Candidate forums for those running for mayor and Village Council are scheduled for Monday, February 7 and Thursday, February 10, but only accessible via Zoom thus far. League of Women Voters volunteers will moderate, enforce time limits and vet questions. Organizers urge citizens to submit questions in advance. Opportunities to ask questions during the forums via Zoom may be limited. A volunteer from the league will decide which questions are asked of candidates. The format is expected to be that for a webinar, rather than typical Zoom Village Council meeting.
Requests for invitations to participate can be made at the Village of Corrales website, http://www.corrales-nm.org, after clicking on the “Election 2022” tab. Under that tab, another link will allow you to submit questions which should be targeted to the mayoral or council candidate. Questions will go to the League of Women Voters moderator and a vetter. The webinar forums are expected to run from 6 to 9 p.m., although half of that will be devoted to the two candidates running for mayor, Gary Kanin and Jim Fahey, while the remainder of time will be given to candidates to represent Council Districts 1, 3 and 4.
No in-person forums had been announced by press time for this issue presumably due to pandemic precautions.
Early voting for the March 1 municipal election began February 1.
Candidates for Village Council are:
District 1 – Cora “Cory” Frantz and Rick Miera;
District 3 – Mel Knight and Andy Dilts;
District 4 – John Alsobrook and Courtenay Eichhorst.
In the campaigns so far, most fervor has been generated over the race for mayor; advocates for former Councillor Jim Fahey and former Mayor Gary Kanin are most active. (See the outpouring of endorsement letters to the editor in this issue, starting on Page 2.)
Kanin is seeking another term as mayor, although it’s been 12 years since he stepped down. He was mayor from 1991, when then-Mayor John Callan resigned, to 2006, when he decided not to seek another term but ran for a seat on the Village Council instead. He lost that race to Fahey.
In Council District 1, in the northwest area of the village, Kevin Lucero chose not to seek another term, leaving a vacancy for candidates Cory Frantz and Rick Miera.
Frantz is a 17-year Corrales resident who has worked in customer service for major multinational corporations. She continues to work full time. Frantz holds a degree in business administration with a focus in marketing from Mercer University, and has completed coursework for a master’s in business administration at Loyola University.
Also seeking the District 1 seat is Rick Miera who ran for N.M. lieutenant governor in 2018. He has worked as a therapist, drug counselor and program administrator for more than 40 years, working primarily with youth and at-risk groups.
In District 3, incumbent Mel Knight seeks a new term on the council. She moved to New Mexico more than 40 years ago after earning a master’s degree in speech pathology. “When I was working at Albuquerque Public Schools, I came on a field trip to Corrales and fell in love with the open space and greenery,” the Chicago native recalled.
Knight has served on the Corrales Planning and Zoning Commission, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Corrales Historical Society and Friends of Corrales Library, among other volunteer groups.
A second candidate for the District 3 seat, Andy Dilts, is a design engineer at Sandia Labs. He holds degrees in electrical engineering. He moved from the Chicago area to Albuquerque in 2001. After marrying here and starting a family which now includes five children, the couple bought a lot in Corrales in 2012 and have lived here since 2015.
“The primary issue that led me to run for Village Council is commercial cannabis in residential areas,” he said. “While this issue was voted on during the special session, I doubt that it is entirely laid to rest as state regulations are still in flux. Cannabis is not traditional farming!”
In Council District 4, the sitting councillor has chosen not to run for a new term. But a former councillor for that district, John Alsobrook, is. He had to resign in 2016 for his work as director of a research lab in Seattle.
The Adaptive Biotechnologies lab at which he works focuses primarily on the human body’s response to cancer cells, particularly leukemia. He now directs the program remotely.
In 2005, he joined the Albuquerque-based Exagen Diagnostics firm, and moved his family into a home on Corrales’ Coronado Road in spring 2006.
Alsobrook took a seat on the Village Council in 2008, eventually winning two terms.
Another well-known name is a candidate for the District 4 council seat: Courtenay Eichhorst. For more than six years, the Cibola High graduate has been the business manager for the Local 412 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union.
His father, Bob Eichhorst, served on the Village Council in its early days as a municipality, and his mother, Susi Eichhorst, was for decades the best-known person at Corrales Elementary School.
The candidate serves as chairman on the N.M. Workers Compensation Advisory Council, appointed by Governor Susanna Martinez. He was appointed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to the N.M. Apprenticeship Technical advisory Council.
Terms are not expiring for Councillors Bill Woldman, Stu Murray and Zach Burkett, nor for Municipal Judge Michelle Frechette.
Candidate profiles for the competitive races will be published in Corrales Comment’s February 19 issue.
In the mayor’s race, both Fahey and Kanin are retired. Kanin was an advertising account executive for KOAT-TV. Fahey was a surgeon with a practice in
Fahey served for 12 years on the council. He has also been elected to several terms on the board of directors for the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority for which he is now chairman.
Kanin’s long run as mayor initiated many of the community’s most popular programs, such as the Bosque Preserve, buying land for the rec center and bringing the south end of Corrales into Sandoval County. He has lived here since 1965. Kanin has been known as a fighter to retain Corrales’ one dwelling per acre rule.
His supporters say he will best protect neighborhoods from commercial marijuana farming.