Reminder: Return ballots by Tuesday


VALLEY — San Luis Valley voters are reminded that they must return their Primary Election ballots to their respective county clerks’ offices by 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 26.

At this point, to ensure that the ballots arrive in time, voters should probably deliver the ballots to their clerks’ offices rather than mail them back in. Ballots not received by 7 p.m. Tuesday will not be counted. As some races are only contested at the Primary Election level, those positions will be decided on June 26, so it is vital that voters make their choices count.

As a result of recent legislation, unaffiliated or “independent” voters may join Democrats and Republicans in casting their ballots during this Primary Election as well. Those voters may return either but not both of the ballots.

A reminder of the contested Valley races at the Primary Election level follows:

Costilla County races

Costilla County has the most contested races with 15 candidates contending for five county offices. All of the races are on the Democratic ballot.

The most popular race, with four candidates, is the run for Costilla County sheriff, a post currently held by Amos Medina. Hoping to replace him in office are Democrats Danny R. Sanchez, Steven Vigil, Colleen C. Romero and Carlos C. DeLeon.

Each of the Costilla County commission seats up for election this year has a three-way race. Democratic candidates seeking the county commissioner post for District 2, currently held by Dolores Burns, are Michael “Mikey” V. Gallegos, Gilbert W. Martinez and Leroy Medina. Candidates for the District 3 commissioner post are incumbent Augustine “Roy” Esquibel and challengers Steven Romero and Fidel Rodriguez.

Vying for Costilla County treasurer, a post currently held by Annette Carino, are current Deputy Public Trustee Rebecca “Becky” Romero and current Deputy Treasurer Lorraine C. Medina as well as write-in candidate Gary Gurule.

Democratic candidates running for Costilla County assessor, a post currently held by Ronda Lobato, are Thomas Aragon and Lori Espinoza.

Alamosa County races

In Alamosa County, there are two contested races at the Primary Election level. Two Republicans are seeking the Alamosa County treasurer post being vacated by Lois Widhalm, who is retiring. Amy McKinley and Jerald Montoya are vying for the Republican candidacy, with the victor from the Primary Election race facing Democrat Donna Griego in November.

There are also two Republican candidates for County Commissioner District 2, currently held by Michael Yohn, who is seeking re-election. Republican Arlan VanRy is also seeking the District 2 seat. The winner of the Republican Primary Election will face Democrat Ed Vigil in November.

Conejos County race

In Conejos County, there is only one contested Primary Election race. Republican candidates for sheriff Garth Crowther and Marvin Thomas are seeking the sheriff’s post, which is currently held by Robert Gurule. The winner of the Republicans’ Primary race will face Democrat Jacob Ortiz in November.

Rio Grande County races

In Rio Grande County, there are two contested Primary Election races. Republicans Christopher Crown and Donald G. McDonald are seeking the Rio Grande County sheriff post, and incumbent Rio Grande County Commissioner Karla Shriver faces fellow Republican John Noffsker in a Primary Election race for the Rio Grande County Commission District 2 seat. The winner of that Primary race will face Democratic candidate Joseph Schlabach in November.

Saguache County race

Saguache County has one contested Primary Election race. Democrats vying for Saguache County assessor are incumbent Peter Peterson and challenger Rhiannon Curry.

Mineral County race

In Mineral County, there is only one contested local race at the Primary Election level. Incumbent Mineral County Treasurer Patti Payne, an 18-year veteran of the office, is being challenged by Lauri Jordan in the Democratic Primary Election. The winner of that race will face Republican Michael Averette in this fall’s General Election.