County candidates register for re-election

By Jack King

Nine people — including incumbents in four races and their challengers — have declared their candidacies for county offices in the June 1 primary election, registration for which is Tuesday.
Other candidates still may emerge during the day-long registration period.
Registration is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the county clerk’s office in the Curry County Courthouse, 700 N. Main St. To be eligible to register Tuesday, a person must have been registered under a party listing and by the name under which he or she plans to run by Jan. 26. If running for a commission district, the person must be living in and registered in that district by Jan. 26, said Deputy County Clerk Coni Jo Lyman.
Winners of the primary from each political party will run against each other in the general election in November. If there are no same-party challengers in the primary, the candidates will automatically face each other in November.
Curry County offices in the primary are county commissioner districts 2, 4 and 5, county treasurer and county clerk.
All three incumbent county commissioners have announced they will run again for their seats and all three have drawn challengers.

County Commission:
District 2, in the central part of the county:
• Incumbent Pete Hulder, a Republican, has announced he will run again.
• Ray Montoya, a Republican, has announced he will challenge Hulder. Montoya is a Clovis native who owns Sunglass Source in Clovis.

District 4, in the southwest part of the county:
• Incumbent Albin Smith, a Republican, has said he will run again.
• Gloria Wicker, a Democrat, has said she will challenge Smith. Wicker, a former Clovis city commissioner, is retired from working for the railroad. She has lived in District 4 for 33 years, she said.

District 5, which covers the eastern part of the county:
• Incumbent Tim Ashley, a Republican, has said he will run again.
• Paul D. Barnes, a Democrat, has said he will run for the office. Barnes, a former commissioner and former chairman of the County Commission, has been a farmer and rancher in the Pleasant Hill area for more than 30 years.

County Treasurer:
• Incumbent County Treasurer Linda Hall has said she will not run again.
• Chief Deputy Treasurer Rachel Toney, a Democrat, has said she will run for the spot.
• Rhonda Bookout, a Republican, has announced she will run for the position. Bookout, a Clovis native, formerly worked in the Treasurer’s office.

County Clerk:
• Incumbent County Clerk Mario Trujillo, a Democrat, has said he will run again. As of Friday, no challenger had announced for the race.