Farmington City Council candidates will square off in Oct. 6 forum at Civic Center

Early voting began Oct. 5 in San Juan County at six locations — here's who is on the ballot

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Voters in two of Farmington's City Council districts will have a chance to hear from the folks hoping to win those seats in November's election  when a candidate forum takes place Wednesday, Oct. 6.

The event will not be broadcast on the radio or presented virtually, so in-person attendance will be the only way for voters to watch or listen.

The forum starts at 6 p.m. at the Farmington Civic Center, 200 W. Arrington St. It will be presented by the Leadership San Juan Alumni Association with KSJE-FM general manager Scott Michlin serving as the moderator.

The forum will feature District 1 candidates Linda Rogers and Michael Bulloch, and District 2 candidates Sean Sharer and Henry Silentman. Rogers and Sharer are the incumbents, while Bulloch and Silentman are the challengers.

Linda Benson, the treasurer for the Leadership San Juan Alumni Association and one of the event organizers, said the forum will follow the same format as other candidate forums her organization has presented in the past. There will be a series of questions asked by Michlin, with each candidate being given two minutes to respond.

The questions have been crafted by organizers of the event, and Benson emphasized that candidates will not have access to them in advance, meaning they will be speaking extemporaneously.

"They're expected to be quick on their feet and react accordingly," she said.

Candidates will draw for speaking order during each round of questions, she said. There also will be a question-and-answer period, and audience members will have the chance to submit written questions on index cards for that segment, she said.

Each candidate will have another two minutes to present a closing statement at the end of the forum.

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Early voting started Oct. 5

The general election is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 2, but early voting already has begun.

There are six early voting locations scattered throughout the county, including the San Juan County Clerk's Office at 100 S. Oliver, Suite 200, in Aztec; the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park, 3041 E. Main St.; the Farmington Public Library, 2101 Farmington Ave.; the Bloomfield Cultural Center, 333 S. 1st St.; the Central Consolidated School District business office, south of U.S. Highway 64 at the former Shiprock High School; and the Newcomb Fire Station located at mile marker 56.5 in Newcomb.

The election will cover nearly three dozen races in San Juan County, including those for school boards, soil/sanitation/water districts, and municipal offices.


There are three seats open on the Aztec City Commission. District 2 candidates are Jason Thompson, Kenneth George, Michael Davis and Joel Barton. District 4 candidates are Victor Snover, Joe Hubbard and Colby King. District 5 candidates are Mark Lewis, James Crowley, William Motto, Sabrina Rials.

There are three seats open on the Aztec Municipal School District Board of Education. The District 1 candidate is Frances Dobey. The District 3 candidates are Melissa Wood and Robert "Jimmy" Dusenbery. The District 5 candidates are Amanda Miller and Paul Marken.


Incumbent Mayor Cynthia Atencio was the only candidate to file for her position in Bloomfield as she seeks re-election. Candidates for the position 3 seat on the Bloomfield City Council are Wayne Wendell and Duane Walls. Randy Shull, Tony Herrera and Scott Eckstein have filed for the at-large seat. Jarly Lopez, Cynthia Wagoner and Gabriela Crane are seeking Bloomfield's municipal judgeship.

There are three open seats on the Bloomfield School District Board of Education. Candidates for the District 2 seat are Songtree Pioche, Darrell Nichols and Dale Walls. The only candidate for the District 4 seat is Tony Deherrera. The candidates for the District 5 seat are Ben Woody Jr. and Veronica Tso.

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The CCSD Board of Education has three seats up for grabs. In District 1, Sheldon Pickering will face Marion Wells. In District 3, Cheryl George will face Matthew Tso. Christina Aspaas was the only candidate to file for the District 4 seat.


In addition to the two City Council seats being contested in Farmington, Robert Miller and Brian Erickson are vying for the city's municipal judgeship. And there are two seats open on the Farmington Municipal School District Board of Education, with Robyn Hoffman and Andra Stradling seeking the District 2 seat, while Keith Corley is running uncontested for the District 3 seat.


In Kirtland, Tyrone Austin was the only candidate to file for the councilor at large position.


The San Juan College Board of Trustees has two seats open. In District 2, Evelyn Benny, Zachariah George, Roy Hosteen and Kerby Johnson are competing against each other, while Nicole Wayne and Byron Manning are seeking the District 5 seat.


There are two seats open on the San Juan Soil & Water Conservation District. In the Supervisors 3 race, Ashley Maxwell will face Ann Kalcich. John Arrington was the only candidate to file for the Supervisor 4 race.

Candidates in the Valley Water & Sanitation District are Alex Uhl for the Director 1 position, Tyrone Austin for the Director 2 spot, Jason Heslop for Director 3, Larry Hathaway for Director 4 and P Duncan for Director 5.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or Support local journalism with a digital subscription.