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2024 Primary Election Guide: N.M. House of Representatives – Valencia County News-Bulletin

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2024 Primary Election Guide: N.M. House of Representatives – Valencia County News-Bulletin


 

 

 

 

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Tanya Mirabal Moya 

Tanya Mirabal Moya (I)

Age: 49   

Occupation: Physics teacher at Belen High School  

Education: Bachelors of Science in health and wellness from Kaplan University (Purdue Global); Master of Science in sports management; athletic administration and coaching from Liberty University  

Previous elected political offices: Current state representative for District 7  

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Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a felony or DWI in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”  

  1. What in your experience, education, etc., makes you qualified for this position?

“It’s been too long for people who have never worked in a classroom to make decisions about how we educate our students. As a current teacher, I am that greatly needed voice in our state roundhouse for our students, educators, and our education system throughout the state of New Mexico.  

  1. What do you hope to work on, or see passed, at the Legislature to address safety issues in our community?

“Going after criminals and not law-abiding citizens who are trying to protect themselves. By mandating tougher penalties for convicted felons who commit a crime with a gun, along with bail reform that would help keep violent criminals behind bars instead of on our streets.”  

  1. Every municipality and county struggles with paying the high cost of infrastructure projects. How should the state address growing and costly infrastructure needs? 

“The state should address the rising cost of infrastructure projects by making it easier to do business in New Mexico. This includes reducing or eliminating the state’s GRT (I have put forward a bill to do so for small businesses), as these costs are ultimately passed on to consumers.”  

  1. What can the Legislature do to help address the teacher shortage in New Mexico?

“Create a licensure program that allows experienced individuals to teach higher level classes part-time, so they don’t have to leave their high paying jobs. Create a fourth tier in the teacher license that is for a master teacher, who manages several classrooms and teachers in their department.” 

 

 

 

 

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Brian G. Baca 

Brian Baca (I)

Age: 53  

Occupation: Educator  

Education: BA, MA University of New Mexico  

Previous elected political offices: N.M. House of Representatives  

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Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a felony or DWI in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”  

  1. What in your experience, education, etc., makes you qualified for this position?

“I have served three sessions in the N.M. House of Representatives. I serve on the education committee, which sets policy for our pre-k through higher education institutions. I serve on the House appropriations committee which sets the budget and funding for the entire state of New Mexico.”  

  1. What do you hope to work on, or see passed, at the Legislature to address safety issues in our community?

“We need to make tougher laws for violent and repeat offenders. We need to end the catch and release practice that puts criminals back on the streets. Finally, we need to adequately fund our first responders in our communities to recruit and retain personnel.” 

  1. Every municipality and county struggles with paying the high cost of infrastructure projects. How should the state address growing and costly infrastructure needs?

“As a member of the House appropriations we have worked to address this serious need. We need to invest a larger portion of our budget surplus to infrastructure and needs of our community (roads, health care, police and fire departments). This investment will bring a higher return on our investment and impact the lives of all citizens.”  

  1. What can the Legislature do to help address the teacher shortage in New Mexico? 

“As an educator and a member of the education committee, I am on the front lines of funding our schools and improving education. As a member of the House appropriations committee, I advocated to put back the funding that had been cut to support the educator fellows and teacher residency programs that were created specifically to address our teacher shortage.” 

 

 

 

 

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Michelle Paulene Abeyta 

Michelle Paulene Abeyta

Age: 40 

Occupation: Lawyer 

Education: B.A. in Native American Studies and Geography from University of New Mexico, J.D. with certificate in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy from University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law 

Previous elected political offices: To’hajiilee Community School Board of Education 

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Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a felony or DWI in New Mexico or in another state? “No.” 

  1. What in your experience, education, etc., makes you qualified for this position?

“As a lifelong resident of District 69, I know what it’s like to drive 100 miles for basic needs. My public service includes the To’hajiilee Community School Board of Education, National Native American Bar Association Board, and more I hold a J.D. with a certificate in Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy.” 

