There will be a host of county-wide elections in 2018, including all three members of the San Juan County Commission and all five members of the San Juan School Board.
The races will be held in new voting districts that have been set up after several long-standing lawsuits with the Navajo Nation were settled.
The time frame to file a notice of candidacy for a spot on the ballot opens on Friday, March 9 and closes on Thursday, March 15.
In addition to the special elections for commission and school board, there will be a special election for San Juan County Assessor, in addition to races for the county Sheriff, Clerk, and Attorney.
The schedule appears to be set after Federal Judge Robert Shelby recently denied a motion by San Juan County to delay the special election. That decision will be appealed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, CO as part of the county appeal of a series of rulings by Judge Shelby regarding the voting district lawsuits.
Candidates for partisan office have two options, including going through the traditional delegate process or by gathering signatures on a petition to ensure a spot on the primary election ballot.
In San Juan County, three commission candidates have given their notice of intent to gather signatures, including Bruce Adams, Kenneth Maryboy, and Rebecca Benally.
In addition, two candidates for San Juan County Sheriff have signaled their intent to gather signatures on a petition. They are Jason Torgerson and Cal Dean Black.
Primary elections will take place on June 26, and the general election is November 6.
Voters in Bluff will participate in the first election for the new municipality on June 26. They will select a mayor and city council at that time.
The filing period for the Bluff election closed several weeks ago. The list of candidates has shrunk and there will be no need for a primary election to pare the list of candidates in Bluff.
Party officials and election officials have been scrambling to understand the new precinct boundaries established through the recent federal court ruling. See the attached map, which is likely to create more questions than provide answers.
The traditional community-based precincts have been upended by the new voting districts. The boundaries are established by the voting districts. They stretch in a confusing collage that may include several communities in some precincts and no formal communities in other precincts.
The confusion will likely come to a head when the neighborhood caucuses are held on March 20.