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Commission incumbents fall, while DA stands tall

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Bulletin report

There will be some new faces on the Doña Ana County Commission in the not-too-distant future.

The Democratic party’s name on the ballot for District Attorney of the 3rd Judicial District in the general election in November will be familiar, though, while another well-known name will find itself in a different spot, looking for a win to fill a state senate seat.

County commission

In 40 polling spots around Doña Ana County voters decided to reject the status quo on the county commission.

Commission Chairman Wayne Hancock will not have a chance to defend his seat in November. The Democrat from District 4 lost to Isabella Solis. Solis finished election night with 1,698 votes compared to Hancock’s 1,126. Another candidate, David Bonner, finished in third with 308 votes.

Solis will now face Republican William Webb in the November election. Webb defeated Roman Jimenez 1,236 to 591, in the primary. In addition, Democratic voters in District 2 chose former Anthony Mayor Ramon Gonzalez over incumbent Commissioner David Garcia by a 1,084-to-730 margin.

The race for the County Commission seat in District 5 will consist of Republican Kimberly Hakes and Democrat John Vasquez.

With 1,077 votes, Hakes defeated Craig Buckingham in the Republican primary while Vasquez came out ahead in a threeway race. He won 1,515 votes, more than the 1,190 for Dickie Apodaca and 832 for Bill Standridge.

District attorney

On a day when he received a shock administered by a jury, District Attorney of the 3rd Judicial District Mark D’Antonio finished the day on a high note as he held off a primary challenger and will be the Democrat candidate in the general election in November. D’Antonio, who was first elected DA in 2012, defeated challenger James Dickens with nearly 59 percent of the vote. D’Antonio received 8,966 votes in Doña Ana County compared to Dickens’ 6,240.

D’Antonio said he was “humbled” by the support of the voters.

“I’m very pleased with the numbers,” he said. “Doña Ana folks like justice being served.”

Earlier in the day, D’Antonio’s office saw its prosecution of Tai Chan, a law enforcement officer accused of killing another officer at Hotel Encanto, hit a bump when the judge declared a hung jury.

D’Antonio said all the jury members voted to convict Chan, but could not agree on which charge to level at the defendant.

“We plan on retrying the case as soon as the court can set a date and will continue to pursue the best result for Jeremy Martin and his family,” he said.

D’Antonio will now face Republican Brad Cates, who ran unopposed for the nomination, in the general election.

The DA said he’s going to “regroup and take a deep breath,” before he turns his attention to the next election.

“Everybody worked hard; all the Democrat contenders, even my opponent, we all worked hard,” he said.

“I’m going to concentrate on the office, make some changes to make the office better,” he said. “We’ll keep the openness.”

State Senate

Jeff Steinborn has served as state representative for several terms, but now has his eye on a Senate seat.

Steinborn defeated former County Commissioner Oscar Vásquez Butler 2,931 to 1,535 for the Democrat nomination to run for the District 36 seat. He’ll face incumbent Lee Cotter in the fall.

For a complete look at the results, go to www.sos.state.nm.us.



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