FARMINGTON — The names of the candidates running for district school boards across San Juan County are in.

The San Juan County Clerk's Office collected the names of candidates from Aztec, Bloomfield, Central Consolidated and Farmington districts Tuesday. The office required all candidates to turn in their applications between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

There were only a few glitches.

In the Aztec Municipal School District, one single-member election district was left without a candidate.

This year is the first that the school district has had its own election districts. Before that, board members were elected at-large, meaning they didn't represent a specific district.

Because Aztec grew in the past decade, and surpassed a population of 16,000, the school board was forced to divide the school district into five separate election districts.

Candidates will be up for election in Districts 1, 2, and 3 in Aztec. Mitch Waggoner is running unopposed in District 1, and Christina Lillywhite is running unopposed in District 2. Both are current board members, with Waggoner as the current board president. Both are from Aztec.

"It's all about collaboration," said Aztec district Superintendent Kirk Carpenter.

Carpenter was not entirely surprised that District 3 was left hanging because election districts are so new.

"This is a first time," said Carpenter.


Come election time, the ballot likely will have a write-in option for Aztec's third district. If no one is elected, the board may have to hold a special election for a board member that may not necessarily reside in District 3.

Central Consolidated School District also has a possible controversy.

In District 1, current board member Randy Manning, who has been on the board since 1996, will be running against Fred Hatathlie. Hatathlie may not have registered to vote, however, in a timely manner.

"He had to be registered by the day the district passed the resolution for the election," said County Clerk Debbie Holmes.

Documents at the clerk's office showed that Hatathlie registered to vote on Dec. 14, though the board passed the resolution Nov. 15.

The clerk's office will evaluate matter, and then will follow up with Hatathlie in a letter. He can challenge the clerk's office in court if he feels the need, Holmes said.

In the event that Hatathlie did not register to vote in a timely manner, Manning will run unopposed.

"What are my priorities going to be? Education," Manning said Tuesday at the clerk's office. "I'm worried about our kids being able to read, write, and speak."

Manning and Hatathlie are both from Kirtland.

In District 4, current board secretary Christina Aspaas will be running against two other candidates, Irene Blue Eyes Claw and Randy Jensen.

Jensen, of Farmington, is the husband of former Central Consolidated Assistant Superintendent Sharon Jensen.

Candidacy filings went smoothly in Bloomfield and Farmington. Robyn Hoffman is running unopposed for the District 2 seat, currently held by board Secretary Nancy DeLong. Current board Deputy Secretary Bill Young will be running unopposed in District 3, the district he currently serves.

In Bloomfield, Karen A. Ransom will run against Bruce Armenta. Ransom is a current board member, and is the only current one running in this election.

"I'm finishing 16 years. I'm going to go for 20, I guess," Ransom said. "Consistency is really important."

Running in District 4 are Eric Smith, Cecelia Chiquito, and Dawn Moore.

Running in District 5 are Veronica Tso and Ben Woody Jr. Woody is the current chapter president for the Huerfano Chapter.

"We don't get a lot of feedback out there from the board," Woody said.

School board elections will be held county-wide on Feb. 5. Write-in filing day is Jan. 2, books close Jan. 8, and absentee voting lasts Jan. 11 to Feb. 1.

For more information contact the San Juan County Clerk's Office at 505-334-9471 or visit 100 S. Oliver Dr., Suite 200 in Aztec.