2014 Primary


Magistrate judge

Felix William Saavedra
A. I have 25 years experience in the criminal justice system, 18 of which were in administration, four terms as your elected county sheriff, four years as undersheriff with the Cibola County Sheriff’s Office,
managed Socorro County Detention for 12 years, also worked for the biggest detention center in the state of New Mexico (MDC – Metropolitan detention Center in Albuquerque). These positions gave me a world of experience in the judicial process.
B. I served four terms as your elected Socorro County Sheriff, 18 years of administration experience and I am a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces and Army National Guard with six years of service and honorable discharge. That’s what sets me apart from the other candidates in this race.

Richard J. Sanchez
A. I have worked in law enforcement for over 25 years, most recently 15 years in court security, bailiff and jury oversight for the New Mexico Seventh Judicial District Court in Socorro, Catron, Torrance and Sierra counties; jail administrator at the Socorro County Detention Center; Socorro City Police Department dispatch and security patrol at White Sands Missile Range. I have the knowledge and experience required by this important position. I feel that I could serve the people of our community and the surrounding areas well. I am very fair-minded and have a deep concern for the issues faced by the public coming before this honorable court.
B. I have the experience, knowledge, impartiality and stability that are so important in making decisions regarding cases before magistrate court. I have worked closely with the deputy district attorney’s and staff and all four counties covered by the Seventh Judicial District. I have also developed a good working relationship with public defenders and attorneys in private practice that would be important to this position. My wife and I have been married for over 36 years and raised our three children in Socorro. In a position as important as this, fairness, experience and knowledge count

Lesmen Torres
A. With approximately 30 years in law enforcement behind me, including communications operator with New Mexico State Police and Socorro County sheriff, I’ve had an opportunity to work with just about everything. I currently serve as adjutant/undersheriff to Socorro County Sheriff Phillip Montoya. Serving in the sheriff’s department we serve the courts, from providing security to serving legal documentation which also acquaints us with civil issues. I’ve also functioned in the capacity of jail administrator, and I have over 14 years administrative experience in the sheriff’s office.
B. I believe that with my years of experience in administration, operations and knowledge, of the law, sets me apart from most candidates. My people skills, having dealt with a variety of diverse issues and problems has given me a better insight into the position I am seeking. I’ve got hundreds of hours in advanced training in law enforcement. I have several thoughts of implementation of various programs and alternatives to incarceration. I’ve always been one for change, as long as it improves the process. I enjoy working with the people and for the people.

Enrique A. Vega
A. I have 20 years of law enforcement experience, five years with the City of Socorro and 15 with New Mexico State Police. During that time I became very familiar with magistrate court procedures in everything from traffic laws to felony criminal cases. Also during my years with NMSP, I was promoted to training officer which gave me years of very valuable experience not only in training but also in motivational techniques that will be very beneficial to the operations of the magistrate court office.
B. The first thing that sets me apart from others in this race is education. I am a graduate of New Mexico State University, in addition to all the training I received from NMSP service. Certainly the years of magistrate court experience are very beneficial also, but the most important thing is my dedication to serving the people. During my service at NMSP, I received literally hundreds of letters of commendation for helping people. An important thing to appreciate about this is is that while the letters are sent from the NMSP Chief, they originate from the people themselves. Every one is a testimonial to my devotion to dealing fairly and equally with everyone. I believe those qualities are what the people will demand from a magistrate judge as well.

Carlos Carillo
A. Having been born and raised and having worked and played in this area all my life, I understand the needs and issues of the citizens of Socorro County whom I hope to serve. Magistrate court is a people’s court, and knowing the people is an important first step. Additionally, I have experience in both law enforcement and the judicial system. I am currently serving as Socorro County probate Judge. Fairly assessing situations, drilling for the facts, using common sense and good judgement based upon the law are skills that I bring with me to the court.
B. My experience as probate judge, along with my role as chairman of the grievance committee of the Local 2106, qualifies me to make fair assessments and judgements. I understand that keeping the peace is not a 8 to 5 job, and I am willing to work as often and as long as necessary to keep the court docket flowing efficiently. I believe in judicial ethical standards and will hold myself and my staff to full compliance.

Probate judge

Darryl Cases
A. I was born and raised in Socorro. Graduated from Socorro High School, diploma from TVI (currently CNM) in electrical trades. Retired from New Mexico Tech, EMRTC, after 25 years. I am highly motivated to learn new skills. I enjoy working with members of the community.
B. As a combat recon Marine veteran, I served in the Persian Gulf War (Honorable Discharge from service). I served my country, and now I would like to serve my community. Duty calls.

