Friction Endorses Experienced Candidates in Local Primary

By: Bill Whaley
14 May, 2020

Despite more pressing business, I am taking time off this morning to endorse local candidates with experience and the ability to govern with efficient and knowledgeable skills.

In the District 3 County Commission race, Talpa, Ranchos, Llano area, Darlene Vigil, former County Assessor, is an outstanding candidate, whose experience in County Government means she will hit the ground running. Darlene know the county backwards and forwards from the corners of the Penasco to the outer edges of Costilla and Amalia. As Assessor she guided her office into 21st Century practices, finding untaxed properties and buildings right in the middle of town, while treating citizens with dignity and respect. She’s friendly, hospitable, and smart, exactly the kind of commissioner Taos needs.

In the District 4 race, El Prado, Arroyo Hondo, Arroyo Seco areas, Willie Cordova, like Darlene brings experience to the job. Under Willie’s guidance, he turned the historic Taos County Jail into a model institution. Unfortunately, envidia-ridden commissioners saw fit to terminate him for no good reason. Under Willie’s management there were no jail deaths, no escapes, no scandal for the first and last time in memory. After Willie left, once again, scandal emerged like a virus in the County jail. Folks tend to forget the forgotten and why the new Complex got built, so we could take care of our own. College educated, Willie retired from state service and has worked at TSV, helping organize the shuttle service at Taos’s fabled resort for the last few years. Unlike my old friend, Arsenio, the firebrand, his father, Willie is calm and cool. Like Darlene above, he’s a grass-roots native, who understands the importance of water, land, roads, and the historic relationships that keep Taos culture vibrant. You’re no longer a stranger once you’ve met Willie.

County Clerk candidate Dolores Lujan also brings years of experience to the job as a veteran of the office. Dolores has been campaigning hard for the office, crisscrossing the county to meet residents. She’s friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable about both the administration of the office and friendly. Like Willie, she has a foot in the ski business, helping her partner at Adventure Ski Shops on busy weekends and holidays. According to local citizens, if you have a problem at the Clerk’s office, they say, “Go see Dolores.”

For District Judge Melissa Kennelly has the background, experience, and outstanding credentials, credentials endorsed by the selection committee of the state, who appointed her, and praised by numerous judges (Caldwell, Nelson, McElroy, retired) and attorneys in the community. Like Peggy Nelson, an outstanding judge, Judge Kennelly offers a rare opportunity where you can vote for somebody with a preternatural temperament for the job, who will only improve with age and should be there a long, long time. Melissa, a former police officer, and waitress, free-lanced for Horse Fly and helped develop the “Catalogue of Tears,” a record of solved and unsolved homicides during the 90s and 2000s. “Keep Judge Kennelly.”

For District Attorney Marcus Montoya deserves your consideration. He’s fair minded and believes in resolving cases in favor of justice, not in favor of personal animus or political persecutions. He hasn’t had much time in office, but Friction believes he will grow into his own shoes, which appear comfortable in contrast to the former DA, who seemed comfortable only when he was at home in Questa in slippers.

Friction also endorses Sara Blankenhorn, an attorney, and current incumbent magistrate judge, chosen for the job by Governor Lujan-Grisham. I’ve heard good things about her from insiders at the court and better yet, I’ve have heard nothing bad. She has the same professional credentials that gave Judge Jeff Shannon a leg up on local candidates. She’s an attorney and Taos Friction believes that knowledge of the law helps magistrates deliver an extra modicum of justice.

Editor’s Note. Check the boxes of candidates or not, regardless of whether or not they are opposed to show your approval or disapproval. Though I need say nothing, I cannot bear to say the name of the low dog and current miscreant opposing District Judge Jeff Shannon. Some folks confuse Jeff Shannon with Jeff Sessions because the former passed through Alabama where the latter remains stuck on the local flypaper. Vote for Jeff Shannon and justice will “thunder, thunder, thunder down the road, justice, justice, justice for all” in Taos County.

In a special note, we congratulate Senator Bobby “Roberto” Gonzales, formerly of El Prado, now of Pot Creek, for his appointment and the way he has helped outsmart Republicans in the state legislature. When it comes to taxes, financial regulations, bonds and interest rates, Bobby is your go to guy. He may whisper but he carries a calculator.