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Primary election 2010 has arrived

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Local, state and congressional races should be decided before midnight

By Carol A. Clark

Early and absentee voters cast 862 votes for their candidates of choice during the last 28 days. Ballots mailed in are not included in that tally. Those votes will be counted this evening, said Deni Fell from the County Clerk’s Office.

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Election officials aren’t sure what the turnout will be at the polls from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. today.

“We don’t know what to expect but early and absentee voting appears to be light,” Election Manager Gloria Maestas said.

Local Democrats intend to gather at 7 p.m. in the Quark Room at Central Avenue Grill to share in the election night excitement.

“I’m not sure how things are going to turn out but I’m really looking forward to knowing the outcome so we can get busy working on the general election,” said Los Alamos Democratic Party Chair Cathy Chapman.

Chapman has served as chair for about 18 months. She was the party’s vice chair for two years when Steve Fettig was chair. Chapman also served as vice chair when Abe Jacobson was chair.

Los Alamos Republican Party Chair Ron Dolin said the local party isn’t planning a formal event this evening.

“Each person is doing their own thing,” he said. “My son Josh is Los Alamos campaign chair for Doug Turner who’s running for governor. Josh and I plan to gather in Albuquerque at Doug Turner’s event.”

Dolin expressed delight with the eight candidates running for Los Alamos County Council on the GOP ticket.

“It’s going to be a very interesting election,” he said. “It’s been a while since we’ve had a primary for council and with former councilors and new candidates running, I see that as a positive because it shows the interest people have in the county’s business. I’m a big believer in primaries. I think there should be lots of candidates to give voters lots of choices.”

Dolin is in the first year of his second two-year term leading the local party.

All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 36 of the 100 U.S. Senate seats are up in this election along with 38 state and territorial governorships.

New Mexico Democratic gubernatorial candidate Diane Denish is running unopposed and will face one of five Republican candidates.

“Doug Turner received 47 percent of the polling vote following the televised debate, which means we have three in the race,” Dolin said.

He was referring to another recent poll that placed Allen Weh and Susanah Martinez in a statistical dead heat at 30 plus percent each. Turner, Pete Domenici Jr., and Janice Arnold-Jones trailed far behind before last week’s debate.

Thirty-six of the nation’s 59 governors are up for election. Other statewide officer elections include lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, state auditor, attorney general, land commissioner, state judicial branch and House seat 43.

Los Alamos Democrats Pete Sheehey and Stephanie Richard are battling for Republican Jeannette Wallace’s seat, which she’s held for the last nine two-year terms. Wallace also lives in New Mexico.

In other local races, incumbent JoAnn Johnson, also a Republican, is running unopposed for county assessor. Democrat Marco Lucero is running unopposed for county sheriff. Incumbent Y. Ellen Hong, a Democrat, is unopposed for county probate judge. Republican Alan Kirk is the Municipal Court judge incumbent running unopposed. Incumbent Magistrate Court Judge Pat Casados, a Democrat, is running against Republican Gary Ahlers.

Wednesday is the filing deadline for third party and Independents.