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Tuesday is filing date for municipal races

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Count on a politically exciting year.

Election year 2020 has begun, with voters to choose several small city councilors to the president of the United States.

Residents wishing to declare a candidacy for the municipal election must file a declaration of candidacy on Tuesday between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the respective city clerk’s office.

Five positions open for election in Hobbs are the positions of mayor, municipal judge and city commissioners for Districts 1, 2, and 3, all four-year terms, except the election for municipal judge, which is to fill an unexpired four-year term.

Currently holding those positions are Mayor Sam Cobb, Municipal Judge Bobby Archer and incumbent commissioners Marshall Newman (District 1), Chris Mills (District 2) and Patricia Taylor (District 3). Archer was appointed in September to fill a vacancy.

In addition to the offices up for election, voters will make decisions regarding five amendments to the Hobbs city charter.

In Lovington, three commissioner slots are open for election, currently held by incumbents David Trujillo (District 1), Arthur Sanchez (District 2) and Scott Gandy (District 4). Trujillo has announced his intention to seek re-election while Scott Boldt announced intention to seek the District 2 seat.

Candidates for Lovington city commission must file at Lovington City Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The commission seats for District 1, District 2 and District 4 will be decided by voters on March 3, 2020. All the seats are for four-year terms.

Four at-large council seats are available for the Jal city council. Three seats currently held by incumbents Mike Orr, Melody Beckham and Amelia Trevino are for four-year terms. A two-year term councilor seat is held by Rene Cervantes who was appointed to fill a vacancy last year. Candidates must file at Jal City Hall on Jan. 7.

Lea County Clerk Keith Manes noted the city official elections will be held locally, while his office is responsible for the primary and general elections throughout the county. In both cases, he urged voters to exercise their rights.

“It’s extremely important for the people to get out and vote,” Manes said. “They’re the ones making the decisions how the cities, counties and the country are run. I can’t express that enough. I’ve been disappointed in the (previous election) turnouts.

Several municipal officials will be chosen in Lovington, Hobbs and Jal during a March 3 election, with early and absentee voting beginning Feb. 4. The city hall in each community has been designated the polling place. Voter registration closes also on Feb. 4, but qualified electors may register in person until Feb. 29.

Additional polling places in Hobbs are the Teen Center, 620 W. Alto St.; Hobbs Municipal Schools Training Center, 2110 E. Sanger St.; and Lea County Event Center, 5101 N. Lovington Highway. Absentee and early voting in Hobbs is at the City Clerk’s office, 200 E. Broadway St., with alternate early voting at the Lea County Annex Building, 1019 E. Bender Blvd.

Early voting ends Feb. 29.

While municipal candidates are campaigning in advance of the March 3 election, state and federal partisan candidates will eye the June primary election and the November general election.

The New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is required to issue a proclamation on Jan. 27 calling for each major political party to hold the primary elections. In New Mexico, the major parties are Democrat, Republican and Libertarian.

Filing day for all offices by non-preprimary designated candidates, except for the office of United States president, is March 10. Last day to file for president of the United States for the presidential primary is March 30.

Primary election filing day for write-in candidates for county, state and federal offices is March 17.

Voter registration for the June 2 primary election closes online or by mail and absentee voting begins on May 5. Qualified electors may register to vote or update an existing registration in person at the county clerk’s office during regular hours until May 30. Early voting begins May 16.

Voter registration for the Nov. 3 general election closes by mail or online and absentee voting begins on Oct. 6, while registration is allowed in person at the county clerk’s office until Oct. 31.

Early voting begins Oct. 17 and ends Oct. 31.

Burkett Shaw
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