Candidates file for state, county positions in primary elections

Primary election will be held June 5

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
San Juan County Clerk Tanya Shelby, left, and members of her staff process filing paperwork for public office seekers on Tuesday in at the San Juan County Clerk's Office in Aztec.

AZTEC — Before the San Juan County Clerk’s Office opened Tuesday morning for candidates to file their paperwork for the upcoming primary elections, a line already had formed outside the door, according to County Clerk Tanya Shelby.

Candidates continued to come in throughout the day Tuesday to file paperwork for state representative, magistrate judge, County Commission, county assessor, county sheriff and probate judge.

The candidates will be on the ballots during the June 5 primary elections.


Farmington residents R. Shane Ferrari and Tommy Bolack will vie for the sheriff position during the June Republican primary elections.

“I’m happy for this day to come,” Ferrari said about filing his paperwork.

Ferrari has been campaigning for the position of sheriff for longer than most candidates. He kicked off his campaign in August during the county fair.

“March 13 was a milestone for me,” he said.

No Democratic candidates have filed for sheriff.

Public Regulation Commission District 4

Incumbent Lynda M. Lovejoy, D-Crownpoint, will face former PRC commissioner Theresea A. Becent-Aguilar, of Coyote Canyon, and Janine Natasha Yazzie, of Gallup, during the June primary election. No Republicans filed candidacy paperwork.

Jimmy Voita, left, Michael Sullivan and Rod Montoya complete their paperwork during candidate filing day Tuesday at the San Juan County Clerk's office in Aztec.

County Commission District 1

Four Democrats are vying for the chance to represent western San Juan County on the County Commission. Wetona Becenti, of Kirtland, and Zachariah Jason George, of Crownpoint, will face incumbent Wallace Charley, of Shiprock, and former County Commissioner GloJean B. Todacheene, of Shiprock, during the June primaries.

No Republican Party candidates have filed for the seat.

“I think being active in the community, you see a lot of need out there,” said Becenti, who works with the Shiprock Office of Diné Youth.

San Juan County Clerk Tanya Shelby looks over Mary P. Schildmeyer's paperwork on Tuesday in at the San Juan County Clerk's Office in Aztec. Schildmeyer is running as a candidate for the state House of Representatives.

County Commission District 2

Former County Commissioner Ervin Chavez is once again seeking election for District 2. The Democrat who also has served as the Nageezi Chapter president will be unopposed during the primary election in June. He will likely face Republican Michael B. Sullivan, of Bloomfield, during the November election.

“I just think that people need a choice,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan is also running unopposed in the Republican primary in June.

State representative District 3

Bloomfield resident Mary P. "MP" Schildmeyer, the chairwoman of the San Juan County Democratic Party, filed her paperwork to run for state representative District 3. She will not have a challenger in the primary elections and will likely face Republican incumbent Paul Bandy, of Aztec, in the November election.

"Two-thousand-eighteen is the year we need to change because of everything that is happening nationally and locally,” she said.

She highlighted the potential economic impact of the closure of San Juan Generating Station in 2022.

“We have four years to solve the problem of that loss of revenue,” Schildmeyer said.

State representative District 4

Fruitland resident Anthony Allison is running in the primary for the Democratic Party. He will likely face incumbent Sharon E. Clahchischilliage, R-Kirtland, during the November elections. Clahchischilliage is the only Republican candidate who filed.

State representative District 5

Incumbent Doreen W. Johnson, D-Gallup, will face Tohatchi resident Kevin M. Mitchell during the June primary election. No Republican candidates have filed for the seat.

State representative District 65

Incumbent Derrick J. Lente, D-Sandia Pueblo, will face Dulce resident Phillip D. Salazar during the June primary elections. No Republican candidates have filed for the seat.

Probate judge

Three Republican candidates will face each other in the June primary elections. The candidates include Brandt E. Thrower, Gary Edd Risley and Stacey D. Biel.

Risley filed his paperwork early Tuesday shortly after the office opened. He previously served as probate judge from 2003 until 2011. Risley said his experience as an attorney focusing on estate law will help him as probate judge.

No Democratic Party candidates filed for probate judge.

Magistrate judge Division 1

Republicans Erich F. Cole, Gary McDaniel and Frank Ernest Dart will vie to get on the November ballot for the Magistrate Judge Division 1. Cole was sworn into the position earlier this year. No Democratic candidates have filed.

Magistrate judge Division 4

Incumbent Trudy Chase, a Democrat, will likely face Republican Melvin Sam during the November election. No other Democratic or Republican candidates filed for the position.

Uncontested races

State representative District 1: Rodney Montoya, R-Farmington

State representative District 2: James R.J. Strickler, R-Farmington

State representative District 9: Patricia “Patty” A. Lundstrom, D-Gallup

State representative District 69: Harry Garcia, D-Grants

District judge: Sarah V. Weaver, Republican

County assessor: Jimmy Voita, R-Farmington

Magistrate judge Division 2: Rena Scott, Republican

Magistrate judge Division 3: Mark Steven Hawkinson, Republican

Magistrate judge Division 5: Pat V. Cordell, Republican

Magistrate judge Division 6: Barry D. Sharer, Republican

Public Education Commission District 5: Georgina A. Davis, D-Aztec

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