Democrat to independent several months ago, White said.

Rose confirmed in an email Wednesday he plans to seek re-election as an independent.

"In 1993, I registered as a Democrat when I turned 18," Rose stated. "While my political values have not substantially changed, I feel that the values of the Democratic and Republican parties have. Frankly, I'm sickened as to the level of divisiveness between our two major political parties and how extreme each party is moving to the left and right while seemingly losing respect for basic human core values such as honesty, honor and decency. I simply choose to not belong to either political party."

Independent and minor-party candidates don't have to file their candidacy for the November general election until June 25.

For U.S. representative in District 3, Valerie Plame of Santa Fe, John Blair of Sante Fe, Joseph Sanchez of Alcalde, Kyle Tisdel of Taos, Laura Montoya of Rio Rancho, Teresa Fernandez of Santa Fe and Marco Serna of Santa Fe are running in the Democratic primary.

For Republicans, Anise Golden-Morper of Angel Fire, Karen Bedonie of Navajo, Harry Montoya of Santa Fe and Audra Lee Brown of Portales filed for the District 3 congressional seat.

For U.S. senator, Ben Ray Lujan of Albuquerque is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Republican candidates for the seat are Elisa Maria Martinez of Albuquerque, Gavin Clarkson of Las Cruces, Mark Ronchetti of Albuquerque, Richard Montoya Sr. of Rio Rancho, Mick Rich of Albuquerque and Louis Sanchez of Albuquerque.

The lone Libertarian who filed for the Senate seat is Bob Walsh of Santa Fe.


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