Politics

A fresh face and tried-and-true leadership comes to Red River

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In the small election for the town of Red River, voters have again elected Linda Calhoun as mayor while delivering enough write-in votes to propel 31-year old Sloan Covington onto the council.

The Tuesday (March 6) election recorded a total of 218 votes cast for mayor, with Calhoun taking 137 over challenger Courtney D. Henderson's 81.

Calhoun, who is a qualifying broker at Calhoun Real Estate and an owner of Main Street Mercantile and Der Markt Food Store, has been the mayor of Red River since 2006.

Calhoun told The Taos News in an interview Wednesday morning (March 7), "I'm excited, of course. It's an honor to be re-elected."

Considering four dozen people out of the town's 593 registered voters cast their ballots for her challenger, Calhoun said, "I want people to be comfortable knowing we're not going to do the same-ole-same-ole for the next four years."

"I heard where people think we're failing, and we're going to start addressing them. I want to sit down with staff and department heads and just sit at the table and come up with some plans," Calhoun said.

While her re-election shows that a significant block of the voter base is happy with the direction of the small municipality, voters also pushed Covington onto the town council even though his name did not appear on the ballot.

Covington, who owns Red River Angler and Sport, led a write-in campaign and said a candidates forum in Red River gave him an opportunity to meet a lot more of the local voters.

"It was a really good voter turnout, and I think it's exemplary that everyone was ready for something new," he said.

As a millennial who has worked almost every job Red River has to offer, Covington said he "understands the struggles of the seasonal workers who we rely on to run this town" and hopes to use the council to address some of their concerns while also supporting the projects "already in the pipeline" from the previous government.

"I have a lot to learn," Covington said.

Councilor Ronald Steve Cherry was re-elected to his position, garnering 161 votes. Covington took 129 votes and Jeffery Brown took home 66 votes.

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