Candidates Galore!

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Today is the day to file for candidacy in munipalities in Grant County, and some races are starting to look like they’ll be interesting.

Town Councilor Gary Clauss will face off against Grant County Emergency Manager James Marshall in the contest for Silver City mayor. With Mayor Terry Fortenberry stepping down, for a while it looked like Clauss might have an easy road to City Hall.

But Marshall, while a newcomer to the “elected” political scene, is no lightweight. He knows how to speak with the big boys and girls in Santa Fe, and he’ll likely draw support from the town’s emergency responders and police.

Clauss has his experience on the council going for him, and he’ll find quite a few supporters in the blooming sustainable development community in town. Following a year of high gas prices and harsh criticism when the city and the Southwest Solid Waste Authority stopped recycling glass and plastic, Clauss may have found a message.

In Hurley, mayor David Diaz is stepping down, and so far two residents with considerable experience on that town’s council are vying for the seat. Ray Baca and Manuel Martinez are going after the mayor position. Look for the recent water cutoff situtation to play a role in this one.

I received word last night that Silver City Town Councilor Steve May will not be unopposed in his reelection bid. WNMU senior Serena Murillo has announced her candidacy for May’s seat. Murillo has an uphill battle against May, who has plenty of experience in city government (as one-time mayor and frequent city councilor). If she can turn out the other WNMU students living in that district, and get those discontents to vote against May, she’s got a shot. Turnout will likely be the deciding factor in this race.

Finally, as several people have pointed out, Steve Pearce does have oppostion heading into November. For more on his opponent, Al Kissling, of Las Cruces, check the NM-02 District Blog.

We’ll know more tomorrow and in the coming days, as city clerks give us the goods on who filed for candidacy in their municipalities.

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