Recounts of two county school board elections show no change, candidates win by one vote

Both election recounts were from Nov. 2 local general election

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • The San Juan County Clerk’s Office on Nov. 30 conducted a recount of the Aztec Municipal School District Board of Education for District 5 and the Bloomfield School District Board of Education for its District 5 seat.
  • Paul Marken won the District 5 spot for the Aztec school board with 159 votes, defeating incumbent Amanda Miller, who had 158 votes.
  • Bloomfield school board District 5 candidate Ben Woody Jr. won the election with 127 votes to incumbent Veronica Tso’s 126 votes.

FARMINGTON — The automatic recount of two San Juan County school board elections confirms the results from November, where two candidates each won by one vote.

The recount did not change the outcome from the local general election last month as the results remained the same, according to San Juan County Clerk Tonya Shelby.

The San Juan County Clerk’s Office on Nov. 30 conducted a recount of the Aztec Municipal School District Board of Education for District 5 and the Bloomfield School District Board of Education for its District 5 seat.

More:Here they are: Unofficial results and updates from San Juan County races

Paul Marken won the District 5 spot for the Aztec school board with 159 votes, defeating incumbent Amanda Miller, who had 158 votes.

Tammy Kauvaka, left, signs her name to receive her ballot from election worker Sandi Root, right, on Nov. 2 at the San Juan County Fire Operations Center in Aztec.

Bloomfield school board District 5 candidate Ben Woody Jr. won the election with 127 votes to incumbent Veronica Tso’s 126 votes.

Marken told The Daily Times he was driving to school board training on the morning of Dec. 2 when he spoke about his win. He said he was not too surprised by the closeness of the race.

Marken has been involved in Boy Scouts of America troop in the area and donating blood for decades and looked to joining the school board as a way to continuing to contribute to the community.

“I think we need strong voices on the school board,” Marken said.

Marken said one area of concern for him was the discussion of critical race theory in area schools.

The Associated Press described critical race theory as a catchall term used by conservative activists for the academic study of progressive social activism, historical oppression and systemic racism. The term has been used by some during the discussion of possible changes to the proposed K-12 social studies standards in New Mexico.

Woody did not answer a call to the phone number listed on the New Mexico Secretary of State’s candidate portal or respond to a text message by deadline.

The two races were part of the 32 different local elections on the ballot which included school boards, San Juan College board, water/soil/sanitation boards and municipalities.

The unofficial results will be certified during a meeting of the State Canvassing Board later this month.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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