Bulletin photo by Mike Cook
Allison Smith, left, files as a candidate for the Las Cruces Public Schools school board election, which is scheduled for Feb. 7. Smith seeks the District 2 seat. She drew the top ballot position and is shown here with Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins and county Elections Staff Coordinator Janice Giron.
By Mike Cook
Las Cruces Bulletin
At 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20, Ray Jaramillo became Las Cruces Public Schools’ school board-member elect, as he was the only candidate who filed for the district 1 seat on the LCPS board of education.
District 1 incumbent Chuck Davis, who has served 16 years on the board, did not file for re-election.
In a news release, Jaramillo described himself as “a long-time child advocate, early childhood educator of 22 years, and a parent of two children in the public school system.” He ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary for New Mexico House of Representatives District 35, losing to Angelica Rubio, who won the seat in November.
Four candidates filed in each of the other two LCPS races on the ballot.
In district 2, Las Cruces entrepreneur and government relations consultant Allison Smith drew the top ballot position. She is married to Las Cruces City Council President Pro Tem Greg Smith and is the daughter of Doña Ana County State Sen. Mary Kay Papen. Both joined her at the county clerk’s office for the ballot-position drawing at 5 p.m. on Dec. 20.
Smith’s opponents in the district 2 race will be Charles Wendler, whom Papen defeated in the November state Senate District 38 election; Terri Dallman; and Ronald Fitzherbert.
District 2 incumbent Barbara Hall, who was appointed to the board in 2010 and elected without opposition to a full four-year term on the board in 2012, did not seek re-election.
Current School Board President Maria A. Flores was the only incumbent to file for re-election to the LCPS board. She also drew the top spot on the ballot in district 3. Her opponents will be MaryLou Barrio, Gerald Miller and Wanda Bowman.
Flores was elected to the board by two votes in a three-person race in 2008. She was re-elected by a wide margin against a single opponent in 2012.
Dec. 20 was the only day candidates could file for school board races. The school board election, which is non-partisan, will be held Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017.
Two school board seats are on the ballot in the Gadsden Independent School District. In district 2, incumbent Jennifer Viramontes will face Robert A. Saavedra. In district 5, Laura Salazar Flores will face off against Ricky Little. Incumbent Craig Ford did not file for re-election.
Two seats are also on the ballot for the Hatch Valley Public Schools board of education, with incumbents unopposed in both races. In district 1, the only candidate will be incumbent Elva J. Garay. In district 4, the only candidate will be incumbent Christopher A. Montez.
LCPS School Board Candidates
Charles Richard Wendler
Ronald James Fitzherbert
Wanda R. Bowman
Maria A. Flores
Gerald Michael Miller