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All three incumbents retained their seats on the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District board of directors, including chairwoman Stephanie Russo Baca, following an election on Oct. 3.

Russo Baca, a staff attorney for the Utton Transboundry Resource Center at the University of New Mexico and resident of Los Chavez, earned 1184 votes (56%) to defeat challenger Jerome Cordova, a fifth generation farmer from Jarales, for at-large position 1.

The MRGCD manages irrigation drainage and flood control along the Rio Grande from Cochiti to Belen. It also works to promote efficient and responsible water management, environmental preservation and protection of wildlife and endangered species in cooperation with other local, state and federal agencies, according to its mission statement.

Property owners living within the conservancy district boundaries along the Rio Grande were eligible to vote.

On her campaign website, Russo Baca said she wanted to continue to lead on water issues as a board member of the MRGCD.

“I understand how important Agriculture is to the Middle Valley while also maintaining the flows in the Rio Grande for future generations of farmers. I want to ensure that farming can continue to flourish in the whole valley for generations to come,” she wrote.

She said she believes open communication with other agencies is critical to ensure efficient and responsible water management that protects users.

“I also believe it is important to continue to provide multi-use recreational opportunities within the Middle Rio Grande Valley and to keep the infrastructure well-maintained with long-term solutions for our growing community,” she wrote.

Retaining their seats on the board were Bernalillo County Director John Kelly, who ran unopposed, and Valencia County Director Brian Jiron, who took 46% of the vote in a three-way race.

Also elected were Bernalillo County Director John Kelly (unopposed) and in VC Direcor incumbent Brian Jiron won a close race.

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