Tierna Unruh-Enos is publisher at The Paper.

Albuquerque Public Schools

Much like the City Council, the Albuquerque Public School Board election gave way to more conservative candidates. There’s been a lot of hype about school board elections these days. Even those without kids have started to take notice. Why is that? School boards are the governing body behind the school district and can have a lot of sway. For example, school boards in New Mexico were able to decide when students should return to in-person learning during the COVID pandemic. Lately, school board elections have become a political arena where school board members tout their political beliefs as standards for education. Political Action Committees have even been throwing money behind candidates.

To say it’s been a stressful year to be a school board member is an understatement. In this year’s election, four of seven Albuquerque Public School Board seats were up for grabs. There were no incumbents running. Those open seats attracted both progressive and conservative candidates alike.

District 3: Albuquerque and Valley High School Area

The winner: Four candidates ran for this open seat, and it was a close race between the top two candidates, Jinx Baskerville and Danielle Marie Gonzales, both Democrats. As of press time, Gonzales has squeaked by Baskerville to win this district.

District 5: West Mesa High School Area

The winner: Crystal Tapia-Romero won this district by a wide margin. Tapia-Romero ran on a conservative platform and is the founder of New Mexico Early Learning Academy. She sits on the Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC) for the Governor’s Office.

District 6: Eldorado, Manzano and Sandia High School Areas

The winner: Only two candidates ran for this seat, and Josefina Dominguez emerged as the clear winner. Dominguez was an educator for 28 years and was endorsed by the Albuquerque Teacher’s Federation. She ran a nonpartisan election but has been associated with the Democratic Party of NM.

District 7: Del Norte and La Cueva High School Areas

The winner: Republican Courtney Jackson won this seat in the far NE Heights. Currently, she’s serving as an APS Education Board Foundation member. She is a Girl Scout Troop leader and holds a Juris Doctorate from UNM School of Law.