You may need to hire some help…
… to cast your ballot in the June 2 primary elections.
A plethora of candidates want your vote to fill local, state and federal offices. For starters, 12 names are shown running for president of the United States on Democrats’ ballot, including those who have withdrawn already. Libertarians will have 12 presidential candidates to choose from, including Daniel Behrman of Las Vegas, New Mexico, whose email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
A total of eight Corraleños will be on the party primary ballots. Running for a variety of positions are Jane Powdrell-Culbert, Bob Perls, Daymon Ely, Ben Rodefer, Brenda McKenna, Kevin Lucero, Tania Dennis and Audrey Mendonca-Trujillo. Perhaps the most populous ballot category for New Mexicans will be choices for New Mexico’s Third Congressional District to replace Congressman Ben Ray Lujan who is running for retiring Senator Tom Udall’s seat.
Registered Republicans will be asked to choose from six candidates running in the Third Congressional District: Harry Montoya of Santa Fe; Karen Evette Bodonie of Navajo; Alexis Johnson of Santa Fe; Anise Golden-Morper of Angel Fire; Audra Brown of Portales; and a write-in, Angel Morales of Rio Rancho.
In the same race, Democrats’ choices are: Teresa Leger Fernandez of Santa Fe; Laura Montoya of Rio Rancho, Marco Serna of Santa Fe, Joseph Sanchez of Alcalde; Valerie Plame of Santa Fe, John Blair of Santa Fe; and John Tisdale of Taos.
In the First Congressional District, Democrat incumbent Deb Haaland has no challenger in the primary. On the Republican side, candidates for that seat are Michelle Garcia Holmes of Bernalillo, Jaren Vander Dussen of Albuquerque and Brett Kokinadis of Santa Fe. For the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Udall, the following Republican candidates have entered the race: Elisa Martinez of Albuquerque; Mark Ronchetti of Albuquerque; Gavin Clarkson of Las Cruces; Richard Montoya Sr. of Rio Rancho; Mick Rich of Albuquerque; and Louie Sanchez of Albuquerque.
Libertarian Party candidate Bob Walsh of Santa Fe is also seeking that seat.
The sole Democrat on the primary ballot for the U.S. Senate seat is Ben Ray Lujan.
Fields are also crowded for seats in the N.M. Legislature.
In N.M. Senate District 9, four candidates are from Corrales; one Republican and three Democrats. Corrales Democrats running to replace State Senator John Sapien of Corrales are: Brenda McKenna; Ben Rodefer and Kevin Lucero. A fourth who had filed for that race, Placitas Democrat Jodilynn Ortiz, has withdrawn.
Republicans seeking the State Senate District 9 seat are: Bridget Condon of Rio Rancho, John Clark of Placitas; and Tania Dennis of Corrales.
Running for the N.M. House District 44 seat are Republican incumbent Jane Powdrell-Culbert of Corrales; Rio Rancho Libertarian Jeremy Myers; and Rio Rancho Democrat Gary Tripp.
Another Corrales incumbent seeking re-election is Daymon Ely, the Democrat who now holds the N.M. House District 23 seat. He has a Corrales challenger in the June 2 primary: Audrey Mendonca-Trujillo.
The sole Republican running for the House District 23 seat is Ellis McMath of Albuquerque.
Yet another Corraleño will be on the ballot: Democrat Bob Perls is running for Sandoval County Clerk. He is competing against Anne Brady-Romero of Algodones and Pete Salazar of Bernalillo in the Democratic primary. The sole Republican seeking election as Sandoval County Clerk is Lawrence Griego of Rio Rancho.
For the position of Sandoval County Treasurer, three Rio Rancho Republicans want the job: Jennifer Taylor, Benay Ward and Carlos Sanchez. For Democrats, Ronnie Sisneros of Bernalillo is the sole candidate for Treasurer. For Sandoval County Commission District 2, incumbent Republican Jay Block of Rio Rancho has no challenger. The Democrat seeking that position, Leah Michelle Ahkee-Baczkiewicz of Rio Rancho also has no opponent.
The Frontier Mart has been sold to a Corrales couple who intend to keep the store going. The new owners are Gabriel and Elizabeth Holguin; the business was already in existence as “Corrales Market” when Jean Blackmon Waszak and partners took it over in 1976.
For decades, the enterprise, also known affectionately as “the little store” was the setting for a column she wrote for Corrales Comment, “Reflections from a Country Store.” She suspended the column last year after to her husband’s serious injury. John Waszak, a former professional football player, is recovering and undergoing physical therapy.
For years after she acquired the store, it was located in the building next door, now known as “The Bunkhouse.” Jean and John Waszak bought the adjacent property and built the new store in 1997.
They put the business and property on the real estate market last year, and turned away several potential buyers who they felt were “not the right fit.”
“Gabe has a passion for the store. He’s a lot younger, has a good attitude and is a hard-worker,” she said, in an April 6 interview with the Comment.
If anything, she said, she herself is working harder than ever. “I’m working night and day and haven’t had a day off in months. Every day, there’s a new crisis.”
The ordeal they are facing now is basically the same that everyone else must deal with: coping with the coronavirus pandemic. “You asked how Corrales and the Frontier Mart have changed over the years,” Waszak reply to a Comment inquiry. “I’d have to say that in 1976 the Frontier Mart started out as a convenience store. Convenience stores were up and coming in 1976. But over the years we tried to retain the convenience and add more groceries. Now we consider ourselves a little grocery store with a full line of basic groceries and produce.
“We’ve also evolved into a source for made-in-New-Mexico food products which has been great fun.
“As for Corrales, we’ve seen our village change in so many ways. One major change has been that Corraleños have become much more business-friendly. In the old days many Corraleños thought businesses were a threat to the rural ambience of the village. But nowadays villagers seem much more appreciative of our business community. That’s a really nice change.
“John and I have not reflected too much on what we will do when we retire from the store. We’d thought we might travel a bit. But of course, now that will have to wait until the virus threat has lessened. “We plan to work on our house and build a new bedroom. We look forward to having some down time —maybe we’ll sleep-in once in a while. We’ll enjoy having evenings when we don’t do the accounting or make grocery orders.
“I think I’d like to cook and read and write —not in that order. I expect at first there’ll be a big emptiness and we’ll have to remind ourselves that this is what we wanted. But we’ll get past it. “I’m determined that we won’t bother Gabriel unless he calls us. John and I will miss the daily contact with customers and our teammates at the store, but we won’t miss the responsibility. When it’s time to clean the cotton out of the compressors on the roof, or change the light bulbs in the ceiling, I’m going to love retirement!”
Right now, she said, “we’re just trying to keep toilet paper and flour and yeast on the shelves. And we’re trying to think how it’s even possible to organize a final inventory. The projects for today include scouting out more hand sanitizer and installing sneeze guards over the check stand. I can’t let myself dream of retirement just yet. Ask me in a month or two.”