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Española, Pecos elect new mayors

March 7, 2018 GMT

Voters in Española and Pecos elected new mayors Tuesday night, picking candidates who will succeed longtime officeholders who chose not to run for another term.

Española voters elected Javier E. Sanchez to replace Mayor Alice A. Lucero, who opted not to seek a third term. Sanchez won with an overwhelming majority over Robert J. Seeds and Adrianna Ortiz.

Sanchez received 1,118 votes, according to unofficial vote totals provided Tuesday evening by Española City Clerk Anna Squires. Seeds received 787 votes, and 166 voters cast ballots for Ortiz.

In the Española City Council races, John L. Ricci edged out opponent JR Trujillo in District 1, capturing 232 votes to Trujillo’s 219.

John Ramon Vigil was elected to represent District 2. He received 310 votes while his opponent, Tony J. Valdez, received 238 votes.

Denise D. Benevides ran unopposed in District 3. She received 266 votes.

Justin J. Salazar-Torrez beat opponent Anthony J. Vandervossen — 374-303 — to win District 4.

No incumbents ran for re-election to their political posts in Española.

Meanwhile, Pecos voters elected Telesfor A. Benavidez as their next mayor in a three-way contest. He’ll replace Mayor Tony Roybal, 80, who has led the small rural village for the past 16 years.

Benavidez, a disabled veteran and former plumber by trade who also worked for several state agencies before retiring, received 150 votes, according to unofficial results Village Clerk Ramona Quintana provided after the polls closed Tuesday.

Roybal, who didn’t run for re-election, had endorsed Benavidez.

Fredalene V. Vigil got 114 votes, while third place candidate Anthony J. Flores received 44 votes.

“I’d just like to thank the people of Pecos for believing in me and supporting me,” Benavidez said Tuesday night. “I’m just so happy that I won!”

Benavidez, 58, said last week that if he were elected, he would concentrate on improving the village’s water and sewer infrastructure, connecting Rincon Road to village utilities and creating more activities to keep Pecos youth off drugs.

Brian Sandoval and Armando E. Gabaldon were elected to fill two vacant trustee seats on the town board, which has four trustees. Both candidates ran unopposed — 212 voters casts ballots for Sandoval, while 123 voted for Gabaldon.

Contact Phaedra Haywood at 505-986-3068 or phaywood@sfnewmexican.com.