Local Winners, more to follow

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OK, just to get this out there for those who are wondering:

Grant County Sheriff

Raul Holguin (D): 3,958 58.64%
James Koons (R): 2,792 41.36%

(I have to say, I didn’t think this race would be such a blowout. Bully came close to 60%, despite the negative campaign (on both sides) and with Koons outspending him.)

Grant County Commission, District 2
Rodolpho Martinez (D): 1,520 58.33%
Diana Garretson (R): 1,086 41.67%

Grant County Assessor
Randy Villa (D): 4,218 63.27%
Lucy Whitmarsh (R): 2,449 36.73%

Those are the local, contested races. I’m going to grab a bite of dinner, and I’ll be back with more on the Grant County results, along with info on statewide races.

4:30 turnout update

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Well, so far it looks like Grant County will see an incredible turnout, at least by recent standards, in today’s election.

I visited 7 precincts this afternoon to check on turnout and see if there had been any problems. Uniformly, poll workers told me the day had been a smooth one and there had been no problems with equipment.

In addition, turnout has been strong. In addition to early voting (which was at 22 percent countywide), the seven precincts reported total turnout of 1,210 out of 7,664 registered voters. The precincts I visited, Nos. 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 22 and 30, represent about one-third of the registered voters in Grant County. Combined, they came out to about 15.8 percent turnout. If that holds true throughout the County, and throughout the evening, we’ll be doing great for voter turnout:

4:30 Turnout

Here’s the data:

4:30 Turnout Chart

A few more observations: I saw Mary Ann Sedillo, candidate for District 1 County Commission, at Diane’s for lunch. She’s one of the few candidates today that doesn’t face an opponent, so I guess we shouldn’t begrudge her a good meal while the rest of the candidates are scrambling all over the county.

Also, I’m blogging from the Grant County Clerk’s office. The clerk, Howie Morales tells me that there have been a few incidents of candidates’ signs being placed too close to precinct location, but nothing worse than that as far as campaign issues.

More later.

(Almost) Final Early Voting Figures

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There was a huge influx of early voters on Friday and Saturday, if you compare the numbers from Thursday to the numbers released by Grant County clerk Howie Morales yesterday:

Grant County Early Voters II
So, it looks like the party breakdown of the early voters remained unchanged, with 66 percent of early voters calling themselves Democrats. Registered Republicans made up 24.6 percent of early voters, while 9.4 percent where registered as independents, greens or something else.

The same pattern holds true for in-person voters, who made up the overwhelming majority of those voting early:

In-Person Voters

The only big change in party breakdown comes from absentee ballots:

Absentee Voters

These numbers do not reflect the final figures for absentee ballots, which can be turned in until 7 p.m. tonight, though the in-person figures are solid. It will be interesting to watch some of the close races, and see if the absentee ballots make much of an impact. They can’t be counted until after 7.

Clerk’s office just told me that early returns should be available shortly. Stay tuned.

Election Coverage tomorrow night

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Tomorrow night I’ll once again host live election coverage on Community Access Television of Silver City.

The show will being at 7:15 p.m., and Grant County Clerk Howie Morales tells me we’ll have most of the results by 7:30. He’s sponsoring the show, because he knows how important it is to get this information out to Grant County’s voters.

We’re going to be watching the battle for Grant County sheriff closely — incumbent Raul Holguin is facing an incredible challenge from James Koons, a local businessman and former Deming and Silver City police officer. Koons has poured a lot of money into this race, and recent ads have appeared in the Daily Press that indicate bankruptcy filings by both candidates in recent years.

When it all shakes out, we may be wondering if Holguin campaigned effectively. Not one to toot his own horn, “Bully” never came out with a clear history of his time in office, or an accounting of his accomplishments.

We’ll also be covering the Public Regulation Commission race, featuring Dem. Sandy Jones and Republican C. Earl Greer. If the talk around town is to be believed, Jones burned a few bridges in Grant County (and possibly the rest of District 5) by going negative against E. Shirley Baca in the June primary.

In addition to the races here in the southwest part of the state, I’ll keep you updated on what’s happening throughout New Mexico, and the rest of the country for that matter. There are a few close races playing out in the Land of Enchantment, including the much-talked-about congressional contest between Heather Wilson and Patricia Madrid. The latest polling out of Albuquerque shows Madrid pulling ahead, increasing her lead to five points.

Another tight race is that for land commissioner. While former ABQ mayor and BLM manager Jim Baca once led in the polls, numbers released by the Albuquerque Journal yesterday show incumbent Patrick Lyons up by eight.

Of course, be sure to keep an eye on your blog here tomorrow! Throughout the day I’ll have photos from around the county, turnout figures from select polling places, and updates on what’s happening with the overall scene.