Voters in San Juan County have the opportunity to fulfill their civic duty by voting in the March 4 election. We have seen abysmal turnout for recent elections in our area. That is inexcusable, especially with the convenience of early voting and flexible polling locations.

Looking at the contested races on March 4, we see three races of particular interest: Aztec District 2 Commission; Farmington Mayor; and Farmington District 4 City Council.

In Aztec, incumbent Mayor Sally Burbridge is facing a challenge from Joe Hubbard, a former city employee, for the District 2 commission seat. We give the nod to Mayor Burbridge to serve another term as the District 2 Commission representative. Mayor Burbridge has shown the dedication and tenacity to make a difference in her community. During her two terms as mayor, Burbridge's leadership skills have helped the city improve quality of life through various projects. She wants to move the city forward, continuing progress on the Pedestrian Trail and Bridge and the East Arterial Route projects. Both projects will make Aztec a better and safer community. We feel Aztec will benefit from allowing Burbridge to continue in her leadership role.

In the Farmington Mayor's race, incumbent Tommy Roberts is being challenged by Matt Dodson, a semi-retired oil field worker. Based on the leadership Roberts has displayed over the last four years, we feel he has earned the right to serve another term. Roberts, who also is an oil and gas attorney, has been an upfront and honest man. He has displayed a passion for getting more citizens involved in city governance and committees and diligently works at improving race relations in the area. Despite hard economic times over the last four years, Roberts, the city administration and the council have been able to exercise prudent fiscal management and have built up reserve cash balances. City services have not seen drastic cuts in the process, protecting Farmington's quality of life. With another term as Farmington mayor, we expect to see good things continue to happen under Roberts' leadership.

In the Farmington District 4 City Council race, departing councilor Jason Sandel left a big void to fill. His decision to not seek reelection could have resulted in a significant loss in leadership had a quality candidate not stepped forward to fill the seat. Fortunately for residents in District 4, two good candidates are willing to serve. In Debra Mayeux and Nate Duckett, both long time residents, voters will need to choose the person they feel with best represent them. We think that either candidate is capable of serving with character and conviction to better their community. But based on Duckett's business experience and leadership positions he has assumed in the community, we give the nod to Duckett in District 4.

The most important part of election day is that citizens show up to cast their ballot. Each of us play a vital role in choosing who will represent us in all levels of government. Tuesday all registered voters have the opportunity to participate in this important process.