Monica J. Duke
A. I have the utmost respect and a good understanding of the law. I have an associate of arts in criminal justice administration and am currently working on my bachelor’s. I have been in the public’s eye since 1994, and I have the experience with the people and with being a citizen of Socorro County. I have the desire to achieve the best for the community as an elected official and the willingness to continue to serve the community in the best way I can, while upholding the law to ensure that all people are served with justice and integrity.
B. I am driven to support and help the people of Socorro County, to receive the justice they deserve based on facts and the judicial process. I have the education and knowledge to fulfill the position of probate judge to the best ability possible. I am dedicated, trustworthy, reliable and will do my best to ensure the law is upheld without prejudice, bias, or unfair actions before or beyond the duty of a probate judge.

Richard T. Ritter
A. I am a practicing certified public accountant specializing in individual and small business taxation and related tax and estate planning issues. In the normal conduct of my professional practice, I assist clients with estate and probate issue on a routine basis. I understand the importance and the function the probate court serves for the residents of Socorro County.
B. I have been a self-employed certified public accountant licensed to conduct business in New Mexico for 39 plus years assisting my clients with taxation and estate tax issues primarily. This experience has allowed me to gain the knowledge, compassion and wisdom to conduct the duties of probate judge in a rational and equitable manner for all county residents.

County Commission District 1

Pauline Jaramillo
A. Lifelong resident of Socorro County, owner of Jaramillo’s Plumbing for over 30 years, I have brought sound business skills to the County Commission for the past 3.5 years. I have been certified as a county commissioner and public official through the Edge program at New Mexico State University, which has made me a better leader in decision making for the betterment of Socorro County employees and constituents.
B. I am unopposed at this time, but I would like to thank Socorro County for believing in me, and I will continue to work diligently with the constituents of Socorro County.

County Commission District 3

Manuel E. Anaya
A. Been serving as NM Compac Chairman for the United Mine Workers of America for the last eight years; appointed by Governor Richardson to Miners Colfax Medical Center Board of Trustees, a state-run Hospital in Raton; retained by Governor Martinez to MCMC Board of Trustees, where I currently serve as Chairman with my term expiring later this year; also on the negotiating team for Dicaperl Minerals – UMWA contracts where I have been employed for the past 18 years, fighting for the best benefits and wages possible without jeopardizing employment or profit.
B. Experience. Between our Local Union UMWA 3106 at Dicaperl Minerals Corp in Socorro and the MCMC state-run hospital in Raton, I’ve had to learn to deal with contracts, grievances, dealing with insurance, dealing with social security and working with the state personnel office to hire employees at the hospital ranging anywhere from a cook to a doctor to a CEO. Finally,  dealing with a $120,000,000 in the permanent trust fund and $9,000,000 in the operating budget for the hospital and long-term facility which is nationally ranked. Thank you, and your support will be greatly appreciated.

Anthony Baca
A. A commitment to listening to the needs of the community, balancing the outcomes of the actions of the county’s governing body with the constituents and the other government bodies and work to help everyone understand the benefits of compromise.
B. Primarily I will bring financial experience that I have gained from my business. I am recognized and respected by the community and sensitive to its needs. I am willing to give Socorro County my very best.

County sheriff

Ambrosio M. Armijo
A. Sixteen years experience including serving as undersheriff. I also served as sheriff in 1980. A lot of people wanted me to run again. Everywhere I go, there’s always people asking why wouldn’t I run again.
B. I have way more experience than the other candidates. I know how to talk to people. I never used to carry a gun, but I always did what I had to do. That is the difference between me and them. I have a lot of respect for people, and people respect me.

Angel Garcia
A. I started my career as a corrections officer at the Socorro County Detention Center and moved into statewide inmate transport from detention centers to prisons for approximately five years. I am a certified police officer and have been with the Socorro Police Department for 16 years. I currently hold the position of captain. I have numerous hours of basic and advance training in the field of investigation, homicide investigations, interview and interrogations, collection and preservation of evidence, narcotics, surveillance and undercover operations. I volunteered for duty post at the high school to interact with the students.
B. As a lifelong resident of Socorro County, I am committed to our community. It is my home. In addition to my law enforcement and investigative background, I understand the wants and needs of the people of our community. As a school resource officer, I’m intimately aware of the need to focus attention on our youth to address the drug epidemic in Socorro County. I have the skills to build programs within the sheriff’s office to actively conduct undercover operations and address street level dealers. As an administrator, I know what it means to manage resource allocation.

