Technically, the voting in the 2004 election ended at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Yet for two politicians, the election continued until well into Friday night when the last of the canvassed votes were to be turned in to the New Mexico Secretary of State and still a result was not immediately forthcoming for the two area politicians.
The contest was between Republican Clinton Harden and Democrat Robert Frost who were running for the statehouse senate seat for the eastern corner of the state currently held by Harden. On Tuesday, Frost, who is from San Jon, was buoyed up while he waited in the Quay County Courthouse and watched as his returns proved to be solid throughout Quay County as they were posted on the wall of the courthouse.
Even then however, he knew that it would be a close race.
“I don’t want to say anything until I know for sure one way or the other,” said Frost. At that time he was under the impression he would know something within 12 hours of the closing of the polls. That was not to be, however, as the race went first in favor of one candidate and then in favor of the other.
“I’m sure I speak for Bob (Frost)” said Harden from his Clovis home Friday evening. “when I say it’s like a roller coaster the way it keeps going up and down.”
As of Friday night as only a few counties remained to be counted, the lead had settled in Harden’s favor but that lead was so close neither candidate was willing to make a call as to the winner until all of the “provisional” votes were counted.