Mayor-elect Dennis Kintigh hugs his wife, Carol, while former Roswell Mayor Bill Owen looks on Tuesday night at Cattleman’s Steakhouse, where supporters gathered to watch the election results. (Randal Seyler Photo)
Challenger Dennis Kintigh was elected Roswell’s newest mayor Tuesday, soundly defeating Del Jurney in a decisive victory.
[auth] The former state representative took the seat from the one-term incumbent with 69 percent of the vote.
“It’s incredible,” Kintigh said. “The voters have spoken and the win was overwhelming. That’s humbling. I think it’s clear that people here want to take this city in a new direction. It’s my responsibility to make sure that happens.”
Kintigh waited for campaign results at Cattleman’s Steakhouse with friends and supporters. He gave a victory speech, thanking them for their support during the campaign.
“Thank you, you made this happen with your support and your prayers,” Kintigh told the group. “I am humbled and honored to have that support from you, and I will strive diligently not to fail you.”
Nearly 20 percent of the 25,554 registered city voters turned out to cast ballots in the election.
The turnout was average for city elections, according to City Clerk Sharon Coll.
The final, unofficial tally showed Kintigh received 3,502 votes, with Jurney taking 1,590. The election results will be certified by a judge by Friday, according to City Manager Larry Fry.
New candidates are expected to be sworn into office during a ceremony tentatively scheduled for Monday. The location has yet to be determined, Fry said.
“Now the real work begins,” Kintigh said.
Jurney waited at city hall throughout the night as results were released. He was surrounded by supporters and his wife, Kristie.
When the final numbers were posted, Jurney remained upbeat and hugged several people who offered him words of encouragement before he left. He was unable to be reached for comment later that evening.
Three newcomers were elected to City Council seats.
Natasha Mackey defeated incumbent Dusty Huckabee in Ward 1, taking the seat with 316 votes. Huckabee lost by 92 votes.
Huckabee promised to “be there” for Mackey as she takes the reigns.
“It’s all about Roswell,” Huckabee said. “We’ve got to make Roswell safe and we’ve got to make Roswell grow. We’ve got to keep plugging at it. We’ve got a really good council and I’ll be glad to work with any of them.”
Businesswoman Tabitha Denny grabbed the Ward 5 seat from incumbent Barry Foster with 245 votes over the incumbent’s 180.
“It’s very surreal,” Denny said. “I’m excited to see what the next four years holds, and see what the Roswell residents want from this point forward, and to be their advocate.”
In Ward 2, three candidates vied for the seat vacated by Councilor Jimmy Craig.
Caleb Grant ran away with the win in what turned out to be the most attractive race for voters. The district took in 2,052 votes, with Grant receiving 1,380 of them.
Former U.S. Army veteran Jerry Heck received 454 votes, followed by engineer James MacCornack, who garnered 218.
“I was happy with the turnout for our ward,” Grant said. The voters obviously were decisive and I’m happy about that. We ran a great campaign. I couldn’t be happier. I’m excited. We can really get a lot of momentum for Roswell. I think we can make some really positive impacts for Roswell.”
Heck said he’s staying positive and that 2016 wasn’t that far away.
“I’m just going to be really positive,” Heck said. “I want to thank everybody who supported. This is not the end. It’s a battle in the war. I encourage everybody to come to City Council meetings. We’ve got to save America and we can’t go to Washington and fix it. We can do it right here at home.”
MacCornack declined to comment.
In the tightest race, incumbent councilor Art Sandoval retained his seat by 61 votes, defeating challenger Joe Green in Ward 3.
“I feel fantastic,” Sandoval said. “It’s great to win. More than anything it’s great to have my family by my side during the campaign.”
Sandoval hopes to continue his work to concentrate on getting compensation for the fire department.
Green declined to comment.
Councilor Jason Perry ran unopposed and received 726 votes.
Record Staff Writer Randal Seyler contributed to this report.
The unofficial results from the city of Roswell elections, as of 10 p.m. Tuesday. (Absentee and early voting numbers in parentheses; x-denotes winner.)
MAYOR — x-Dennis J. Kintigh, 3,502 (70; 1,154); Del Jurney (Incumbent), 1,590 (22; 454).
CITY COUNCIL WARD 1 — x-Natasha N. Mackey, 316 (3; 92); Dusty Huckabee (I), 224 (8; 70).
WARD 2 — x-Caleb T. Grant, 1,380 (29; 470); Gerard Heck Jr., 454 (9; 118); James A. MacCornack, 218 (2; 71).
WARD 3 — x-Art Sandoval (I), 632 (11; 216); Joe R. Green, 571 (3; 213).
WARD 4 — x-Jason R. Perry, 726 (19; 195).
WARD 5 — x-Tabitha D. Denny, 245 (0; 63); Barry Foster (I), 180 (5; 48).
VOTER TURNOUT — Absentee voting, 92. Early voting, 1,608. Roswell Museum & Art Center, 425; Roswell Boys & Girls Club, 158; Del Norte Elementary School, 747; West Country Club Church of Christ, 666; First Church of Nazarene, 348; Monterrey Elementary School, 236; Chaves County Clerk’s Office, 702; ENMU-Roswell, 110.
TOTAL VOTES CAST — 5,092.
NUMBER OF REGISTERED VOTERS — 25,554.
PERCENTAGE — 19.93 percent.
Caleb Grant celebrates early voting results with state Rep. Nora Espinoza, Tuesday evening. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)
Art Sandoval, right, hugs his daughters Sheyanne and Victoria after retaining his City Council seat Tuesday evening. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)
Natasha Mackey hugs a supporter Tuesday evening after winning her race against Dusty Huckabee. (Jill McLaughlin Photo)