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San Juan County Commission chooses Beckstead as chairperson, Fortner as pro-tem

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
San Juan County Commissioner John Beckstead, left, is seen on May 16, 2017, during a tour of the San Juan County Fire Center Point Station 2. Beckstead has been chosen to serve as the County Commission chairperson.

AZTEC — San Juan County Commissioner John Beckstead will serve as the chairperson of the commission while Commissioner Terri Fortner was selected as the chairperson pro-tem.

The County Commission selected the chairperson and chairperson pro-tem during the Jan. 5 meeting, which was streamed live on YouTube.

Beckstead is in his second term as a county commissioner having won an uncontested election in November. He is a lawyer and previously worked as assistant district attorney before being elected to the county commission.

Meanwhile, Fortner is a psychiatric nurse practitioner who ran unopposed in the general election after defeating Erich Cole in the Republican Primary Election. She is in her first term on the County Commission.

Both Beckstead and Fortner are Republicans.

Terri Fortner poses for a picture with her husband Jack Fortner during an election watch party on Nov. 3 in Farmington. Fortner has been chosen to serve as the County Commission chairperson pro-tem.

Fortner nominated Beckstead for the role of chairperson and he was the sole nominee for that position. Meanwhile, Commissioner Mike Sullivan nominated Fortner to serve as the chairperson pro-tem and Commissioner GloJean Todacheene nominated herself for that position. Fortner was selected as the chairperson pro-tem on a 4-1 vote with Todacheene casting the sole dissenting vote.

Following the vote, Todacheene said that she had never had the chance to serve as the chairperson of the commission. She pointed out that she is the sole Democratic Party member of the county commission and asked for the chance to serve as chairperson before her term ends in two years.

“Before I end my term, I would like to be chair someday,” she said. “If it never happens, so be it.”

Beckstead said while Todacheene and Beckstead have different party affiliations, he appreciates Todacheene and everything she has done for the commission.

“I’ve seen you do great things on the commission and I appreciate all your efforts,” he said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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