County Commission stays intact

By Kevin Wilson: Quay County Sun

Robert Lopez can now rightfully claim status as Quay County’s choice for commissioner.

Lopez won re-election Tuesday night with a 44-vote win in a three-way race in District 1 with Jimmy Sandoval and Doyle Frasier.

Votes were 213 for Lopez, 169 for Sandoval and 85 for Frasier. Lopez, the Democratic primary winner, faces no challenge in the November general election.

Lopez, who also serves as president of the advisory committee of the New Mexico State University Agricultural Science Center, was appointed to the position in 2005 following the death of Grace Madrid. Under state election laws, Lopez was required to run for election for the final two years of the term.

Lopez waited out the results Tuesday at the Quay County Courthouse with District 3 commissioner Franklin McCasland, who ran unopposed as a Democrat and received 375 votes. Like Lopez, McCasland does not face a Republican opponent in November.

Lopez expected a close race throughout and was glad to earn the final two years of his term.

“I knew Mr. Sandoval had campaigned really hard and so had Doyle,” Lopez said. “Going through the election process is something totally unique.”

The vote totals will be canvassed Friday by the commission — McCasland, Lopez and District 2 Commissioner Bill Curry. The commission will stay that way at least until 2008, when Lopez and Curry are up for re-election. Lopez had said throughout the campaign that he thought the current commission was working well.

“I think we’re in a good position with the commission that we have,” Lopez said. “I think the economic development in Quay County is going to be very exciting to watch, and be a part of.”

It was a point seconded by McCasland, who was also at the courthouse waiting for the winners.

“I support Robert,” McCasland said, “and look forward to working with him for the next few years.”

Sandoval and Frasier could not be reached for comment following the election.