  1. What do you hope to work on, or see passed, at the Legislature to address safety issues in our community?

“I want to see paid family and medical leave pass through the Legislature. I will support legislation that will provide critical improvements to District 69’s infrastructure, help with projects like uranium cleanup efforts, and bolster educational opportunities for children and adults alike. 

  1. Every municipality and county struggles with paying the high cost of infrastructure projects. How should the state address growing and costly infrastructure needs?

“Children on school buses shouldn’t have to drive on roads with potholes so big I can sit in them. Community members have been advocating to fix these roads for years. District 69 needs a voice that will prioritize critical infrastructural improvements to positively and tangibly change our quality of life.” 

  1. What can the Legislature do to help address the teacher shortage in New Mexico?

“We need to provide top-notch benefits, competitive pay, safe working environments, and additional support in the classroom for teachers wherever needed. As a member of my local school board, I helped secure millions in funding to improve our community school. I’ll bring that same level of advocacy to the Legislature.” 

 

 

Stanley E. Michael 

Stanley E. Michael

Age: 55  

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Occupation: Coal miner 

Education: High school graduate  

Previous elected political offices: None  

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a felony or DWI in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”  

  1. What in your experience, education, etc., makes you qualified for this position? 

“I am a strong advocate of the community. I have served 10 years in corrections, three years as director of Adult Community Corrections program, one summer at CYFD, three summers at the state highway department, 11 years in 4-H, and 15 years coaching youth, middle school, and high school baseball, basketball and football.”  

  1. What do you hope to work on, or see passed, at the Legislature to address safety issues in our community?

“Above all, a three strikes law to reduce crime, followed by a way to keep criminals off the streets as they await trial.  We need to do better at screening immigrants to keep criminals out of New Mexico and we need to improve rehabilitation efforts.”    

  1. Every municipality and county struggles with paying the high cost of infrastructure projects. How should the state address growing and costly infrastructure needs? 

“Two federal laws have already passed to help with infrastructure. They are the bipartisan infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act, which support communities by entering contracts and agreements on projects that would help to support our communities. Since New Mexico has a surplus, we should be able to provide matching funds to get more done.”  

  1. What can the Legislature do to help address the teacher shortage in New Mexico? 

“Talk to and listen to our educators. Really listen. They will be the best experts on what can be done and what is needed in our classrooms. They should be able to provide ideas on how to attract and retain educators to our state.”


Editor’s note: Incumbents N.M. Reps. Gail Armstrong (R-District 49) and Harry Garcia (D-District 69) are both running for reelection but did not return their answers to the Valencia County News-Bulletin’s questionnaire.

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VOTING INFORMATION

Absentee by mail 

The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the June primary election is Tuesday, May 21. Absentee ballots can be requested by visiting nmvote.org 

If they are not returned by mail, absentee ballots can be returned in person at the following locations by 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 4: 

  • Valencia County Clerk’s Office, 444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas
  • Any of the early in-person or alternate early voting locations.
  • Any of the 15 Voting Convenience Centers open on Election Day throughout the county.
  • Any of the three secure absentee ballot drop boxes
  • Belen Community Center, 305 Eagle Lane, Belen
  • Bosque Farms Public Library, 1455 W. Bosque Loop, Bosque Farms
  • Valencia County Administration Building, 444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas

Early, in-person voting 

8 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Friday, May 17, Monday through Saturday 

Valencia County Administration Building, 444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas 

Alternate, early voting 

10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, May 18, through Saturday, June 1, Monday through Saturday 

  • Belen Community Center, 305 Eagle Lane, Belen,
  • Bosque Farms Public Library, 1455 W. Bosque Loop, Bosque Farms
  • Pueblo of Isleta Veterans Center, 4001 N.M. 314, Isleta
  • Valencia County Administration Building, 444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas

