Larry Challenger chats with a couple out for a walk Tuesday afternoon near Meadowlark Senior Center, where he had been with his two dogs since earlier that morning, when it was 38 degrees outside. He was encouraging anyone driving or walking by to vote for his longtime buddy Dan Stoddard, who ended up winning the District 6 city council seat. Photo by Gary Herron.

The few Rio Rancho voters who showed up approved both proposed general obligation bonds, kept an incumbent in office and chose two new councilors during the city election Tuesday.

The election had a 9 percent voter turnout with 5,990 ballots cast, according to the City of Rio Rancho website.

About half of those voters – 2,978 people – turned out on Election Day. Just less than half of participating voters – 2,924 individuals – cast ballots early, and 106 people returned absentee ballots.

In District 1, incumbent City Councilor Jim Owen kept his seat, getting 64.6 percent of the vote.

Jim Owen

Challenger Anthony Felimon Torres received 35.4 percent.

Councilor Jeremy Lenentine ran unopposed in District 2 to finish the final two years of the term vacated by former Councilor Dawnn Robinson when her family moved to Atlanta. Lenentine was appointed to the position last year and required to run for election this year, as per city regulations.

In District 4, Paul M. Wymer garnered almost 70 percent of the vote, leaving Ryan C. Parra with a little more than 30 percent. Incumbent Marlene Feuer didn’t run for re-election.

Parra has served one term as a Rio Rancho Public Schools Board of Education member, ending last year. Wymer is the current Rio Rancho Planning and Zoning

Paul M. Wymer

Board member representing District 4.

District 6 saw a tight race, with challenger Daniel J. Stoddard winning with 53.6 percent of the voters, and 46.4 percent of voters supporting incumbent David L. Bency. That’s a difference of 105 votes.

Stoddard, Wymer and Owen have four-year terms.

The Public Safety General Obligation Bond passed with 72.2 percent of voters supporting it, and 27.8 percent against it. That support is down slightly from Rio Rancho’s first-ever public-safety bond, approved by 73.3 percent of voters in 2018.

Daniel J. Stoddard

That bond will raise $3.79 million for police and fire vehicles and facility improvements. It will be repaid with property taxes.

The bond replaces the 2018 bond, which is expiring, so it won’t increase property taxes.

Voters also approved the Road General Obligation Bond, with 75.67 percent for it and 24.33 percent against. The road bond also saw slightly less support this year than in 2018, when 77.7 percent of voters supported the bond.

That bond will generate $10.8 million to repave or repair roads in the city and be repaid with property taxes. It’s also replacing an expiring 2018 bond, so it won’t raise the tax rate.

The election results are unofficial until the county canvassing board approves them March 13. New and re-elected city councilors are scheduled to be sworn into office April 1.

All results were reported from the city website.

Check Sunday’s Observer for a story with comments from candidates.