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Foster to run for county commission

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Barry Foster, the incumbent city councilor for Ward 5 (Lisa Dunlap File Photo)

Candidates file in other local legislative races

A week after prevailing in his bid for re-election to the Roswell City Council, Barry Foster is setting his sights on a seat on the Chaves County Board of Commissioners.

Foster filed Tuesday to appear on the ballot in the June 2 Republican primary for the District 4 seat on the Commission, according to a listing of candidates posted on the website of the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office.

Richard Taylor, who previously served on the commission, also submitted his declaration of candidacy to run in the Republican primary. Commissioner Robert Corn, who now holds the seat, is unable to seek re-election due to term limits.

No Democrat has filed to run for the position.

Foster confirmed his plans late Tuesday via text message. Foster was re-elected last week to his seat on the council representing Ward 5. He defeated Oswaldo Vasquez Nava, 299 to 176.

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Foster said Tuesday he had been mulling a run for the commission for the last year. He added that he has been concerned about the direction of the commission, citing their vote late last year to shut down the county’s juvenile detention center.

He also expressed dissatisfaction with commission votes to quit funding the Boys and Girls Club of Chaves County and to pare back the contributions the county makes to the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corporation.

If elected, Foster said he will resign from the City Council to avoid any conflicts of interest.

Candidates across the state, from the contest for president down to state legislative and county offices, filed with their respective county clerks and the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office Tuesday to appear on the Democratic and Republican primaries in June.

Candidates who wish to mount a write-in campaign will have until March 17 to file.

Barbara R. Gomez of Roswell filed late Tuesday to be a candidate in the Republican primary to be the next Chaves County clerk. She will go up against Cindy Fuller of Dexter — now the deputy clerk — in the primary.

No Democrat filed to run in that race or any others at the county level in Chaves County.

Commissioner Jeff Billbery of Roswell will face a challenge for his spot on the Board of Commissioners in District 3. The County Clerk’s Office confirmed Randy Robertson of Roswell has filed to challenge Billberry, a first-term commissioner in the Republican primary.

Republican incumbent Commissioner T. Calder Ezzell Jr. of Roswell is unopposed in his bid for a second term representing District 2 on the Commission.

Charlotte Andrade, Chaves County treasurer, was the sole candidate to file for her office Tuesday, a representative with the County Clerk’s Office said.

Local judicial candidates will also be on the ballot. In the New Mexico 5th Judicial District, which is comprised of Chaves, Eddy and Lea counties, District Judge Thomas Lilley of Division II and District Judge Jared Kallunki of Division 8, both Democrats, have filed to run for a full six-year term on the bench.

Neither Kallunki nor Lilley have any primary or general election opposition.

Dianna Luce of Lovington, who is district attorney for the 5th Judicial District, has filed to run for another term, according to the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office.

Michael M. Taylor, a Republican from Roswell, has also filed to run for the District 8 seat on the New Mexico Public Education Commission.

All 112 seats in the New Mexico Senate and House of Representatives will be on the ballot this year.

Having served in the Senate since 1985, Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, announced in a press release Tuesday that he will seek re-election to his Senate District 27 seat. District 27 is comprised of parts of Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Lea and Roosevelt counties.

“It has been my honor to serve my constituents for 35 years and I humbly ask for their support once again,” Ingle said in the release.

Three incumbent legislators with parts of their districts in Chaves County will have opponents in either the primaries or general elections.

Christopher Glendon Hensley of Roswell has filed to run against state Sen. Bill Burt, R-Almagordo, in Senate District 33 in the primary.

Democrat Denise A. Lang-Browne of La Luz filed to run for the Senate District 33 seat, as well.

State Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell; House Minority Leader James Townsend, R-Artesia in House District 54; State Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell in House District 58 and State Rep. Phelps Anderson, R-Roswell in House District 66, were the only candidates to file to appear on the primary ballot in their respective districts.

State Sen. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs and Libertarian Mayna Erika Myers, also of Hobbs, have filed to run in Senate District 42, according to the Secretary of State’s website.

Kimble Lee Kearns, a Democrat in Capitan, and State Rep. Greg Nibert, R-Roswell, have both filed to run for the House District 59 seat.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.