A poll worker for Councilor-Elect Justin Salazar-Torres stands by a campaign sign at the Santa Cruz precinct. Photo by Robert Naranjo for the Valley Daily Post.
Sanchez Wins For Mayor
Ricci, Vigil, Benavidez, Salazar-Torres New Councilors
By ROBERT NARANJO
It was an election day for political newcomers as five candidates who ventured into the Espanola political scene won Tues., March 6, for mayor and four city council seats. Perhaps the most surprising was the mayor’s race where Yale and Notre Dame graduate, Mayor-Elect, Javier Sanchez, bested Mayor Pro Tem, Adrianna Ortiz and Councilor Robert Seeds. Mayor-Elect Sanchez did it by getting 1,118 votes.
Mayor-Elect Sanchez got the support of the fire fighter’s union who campaigned hard for him. The count is still unofficial until certified by the Anna Squires, City Clerk.
Councilor Robert Seeds, a city political veteran, shown here at the Santa Cruz precinct, lost the Mayor’s race to political newcomer, Mayor-Elect Javier Sanchez, who had the support of the firemen’s union, who campaigned hard for Sanchez and may have made the difference in the mayor’s race. Photo by Robert Naranjo for the Valley Daily Post.
From all accounts, it was one of the city’s largest election turnouts in
Espanola’s history. Mayor-Elect Sanchez, who owns La Cocina Restaurant, could not be reached for comment. However, at last week’s Mayor Candidates Forum, Mayor-Elect Sanchez told the crowd at NNMC’s Nick Salazar
Performing Arts Theatre, “Thank you so much for the many people who made this race happen for me…I’m excited that the fire-fighters union endorsed me and for believing in me,” he said. Adding, “I love being part of this valley.”
In the city council races, political newcomers won four seats, although in District 3, Councilor-Elect, Denise Benavidez, ran unopposed for former City Councilor, John Hernandez’s seat who decided not to seek re-election. In District 1, Councilor-Elect, John L. Ricci, beat former City Councilor, J.R. Trujillo, by only 13 votes. In District 2, Councilor-Elect, John Ramon Vigil, beat Tony J. Valdez, District 3, as indicated, Councilor-Elect, Denise Benavidez, ran unopposed and in District 4, Councilor-Elect, Justin Salazar-Torres, beat Anthony J. Vandervossen.
Reached at about 6:30 pm at the Lucero Center right before polls closed at 7, Councilor-Elect, John Ramon Vigil, told the Valley Daily Post that he got “a lot of feedback” from voters on “jobs, economic development, public safety” and other issues.
Councilor-Elect, John Ramon Vigil, worked the polls at the Lucero Center precinct until polls closed at 7 pm election day, Mar. 6th. Photo by Robert Naranjo for the Valley Daily Post.
Mayor Alice Lucero opted not to run for re-election.
See full preliminary results HERE.