Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Nearly 2,000 ballots already cast

Staff report

With one week before the general election, nearly 2,000 Curry County residents have already filled in their ballots.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, 1,965 residents had cast early ballots — 1,101 at the Curry County Courthouse and 864 at the North Plains Mall. Early voting will end at 6 p.m. Saturday at the courthouse and the mall.

The number represents 8.3 percent turnout so far, given the county’s 23,748 registered voters — 11,095 Republicans, 7,554 Democrats and 5,648 who declined to state a party.

County Clerk Rosalie Riley said she was happy with the turnout, crediting it in part to the gubernatorial election between incumbent Susana Martinez and challenger Gary King and also to county efforts publicizing the election.

Riley said a pair of voting schools for poll workers finished up Tuesday, with 33 people trained to be poll workers. That is in addition to the eight who were trained to handle early voting duties.

Polls will be open Election Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters within the city limits can vote at either Colonial Park Golf Course, the Roy Walker Recreation Center, the Youth Recreation Building or Trinity United Methodist Church. Grady residents will vote at the senior citizen’s center, Melrose voters at city hall and Texico voters at the community building. Rural voters can vote at either the Pleasant Hill Fire Department or Ranchvale Elementary.

Although a full slate of candidates is available at the state level, all but three races are unopposed.

One is for the position of district attorney, with Andrea Reeb as the Republican nominee and Jennifer Burrill the Democratic nominee. Reeb was appointed to the position following the March 1 resignation of Matt Chandler, while Burrill is a defense attorney and former prosecutor for the district.

The second is in the probate court, where Republican nominee Mark Lansford is challenged by Michael Wells, a former probate judge running as an independent.

The other is in the magistrate court, where incumbent Duane Castleberry is running against Terry Martin.

All other county races are unopposed.

Statewide, Republican Allen Weh is challenging incumbent Tom Udall for the U.S. Senate, while in the 3rd Congressional District of the House of Representatives, Ben Ray Lujan is running against Republican Jeff Byrd of Tucumcari and write-in candidate Thomas Hook of Portales.

In other contested state offices:

• Dianna Duran is running for secretary of state against challenger Maggie Oliver.

• Robert Aragon runs against Timothy Keller for state auditor.

• The treasurer’s race features Rick Lopez and Tim Eichenberg.

• The office of land commissioner will be between Ray Powell and Aubrey Dunn.

• J. Miles Hanisee and Kerry Kiernan for judge of the court of appeals.

Voters also have to decide on three bond questions — Bond Question A for senior citizen facilities, Bond Question B for library bonds, Bond Question C for higher education bonds — and five constitutional amendments. The amendments deal with scheduling school elections in conjunction with other nonpartisan elections, changing the membership of the Northern New Mexico State School’s board of regents, allowing the Legislature to set filing dates for judicial retention elections, allow certain counties to become urban counties and changes to terms for land grand permanent funds.

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