As the editor of the Roswell Daily Record I personally want to thank the four candidates running for county sheriff and the two running for magistrate judge for responding to the newspaper’s Q&A that was published in Thursday’s newspaper.
It is clear from reading their responses that each candidate took the editor’s assignment seriously and responded with well-written and thoughtful answers.
Also, although the candidates are busy with jobs and families, all six of them returned their answers to me within a relatively short window of time.
Working at newspaper for nearly 20 years, I’ve become a bit jaded from my experiences that there will always be one or two stragglers that you have to call 15 times. Or, someone will go completely off base and send something back that isn’t even close to what you asked for.
In my interactions with the candidates on the phone and in person, every one has been polite and respectful.
Though I’ve only lived in Roswell for three weeks and still wet behind the ears, I believe all of these gentlemen are sincere in their commitment to serving the citizens of Chaves County.
But only one man can be sheriff and only one can be magistrate judge.
It is now up to you, the voters of Chaves County, to decide individually who you want to serve in these two offices.
With early voting in progress from now until May 31, there is plenty of opportunity to get out and vote. You can’t use bad weather on election day as an excuse not to vote.
For those who prefer the good, old-fashioned method of going to your local poll location, the primary is on June 3. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
Poll locations will be published in the newspaper as it gets closer to the election.
According to the Chaves County Clerk’s Office, voter turnout for primaries averages between 15 to 20 percent. Though this is a much better turnout than in many parts of country, it is still low when compared to turnouts at general elections.
Since all of the candidates are Republicans, the next sheriff and magistrate judge will be determined in the primaries.
Though there are four candidates in the sheriff’s race, the winner only needs a simple majority.
In many states if three or more challengers are in a primary, a candidate must get “50 percent plus one vote” to move on to the general election.
If there isn’t a candidate with a 50 percent majority, then a runoff is held between the top two finishers.
In New Mexico there are no runoff elections, with one exception, according to the Chaves County Clerk’s Office. A charter city, such as Albuquerque, can decide whether it wants to hold runoffs in its municipal elections.
I personally don’t like not having a runoff between the top two vote-getters, but that is the way things are until the State Legislature votes to change it.
With no runoff and no Democrats as challengers in this fall’s general election, Chavis County voters only have one shot to elect their next sheriff and magistrate judge.
Please do you part in the democratic process and vote in the local primaries.
PS: I’ll try to get my email address correct this time at the end of my column. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org.