Judge rules Cases not eligible for county seat

........................................................................................................................................................................................

Socorro County is minus one county commission candidate heading into the June primary after a judge’s decision Friday.

County Clerk Rebecca Vega said a district court judge appointed out of Albuquerque for this case ruled that Daryll Cases could not run for the county commission District 4 seat, challenging incumbent Republican Daniel Monette.

According to Vega, Cases is registered to vote at an Annette Street address in Socorro, putting him in District 1. Cases lives in a house in Bingham, in District 4, Vega said, but had not updated his voter registration information far enough in advance of the March filing date.

Voter registration information for candidates and voters alike had to be updated or changed by Jan. 30 to be valid for the June primary.

Vega said Cases had until 5 p.m. Monday to file an appeal with the New Mexico Supreme Court, but during a phone interview Monday afternoon, Cases said going into the situation, he was prepared to abide by the district court judge’s ruling.

“There are laws we have to abide by,” Cases said. “I did tell the judge whatever she ruled, I would accept. That’s what they’re there for. The only reason I filed, and the judge agreed, is that the law is vague.”

Cases said the statute requires candidates to file under their party affiliation and in the district in which they reside.

“I just never changed my address,” he said. “I never knew. I never really planned to run for office.”

While he never looked for political office, Cases said he wanted to see what went on “behind the scenes. Whether it’s county or state government, you are either part of the problem or you try to be part of solution. The current commission is doing the best it can. They are good people. I figured it’s always good to have fresh ideas, a fresh outlook.”

Even though he didn’t make it on the ballot this time, due to Vega’s objection of his filing, Cases seemed rather philosophical about the whole thing.

“Right now, this was a learning process. The county clerk has a hell of a job to do,” he said. “I want people to exercise their vote, especially younger people. We have so many people who have served our country who gave us this right. If people didn’t vote for me, just so long as they got out and voted.”

Speaking of his almost opponent, Cases said Monette was a “good guy,” someone he respected.

“This would have been fun. I have nothing but respect for him,” Cases said. “He’s done a good job, the whole administration. There’s always room for improvement. Now we have to support who’s in there.”

 


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.