William Armijo
A. Sergeant/U.S. Army National Guard, Lieutenant/San Antonio Volunteer Fire Department, Sergeant/New Mexico Tech Police Department, Deputy/Socorro County Sheriff’s Department. All four positions require leading personnel in various tasks and operations. In general, all law enforcement officers are put in positions to make command decisions every day that affect people’s lives. The decisions we make can be under very stressful situations requiring us to think under extreme pressure.  My experience in law enforcement, emergency medical services and the military has prepared me for taking on the task of leading the Sheriff’s Department in a positive direction.
B. I have working knowledge of the day to day operations of the Socorro County Sheriff’s Department.  I understand the current needs of the department, employees and the community. I have established a rapport with residents throughout the county of Socorro. I still believe in “To Serve and Protect”.  As law enforcement officers we work for the community and I believe we have an obligation to provide our community with professional, courteous, well equipped, and well trained deputies. I have integrity, I am honest and I am not willing to compromise my morals to accomplish these ideals.

Ray Spurgin
A. I have enjoyed a career in law enforcement, holding a wide range of positions with the Socorro County Sheriff’s Department, from that of basic officer all the way to “top dog” (Sheriff), and understand all the many ramifications of being an officer, administrator and head of the department — the positive and the negative.
B. I have experience working with the public in various capacities: community policing, establishing neighborhood watch programs, etc. My skills include narcotics investigation, homicide investigation, investigation of sexual crimes against children, white collar crime, etc. I have stayed current
with the latest in investigative techniques (and I watch “CSI.”).

Edmond B. Sweeney III
A. Experience that qualifies me comes from over 37 years of military (USMC) and law enforcement experience (NCIS Supervisory Special Agent retired) and public service. I’ve worked as a Socorro County Deputy since 2010. I’m a trainer; expert in criminal investigations work. I understand Socorro County and the daily patrol work necessary to meet its needs. I’m a knowledgeable administrator who has years of experience working with budgets, other governmental agencies; I know how to manage a law enforcement agency and personnel. I’m prepared to take responsibility for the administration of the Sheriff’s Office and its ethical duty to our citizens.
B. My law enforcement investigations/management experience ranging from simple larceny to terrorism, education (BA psychology/poli-sci). I’m an independent thinker, blessed to have had an excellent education and extensive work experience/knowledge to bring to the job. My experience, gained from working with law enforcement agencies from all over the world brings with it new ideas for dealing with the law enforcement problems facing our county. I’m independent and believe strongly that integrity is the cornerstone of law enforcement. I remain committed to the fair and equal treatment of all our citizens, always mindful of the victim and accountable to the county taxpayers.

County assessor

Dan Armijo
A. My education is in accounting, and my experience is in management and policy development.
I will use my background as a foundation. In addition, I will complete the four certification levels required of the county assessor to provide the highest standard of accountability and customer service. In his four years, the current assessor has not completed one level of this certification process. My education consists of comprehensive tax accounting, managerial accounting, business law, business accounting, excel and access to name a few. My experience includes Socorro city councilor, senior center director and social security administration. I’m a Vietnam era veteran.
B. A major separation exists between us. The current assessor wants to privatize the primary duty of the office. I disagree. I believe retaining experienced and well-trained personnel is how we accomplish our primary duty of a fair, equitable and correct appraisal of your property. In order to retain such personnel, I will engage in discussion with all elected officials to improve the salaries and to increase the retirement percentage for my staff. I understand your largest financial investment is your property. With this understanding, all my efforts will be geared toward what’s right for the taxpayer.

Henry Jojola
A. I came into this office wanting to serve my community and not knowing the full expanse of that commitment. However, I have learned a lot. I’m still learning every day, now more than ever. I want to serve the people of Socorro County by ensuring fairness and equality in the property tax process. Upon becoming assessor, I have realized that there are laws that must be followed, and there are reasons as to why these laws are in place.
B. I have had more than 3 and a half years of experience in the assessor’s office, along with my previous managerial experience. As a result of the time I have been in office, we brought our taxable value within the city limits up by $6.33 million and reduced the actual value by $2.5 million. This means we were able to add value to the tax rolls with unreported property, while reducing the tax obligation for those properties already on the tax rolls. I take an active role in the appraisal process, working in the field with my appraisers.