Katrina Martinez

Katrina Martinez spent part of election day campaigning outside La Arboleda Center in Chimayó. She upset Matthew Casados in the position 4 race for Española School Board. Casados was not an incumbent, as he had been appointed to his position in July after Yolanda Salazar resigned in June.

Political newcomer Katrina Martinez defeated Matthew Casados for the Position 1 seat in the Española School District. She garnered 190 votes to Casados’s 175. This was the only contested seat for Española School Board.

Martinez said Wednesday (11/3) she was cautious because the results still weren’t official. They won’t be certified until Nov 9.

“I’m just excited for some change,” Martinez said. “I want to thank everybody who went out to vote, for their support. Hopefully, we can see some positive change working together as a team.”

Martinez was canvassing outside the La Arboleda Community Center on election day.

“It’s going good,” Martinez said. “We had 50 something people here in Chimayó.”

She said she wanted to look at the budget, and the poor internet connectivity in the schools.

“We just started giving laptops to students, we’re behind compared to Los Alamos and Santa Fe,” Martinez said.”That’s the thing, we have to see what we can do, it’s not all about money, there’s other issues why we are losing all these people.”

Martinez said she wants to focus on what policies they could implement that would attract students back to the district and prevent teachers from leaving. 

In the Dulce Independent School District Phillip Salazar was tied with Wesley Leland Vigil at presstime, 65 votes to 65 votes in the Position 4 race. Rio Arriba County Election Bureau Chief Michelle Jordan said Wednesday (11/3) she had reached out to the Secretary of State to clarify the proper procedure for drawing a lot after a recount.

Annette Tecube defeated Elizabeth Maria Otole 74 votes to 59 in the Dulce Independent School district Position 5.

Sherry Archuleta defeated Gwendolyn Simbolo 14 to 11 for the Position 1 seat in Peñasco School District.

Amanda Bissell defeated Mary Trujillo Mascareñas 15 to 12 for seat two at Peñasco School District Position 2.

Patrica Martinez defeated Leroy Lopez 15 to 11 for Position 3 at Peñasco School District.

Jordan said that aside from the tie the election went smoothly.

“We should have (results) in really quick,” Jordan said. “We don’t have that many voters. It doesn’t look like we’re having any issues. It’s been smooth. Just nobody’s been voting — it’s pretty said.”

Hernandez Community Center saw three voters by 10:30 a.m. election day. Voters chose between Jose Lucas Cordova and incumbent Ross Garcia, Jr. for the East Rio Arriba Soil and Water Conservation Board. Their judge was Finnie Garcia. 

The Chamita Fire Department saw a little more than a handful of voters by 11 a.m. A union machinist originally from Baltimore, Md., who would only identify himself as Paul B., walked out of the poll around 11:15 a.m. He could only choose between Lucas Cordova and incumbent Ross Garcia, Jr. for the East Rio Arriba Soil and Water Conservation Board.

He said, “I cast an empty ballot, because it didn’t stipulate whether the candidates were Democratic or Republican.”

He would have voted for a Democrat if he had known the candidates’ party affiliations, since he believes they are better for unions. 

Right after lunch 26 people had voted at Fairview Elementary school where incumbent and unchallenged Española School Board Secretary Brandon Bustos was talking to Rio Arriba County workers with fellow Board member Jeremy Maestas.

John Ramon Vigil, who was the presiding Judge at the Lucero Center, said they did not receive that many voters.

“We’ve had two people so far, three people,” a third voter walked in as Vigil was speaking.“These elections are the most important because they are the policies that affect us the most. This is probably one of the slowest and least contested elections I’ve ever seen,”

Vigil said that he had to turn away some of the people who did show up to vote because their school board district wasn’t up for election this year and their was nothing on their ballot.

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