Mayoral races: Gallegos beats Ortega in Questa; Brownell bests King in TSV by one vote

Regional villages field election day turnout; incumbents take Angel Fire


A few new faces and a couple of familiar ones will pepper council chambers in area villages around the Enchanted Circle after Tuesday's election.

Incumbent Questa mayor Mark Gallegos bested his challenger John Ortega 340 to 275 votes in unofficial results Tuesday night, retaining his seat. 

In a race for two Questa council seats at large, Louise Gallegos and Charlie I. Gonzales beat out incumbent Lawrence Ortega. 

In Taos Ski Valley, sitting councilor Cristof Brownell beat out four-term incumbent Neal King by one vote (41-40) for the mayoral seat. Chris Stagg and Jeffery Kern won council seats with 44 votes each. A total of 84 voters cast ballots.

Red River re-elected mayor Linda Calhoun with 137 votes over challenger Courtney Henderson, who garnered 81 votes.  Ronald Cherry and write-in candidate Sloan Covington won Red River town council seats. 

In Angel Fire, incumbent Bill Humbert was elected to a two-year counilor term with 125 votes, beating out John Ervin Hail, Jr.'s 118 votes and Dafydd Pritchard's 14. Two sitting councilors were elected to four-year terms: Rogers Lanon with 176 votes and Charles Chuck Howe with 162. Jo Mixon garnered 150 votes in the latter race.

In Questa, candidates were standing along the road talking to voters as they pulled up to the polling site, even as the bitter cold set in for the night.

The early vote in Questa drew 216 people, with more than 330 people turning out to cast ballots on Election Day – enough that, according to Questa village clerk Renee Martinez, the poll captains "haven't had a rest all day." 

Polls closed at 7 p.m.