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Time for re-election bids shortened due to election date change

November 26, 2018

Four Santa Fe city councilors and the municipal judge have seen their timelines accelerated for potential re-election bids.

Instead of March 2020, the next city election will take place five months earlier by virtue of a charter amendment approved by city voters earlier this month.

Reached last week, each of the city officeholders whose terms will expire early said they had at least considered whether to seek another term, and some confirmed they were in.

District 1: City Councilor Renee Villarreal, 43, said she would seek a second term in the north- and northwest-side district that includes the Plaza and much of the downtown historic districts. Why? She said she has more work to do. “A four-year term is not enough,” Villarreal said. “It’s not enough to get the things you want done. I feel like just the first two years you’re kind of getting more of the systems and processes down, and learning staff.” Villarreal works at the Santa Fe Community Foundation and has emphasized social justice and equity issues on the council dais.

District 2: City Councilor Peter Ives, 64, said he was still weighing whether to seek a third term in the southeast-side district that includes many residential areas and Canyon Road. He mentioned that he and his wife, Patricia, just became grandparents. “Juggling life’s new opportunities,” he said. “But if I think I can continue to make a difference and have a positive impact in connection with those issues I’m passionate about, heck yes.” Ives is an attorney and serves as the council’s parliamentarian while also chairing the Public Works Committee.

District 3: City Councilor Chris Rivera, 52, said he was “leaning towards” running for a third term in the southwest-side district that includes Airport Road, Tierra Contenta and the Santa Fe Regional Airport. “Of course, a lot could happen in the course of a few months,” he added. A former Santa Fe Fire Department chief, Rivera has a reputation as a reserved councilor and chairs the Public Utilities Committee.

District 4: City Councilor Mike Harris, 70, said he would announce his intentions about whether he will seek a second term sometime after Jan. 1. “It is still a conversation to be had,” he said. A longtime veteran of the local construction business, he represents a south-side district filled with residential neighborhoods and the arts collective sensation Meow Wolf. Harris is an independent voice on the council with a sharp eye for financial detail who has emphasized development of the city-owned airport.

Municipal Court: Municipal Judge Virginia Vigil, 68, serving her first term, said her “initial plan” was to run for two terms. “To date, that has not changed,” she said.

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