Voting Convenience Centers 

7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 4 

  • Ann Parish Elementary, 112 Meadow Lake Road, Meadow Lake
  • Belen Community Center, 305 Eagle Lane, Belen
  • Belen Public Library, 333 Becker Ave. Belen
  • Bosque Farms Public Library, 1455 W. Bosque Loop, Bosque Farms
  • Century High School, 32 Sun Valley Road, Los Lunas
  • Del Rio Senior Center, 351 Rio Communities Blvd., Rio Communities
  • Don Jose Dolores Cordova Cultural Center, 426 Jarales Road Jarales
  • El Cerro Mission Community Center, 309 El Cerro Mission Road, El Cerro
  • Logsdon Hall, 19676 N.M. 314, Los Chavez
  • Los Lunas Schools Administration, 119 Luna Ave., Los Lunas
  • Meadow Lake Community Center, 100 Cuerro Lane, Meadow Lake
  • Pueblo of lsleta Veterans Center, 4001 N.M. 314, Isleta
  • Tomé Adelino Fire Department Valley Station, 2755 N.M. 47, Tomé
  • Town of Peralta Town Hall , 90A Molina Road, Peralta
  • UNM-Valencia Workforce Training Center, 1020 Huning Ranch, Los Lunas

The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.



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New Mexico

Teen murderer recaptured after escaping juvenile jail in New Mexico: police

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Teen murderer recaptured after escaping juvenile jail in New Mexico: police


A teenager who pleaded guilty to murdering two people escaped a juvenile detention center in New Mexico on Saturday night but gave up and turned himself in early Sunday morning, police said.

Josef Toney, 19, busted out of Albuquerque’s juvenile detention center around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, according to Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen.

Though various law enforcement agencies responded to the escape, Allen said communication among the cops was subpar. Toney was initially listed as “missing and endangered,” and the county sheriff’s department wasn’t notified until nearly four hours after he escaped.

But at 1:37 a.m. Sunday, Toney returned to the juvenile detention center and turned himself in, Allen said.

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“We are very lucky that nobody else during this incident was hurt,” the sheriff said at a Sunday afternoon press conference.

Allen said he believes Toney simply ran out of energy and resources before giving up and deciding to call it quits.

“He just turned up here on his own,” he said.

Toney was booked into Albuquerque’s adult jail, according to Allen. He said the move was permitted because Toney had committed a new crime by escaping.

Earlier this year, the teen pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder for the deadly shootings of Aerial Mallam, 21, and Jessica Casaus Lucero, 31, on Jan. 27, 2021 in Albuquerque.

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After he killed the two women, Toney remained on the run for 10 months before he was arrested in Denver.



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Peerman’s Power Rankings: 10 best things in New Mexico sports this week (May 26)

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Peerman’s Power Rankings: 10 best things in New Mexico sports this week (May 26)





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Man who pleaded guilty to New Mexico double homicide is recaptured after brief escape

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Man who pleaded guilty to New Mexico double homicide is recaptured after brief escape


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man awaiting sentencing in a double-homicide case was back in custody Sunday after escaping from a juvenile jail in Albuquerque.

Bernalillo County Sheriff’s officials said 19-year-old Josef Toney escaped Saturday afternoon from the Youth Detention Center and was taken into custody Sunday morning.

Deputies said video surveillance showed Toney opening a gate at the jail facility and running away. A man who lives in the area saw the escape and alerted authorities.

Court records show Toney pleaded guilty last month to two counts of first-degree murder. He was accused of fatally shooting two people at an apartment complex in northeast Albuquerque in January 2021 and wounding a third person.

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Toney was arrested nearly 10 months later in Colorado and extradited to New Mexico.

County prosecutors said Toney was set to be sentenced on June 26 and faced up to 51 years in prison.

He’s now facing an additional charge of escape or attempt to escape from jail.

Updated online court documents don’t show if Toney has a lawyer and a call to the county public defender’s office wasn’t immediately returned Sunday.

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