A total of 23 elected municipal seats are up for grabs in Lea County this year, with candidate filing set for Tuesday.
The list includes positions for three mayors, 15 municipal commissioners or council members and five municipal judges. During office hours on Tuesday, anyone wishing to run for election or re-election to any of those seats must file a Declaration of Candidacy in their respective city or town clerk’s office.
By state statute, five of Lea County’s incorporated municipalities will hold municipal elections on March 6. Casting of absentee ballots and early voting are set for Jan. 30 through March 2.
The date to file a Declaration for Candidacy as a write-in candidate is Tuesday, Jan. 16.
In addition to residing in the district or at-large municipality which they hope to represent candidates must:
• Bring a certified copy of their voter registration to City Hall in the community they are running.
• Fill out a declaration of candidacy form.
• Be at least 18 years old.
• Be a registered voter.
All five Lea County municipalities are conducting elections.
Mayor Marilyn Burns of Tatum, Mayor Matt White of Eunice and Mayor Cheryl Chance of Jal have all stated they will seek re-election.
In Tatum, at-large town council positions currently held by Leisha Joiner and Arnold Ramirez are open for election. In addition, the Municipal Judge bench currently occupied by John Burns is open for election.
In Lovington, city commission seats up for election are those now held by Bernard Butcher representing District 3 (west central Lovington) and Paul Campos representing District 5 (southern Lovington). The Municipal Judge bench currently held by Barbara Campbell is also up for election.
In Hobbs, commissioners for the following city districts will be voted on.
• District 2 (northeastern Hobbs), currently held by Cynthia Calderon, to a two-year term.
• District 4 (southern/southwestern Hobbs), currently held by Joseph Calderon, to a four-year term.
• District 5 (northwestern Hobbs), currently held by Garry Buie, to a four-year term.
• District 6 (western Hobbs), currently held by Don Gerth, to a four-year term.
Also up for election is a four-year term for municipal judge, a seat currently held by Ben Harrison.
In Eunice, with city councilors chosen at large, the four seats up for election are those currently held by Terry Bettis, Jerry Corral, Nina Lynch and Marty Rodriguez. The Municipal Judge bench held by Glen Jenkins also is up for election.
In Jal, also with city councilors chosen at large, the three council seats held by JoAn Chesser, Jim Ellison and Dewayne Jennings are up for election. The Municipal Judge bench currently occupied by Dennis Allen also is up for election.
All Tatum, Lovington, Eunice and Jal positions are four-year terms.