Fix Is In To Fill NM House District 25 Vacancy; Cristine Parajón Changed Voter Registration Address Day After Vacancy Occurred; Politcal Movidas At The Worse As County Commissioner Barboa Recruits Parajón

On June 7, New Mexico State Representative Christine Trujillo announced her  resignation from the New Mexico House of Representatives District 25 effective July 1.  It is the responsibility of the Bernalillo County Commission to appoint her replacement to complete the remainder of her term.  The Bernalillo County  Commission will appoint a replacement from the  list of applied candidates at their Friday, August 11 meeting.

Seven candidates have applied to fill the vacancy.  The 7 seven applicants are:

You can review each applicants letter of application and resume by clicking on each of the candidate names above.

The Bernalillo County Commission staff has confirmed that all 7 applicants are in fact registered voters in House District 7 and reside in the district and therefor are eligible to serve if in fact appointed.


On August 2, the House District 25 Democrat Ward and Precinct leadership of Wards 25A, 25B, 25C, and 25D  held  a moderated, in-person candidate forum where  the  Democratic candidates were  allowed to participate in a candidate forum. The Republican candidate was not invited in that it was a Democratic Party event. County Commissioners Adriann Barboa and Eric Olivas attended the forum and were introduced despite the fact they will be voting on August 11 to fill the vacancy.

On August 8, the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County published on its on line weekly news letter “THE BLUE REVIEW” a straw vote taken of those who attended the forum to be used as a recommendation of who the County Commission should appoint.  The summary of the rank based voting is as follows:

  1. Cristina S. Parajón came in first with 52 votes and the clear majority
  2. Sofia M. Sanchez came in second with 23 votes
  3. Sofia M. Sanchez and Derek James Villa-nueva tied  for 3rd with 20 votes each
  4. Brian A. Thomas came in 4th place with 17 votes
  5. Robert L. Padilla came in 5th placewith  18 votes
  6. Andres P. Valdez came in 6th with 19 votes


The current makeup of the current Bernalillo County Commission is as follows:

District 1:  Progressive Democrat Barbara Baca, Commission Chair

District 2:  Moderate Democrat Steven Michael Quezada

District 3:  Progressive Democrat Adriann Barboa

District 4:  Conservative Republican Walt Benson 

District 5:  Progressive Democrat Eric Olivas

The legal and constitutional process of filling vacancies in the New Mexico legislature caused by the early departure of a legislator has always rested with the County Commission where the legislators district is located.  On paper, it is pretty straight forward process.  There are 5 county commissioners and the applicant who  secures a 3 vote majority wins, period, end of discussion.

Appointments to legislative vacancies can be very messy because of political rifts.There currently exists a politcal rift between the 3 Progressive Democrats of Barbara Baca, Adriane Barboa and Eric Olivas who have the majority over Moderate Democrat Stephen Michael Quesada and Conservative Republican Walt Benson.

The last time the Bernalillo County Commission filled a legislative vacancy was last year  when Westside Albuquerque Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas was appointed by the County Commission to serve the remaining 2 years in the New Mexico Senate caused by the resignation of Senator Jacob Candelaria. The November 16 County Commission meeting making the Maestas appointment degenerated into a verbal slug fest of false accusations, innuendos and slurs with one commissioner even calling another commissioner a “bitch”.

It has been confirmed by sources that the desires of the county commissioners whose district the vacancy falls within, which in this case is both Barboa and Olivas, will be given much greater consideration and relied upon. Therefore it will be the progressive majority of Commissioners Baca, Barboa and Olivas who will decide to fill the vacancy giving very little or no consideration to what is said by the other two commissioners.

Based on the Democratic Party straw vote taken, as well as behind the scenes actions of at least two county commissioners, the clear front runner for the County Commission appointment for House District 25 is Cristina Parajón.  Three confidential sources within the Democratic Party, including one Ward chair, have confirmed Progressive Democrat Adriann Barboa recruited Progressive Democrat Cristina S. Parajón to apply for  the  House District 25 vacancy. One confidential source also said Barboa initially wanted Parajón to run for City Council District 6.

Commission Eric Olivas, despite assurances to the contrary that he has not made up his mind who he will vote for, has disclosed to confidential sources he intends to vote for whoever Commissioner Barboa wants which at this point Cristine S. Parajón who Barboa recruited to run.


It was on June 7 that  New Mexico State Representative Christine Trujillo announced her  resignation from the New Mexico House of Representatives, District 25 effective July 1. Review of Cristine S. Parajón’s  voter registration cards reveals that she had lived in the district a mere 22 days before applications were  being  accepted on June 30, 2023 by the Bernalillo County Commission to fill the vacancy.

There are 3 voter registration cards on file with the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office. All 3 merit  review to clear up confusion.

The first voter registration card is dated and signed by Parajón on November 4, 2022. The registration card gives a Broadmoor street address that is not within the House District 25.

The second  Parajón  voter registration card was signed on June 8, 2023 the next day after the Trujillo resignation, making the change in her address for voting purposes and determining the House District where she resides. The new registration card provides a home address on Chinlee Street which is in House District 25. The registration card gives the Broadmoor Avenue Street address where she gets mail.

The  Parajón’s Broadmoor address did cause confusion with the Democratic Party and the Bernalillo County Commission staff who reviewed the DNC VOTEBUIDER data base and county voter registration records respectively that initially determine that  Cristine S. Parajón was  registered at the Broadmoor home address not within District 25.

The second voter registration card  also contains information worth noting. It indicates she lived and was registered to vote in another state before she moved back to Albuquerque. The second voter registration card provides that she gave authorization to cancel her previous voter registration in the city of Cambridge, the County of Middlesex in the State of Massachusetts.  Parajón  is a graduate  of Harvard University, which is located in Cambridge, Mass.,  and ostensibly she registered to vote in Massachusetts while she attended college preferring not to vote absentee in New Mexico.

The third Parajón  voter registration card is dated July 1, 2023. It gives a Chinlee Street address where she lives and the same Chinlee Street address where she gets mail.

During the August 2 forum, Cristine S. Parajón proudly proclaimed she was raised in the House District 25 by her parents in the Altura neighborhood area. But that is far from full disclosure. What she failed to disclose is that she left for a considerable amount of time to go to college at Harvard University and then went to work in New York City to then return to work for the City of Albuquerque. Upon her return to Albuquerque, she did not live in District 25, that is until she was recruited apply for and run for House District 25.   


On August 11 the Bernalillo County Commission will make the final decision as to who they will select to replace State Representative Christine Trujillo.  The problem is that the fix is already in despite all the the efforts of the other applications and efforts  by others.

What has happened with the application process by the Bernalillo County Commission in filling this most recent legislative vacancy is so very wrong on a number of levels.

First, you have 3 County Commissions who could not careless what two of their peers think or have to say and essentially collude behind the scenes.

Second,  you have a County Commissioner go out of her way to recruit her own candidate and act like a king maker giving no consideration to what residents in the District want and need.

Third, you have a number of even more qualified people who have actually lived in the district much longer and who know its problems and who  jumped through the hoops, apply and even participate in good faith in a forum, not realizing that the fix is in thanks to 3 county commissioners.

Fourth, you have an opportunistic politician and applicant go out of her way to move into a district she has not lived in for years and who likely does not really understand the real issues facing the district.

This is the type of “politcal movidas” that destroy the credibility of politicians. It discourages qualified applicants from even applying. This is the very type of politics that gives the County Commission the bad name it has with the filling of legislative vacancies.  It also encourages County Commissioners and their appointees to being “primaried” as the seek their own elections in 2024 with Adriann Barboa in particular seeking a second term.


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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.