The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Grant McGee
The Staff of The News 

June 7 Primary Election features multiple contested races


Last updated 3/12/2022 at 10:46am

County elections on June 7 will feature seven contested races between Curry and Roosevelt counties. That includes three candidates for sheriff in Roosevelt County and county commission seats in both counties.

Curry County initially had a contested race for sheriff, but retired New Mexico State Police Officer Jimmy Glascock withdrew from the race against Mike Reeves on Wednesday.

“If I were to take office, my son will not be able to continue serving with the Sheriff’s Office, which makes it harder for me than it’s worth to continue as a candidate,” Glascock wrote in a text message Wednesday. He said he learned of the nepotism policy on Tuesday. County Clerk Annie Hogland said Glascock’s name will not appear on the ballot since he withdrew before the April 5 deadline.

Candidates signed up Tuesday for the primary.

Most candidates in both counties will be on the Republican ballots.

In addition, Tom Martin, currently the District 2 county commissioner in Curry County, said he is registered as an independent and expects to be on the ballot in November.

State representative candidates Martin Zamora, R-Santa Rosa, Andrea Reeb, R-Clovis, and Jack Chatfield, R-Mosquero, are running unopposed.

One contested race in Curry County is for 9th Judicial District Court judge.

Candidate Ben Cross was appointed to the position in September by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham when Matt Chandler left the post.

Cross grew up in Clovis, son of Dr. Bruce Cross. Cross gives his father credit for teaching him the importance of “being committed to community.”

Cross is a graduate of the University of New Mexico law school and has been an attorney for 15 years including years as a prosecutor and court attorney.

Cross said his years in those positions prepared him for his work as judge in the court.

Cross said if he is re-elected to the judgeship, “I promise to continue to serve our community for decades to come.”

Cross’ challenger is Shaun Burns who has been a magistrate judge for the past three years, attorney for the past 42.

Burns grew up in Clovis, his family has been here since 1908, he writes. Burns believes that his many years as an attorney and his experience as a magistrate judge qualify him to be district judge.

“All voters want a judge who is experienced enough to apply the law fairly to everyone and in that way protect the public,” Burns said. “I am that person.”

One contested race in Roosevelt County is for sheriff, succeeding Malin Parker who is term limited.

Three Republicans will be vying for the spot on the November ballot.

One of the candidates works in the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Department now as a lieutenant.

“I pretty much run the day-to-day operations under the direction of the current sheriff,” Javier Sanchez said.

Sanchez says he was born and raised in Portales.

“I started out in law enforcement when I went to work for the Eastern New Mexico University Police Department in 2004,” Sanchez said. “I’ve been with the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Department since 2007.”

One of the things Sanchez wants to do if elected sheriff: “I want to improve communications with the public,” Sanchez said. “More communication.”

Ryan Ainsworth believes the knowledge, experience and his dealings with the public in his well drilling and wrecker businesses qualifies him to be sheriff.

“I am well known in the community,” Ainsworth said. “I know most of the farmers and ranchers.”

“If my county elects me,” Ainsworth said, “I am there to be the bridge between the citizens and the sheriff’s department.”

“I am in good shape,” Ainsworth continued, “I will go to the Law Enforcement Academy if my community wants me to.”

“I believe the sheriff is the first line of defense in preserving the constitutional rights of the citizens and upholding the liberties of the people of the county,” Ainsworth said.

Darrel Chenault signed up to be a candidate for Roosevelt County Sheriff on March 8 because “I want to serve the people of Roosevelt County.”

Chenault was in law enforcement a number of years ago.

“I was raised a country boy in Elida,” Chenault said.

“At 24 I joined the State Police. I spent two years in Farmington, three years in Lovington and five years in Elida.”

Chenault went back to college to become a teacher, which he did in Elida for over 20 years. There were times he was also Elida’s municipal judge and police officer.

“I want to serve the people of Roosevelt County,” Chenault said of his aim to be elected sheriff. “My biggest concern is with the economy and fuel prices going up is our need to patrol the county.”

“There are hard years up ahead,” Chenault said. “I wish I could give the deputies a raise. It’s an extremely tough job.”

Here are June 7 Primary candidates for Curry and Roosevelt counties as reported by the Office of the Secretary of State:

New Mexico Primary Election candidates

Curry County


Ninth District Court judge

Benjamin Cross

Shaun Burns

Ninth District attorney

Brian Stover

Magistrate judge Division 1

JaneMarie Vanderdussen

Magistrate judge Division 2

Donald Sawyer

Stephen Whittington

Eleisa Munoz

Jandi Stanfield

County Commission

District 2

Brad Bender

County Commission

District 3

Lisa Pellegrino

Dusty Leatherwood

Norman Kia

County sheriff

Michael Reeves

Jimmy Glascock (withdrew on Wednesday)

County assessor

Randa Jesko

Probate judge

Hollie Barnett

Michael Wells


County Commission

District 1

Fidel Madrid

Roosevelt County


Ninth District Court judge

Benjamin Cross

Shaun Burns

Ninth District attorney

Brian Stover

Magistrate judge

Christopher Mitchell

County Commission

District 3

Roy Criswell

Sawyer Kee May

Billy Bob Cathey

County Commission

District 4

Tina Dixon

County Commission

District 5

Christopher Grider

Paul Grider

Glynn Wilhoit Jr.

County sheriff

Darrell Chenault

Javier Sanchez

Ryan Ainsworth

County assessor

Stevin Floyd


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