Voters turn out to choose area school board members, municipal leaders

Questa voters deny school board incumbents; Mixon wins Angel Fire mayor's race

By Staci Matlock
editor@taosnews.com
Posted 11/5/19

Update: 9:15 p.m.

Questa voters resoundingly said no to two school board incumbents, installing new voices to oversee the troubled school district. With all but the absentee ballots counted, board president Daryl Ortega was defeated 677 to 118 by Juan Cisneros. 

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Voters turn out to choose area school board members, municipal leaders

Questa voters deny school board incumbents; Mixon wins Angel Fire mayor's race

Posted

Update: 9:15 p.m.
Questa voters resoundingly said no to two school board incumbents, installing new voices to oversee the troubled school district. With all but the absentee ballots counted, board president Daryl Ortega was defeated 677 to 118 by Juan Cisneros. 

Questa school board member Ellis Garcia, who had been told he was ineligible to run due to a past felony conviction, was defeated anyway for the seat by businesswoman Rebecca R. Griego. She had 586 votes to Garcia's 32. 

In the contested Peñasco Independent School board race,  Carlos Abeyta had a slim lead over incumbent Leroy Lopez in the race for board position 5. One voting machine had broken so those 20 votes were to be counted by hand. Unofficially, Abeyta had 39 votes to Lopez's 26 without absentee ballots. 

Find updated results on the New Mexico Secretary of State site here. 

Update: 9 p.m.
With Angel Fire results rolling in, unofficial results show Jo Mixon ahead in the mayoral race over her two opponents, including incumbent Chuck Howe. Mixon had 86 votes to Howe's 57 out of 165 ballots cast. 

Matthew Billingsley held a slim lead in the hotly contested race for two Angel Fire village council seats. His two closest opponents - Lawrence W. Trom and William L. Humbert – who each had 60 votes in the unofficial count so far. Billingsley had 67 votes.

For councilor position 1,  Susan Peterson held the lead over Russ Coyle. Finally, Richard S. Hill was ahead of Leonard Davis almost two to one in the race for the municpal judge position. 

Angel Fire voters also resoundingly said yes to two general obligation bonds to pay for improving village roads (130 yes, 35 no) and water/wastewater system (129 yes to 33 no). The bonds are repaid through property taxes. 

Update: 8:24 p.m. 
After early votes were counted in Taos County, Rebecca R. Griego led her three opponents for a spot on the Questa Independent School Board, Position 2, by a hefty margin while Juan Cisneros was comfortably ahead of incumbent school board president Daryl Ortega in the race for Position 1. (243-43). But the night is young.

In other contested races, early voting tallies put Carlos Abeyta barely ahead of Leroy Lopez in the race for Position 5 on the Peñasco school board. All three of the Taos Municipal School Board candidates are running unopposed. 

No results have been posted yet to the New Mexico Secretary of State website for Colfax County races. 

Original story: A small but steady stream of voters filtered through school band rooms, libraries and village offices, casting ballots in local elections Tuesday (Nov. 5). The polls are open until 7 p.m.

Winners of the races will be announced as soon as all the ballots are collected from far-flung precincts. In Taos County, the clerk will have to wait until ballots arrive from places like Amalia, more than 40 miles away. In Colfax County, ballots will be driven from Eagle Nest and Angel Fire to Raton's county offices, nearly 80 miles away. 

Taos News will post results, reactions and photos through the evening after polls close. Check back for the latest.

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