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Elections decided statewide, as well as in Grant County

Grant County residents came out in force to vote for their preferred candidates. Early and some absentee voters had turned out at a 37 percent rate as of the last day of early voting on Nov. 3. The turnout on Election Day raised the overall voting rate to more than 50 percent.

Turnout on Election Day at the voter convenience centers, especially the two in Silver City, featured long lines, but as one voter said: "It wasn't bad. We visited while in line."

In the presidential race, Grant County went for Democrat Barack Obama, with 6203 votes. But Republican Mitt Romney also has his fans in the county, as he received 4513 votes. Obama also won the state and the nation.


In the U.S. Senate Race, Democrat Martin Heinrich received 6195votes, with Republican Health Wilson trailing with 4401 votes. Heinrich will go to the U.S. Senate

District 2 U.S. Representative seat featured incumbent Republican Steve Pearce, who received 4914 votes to Democrat Evelyn Madrid Erhard's total of 6011 votes. Pearce will return to his seat.

In New Mexico legislative races, Senator Howie Morales, who was unopposed received 8804 votes.

Incumbent NM District 38 Rep. Dianne Hamilton, Republican, garnered 3594 votes to Democrat Terry Fortenberry's 3983 votes. According to KOAT.com, Hamilton won the district 7127 to 5860 and will return to the Legislature.

The District 39 Representative race featured incumbent Democrat Rodolpho "Rudy" Martinez, who received 2050 votes in Grant County to his challenger Republican John Zimmerman's 1198 votes. Martinez won the district 5099 to 4667 and will retain his seat.

For Sixth Judicial District Court, there were two races—one for judge and one for district attorney. For judge, Republican Jarod Hofacket, who was appointed to fill the vacancy left by retiring Judge Gary Jeffreys, received 4015 votes. He was challenged by Democrat Jennifer DeLaney. In Grant County, voters chose 6657 DeLaney over Hofacket. Delaney will take the judgeship.

For Sixth Judicial District Court district attorney, two prosecutors from the Silver City office vied for the position. Grant County voters chose Democrat Francesca Estevez by 7139 voters over Republican George Zsoka's 3563 votes..

In local races, District 3 commissioner was a battle between Democrat Ron Hall, who received 3100 votes and challenger Republican Trent Petty, with 1262 votes.

Clerk incumbent Democrat Robert Zamarripa, who received 6559 votes was challenged by Republican Lucy Whitmarsh, who garnered 4232 votes.

The county treasurer position was won by Steve Armendariz, who ran unopposed. He received 8064 votes.

The local option Sunday liquor sales question passed by a vote of 6228 to 4061.

Constitutional amendments included No. 1, which would increase the membership of the Judicial Standards Commission from 11 to 13. Grant County voters approved the issue 6577 to 3057.

Three amendments, which would make changes to the make up and duties of the Public Regulation Commission, were on the ballot. Constitutional Amendment No. 2 would amend the NM Constitution to require the Legislature to enact a statute increasing the qualifications of PRC commission.  Grant County voters approved the amendment 7808 to 1724.

Constitutional Amendment No. 3 would also change the state constitution to move the authority to charter and regulate corporations from the PRC to the Secretary of State. Grant County voters voted against the move 4738 to 4461. The amendment passed statewide.

Constitutional Amendment No. 4, amending the state constitution, would move the regulation of insurance and other risk-assumption companies from the PRC to the Superintendent of Insurance, appointed by the Insurance Nominating Committee. Grant County voters did not approve the issue by a vote of 4874 to 4375, but it was approved statewide.

Constitutional Amendment No. 5 would create a Public Defender Department as an independent state agency, removing the authority of the governor to appoint the Chief Public Defender and severing the department's administrative support ties with the Corrections Department. Grant County voters chose to approve the amendment. 5953 to 3406. It was also approved statewide.

The three bond issues were passed statewide.

Bond issues on the ballot included Question A to make capital expenditures for certain senior citizen facility improvement. County voters voted in favor 6019 to 3584.

Question B would make capital expenditures for public library resource acquisitions. County voters voted in favor 6071 to 3591.

Question C would make capital expenditures for certain higher education improvements. Grant County voters chose to approve the bond 6291 to 3525. Western New Mexico University stands to gain about $4 million as the issue passed statewide.

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