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Three seats up for election

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Four Democrats compete for the nomination in Disitrict 4

By Susan M. Bryan

ALBUQUERQUE — Three seats on the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission areup for grabs today in New Mexico’s primary and none of the races feature an incumbent.

Land Commissioner Pat Lyons faced former state legislator and retired magistrate Robert Corn of Roswell in the Republican primary in District 2 in southeastern and eastern New Mexico. Lyons could not run for land commissioner again because of term limits.

Four Democrats compete for the nomination for District 4 in northwestern New Mexico, where incumbent Democrat Carol Sloan was ineligible to run again because of felony convictions.

The District 5 Republican primary drew four men — Las Cruces businessman Jamie Estrada, former Dona Ana County Commissioner D. Kent Evans, former state lawmaker Ben Hall of Ruidoso and mortgage broker Robert P. Maez of Valencia County.

The PRC regulates electric, gas and water utilities, as well as some telecommunications, transportation, pipeline and insurance companies.

The winner between Lyons and Corn will advance to the general election and face Tularosa businesswoman Stephanie DuBois, who drew no opposition for the Democratic nomination in District 2. The seat opened because term limits prevented incumbent Republican David King from seeking re-election.

With Sloan unable to run again, the Democratic race in District 4 drew four contenders — former Gallup mayor George Galanis, who owns an Indian arts and crafts business; Theresa Becenti-Aguilar of Albuquerque, a former Native American liaison for the PRC; certified public accountant Andrew Leo Lopez of Albuquerque; and Hank Hughes, who heads the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness.

Republican Gary Montoya was unopposed in the District 4 primary.

Sloan was placed on probation in May for aggravated battery and aggravated burglary convictions after hitting a woman whom she had accused of having an affair with her husband.

The GOP winner in District 5 will face former Dona Ana County Commissioner Bill McCamley, who had no opposition in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Sandy Jones sought the Democratic nomination for land commissioner instead of seeking re-election in the south-central and southwestern New Mexico district.