Sole incumbent victor wins by one vote

Not even sworn in yet, Tucumcari's unofficial District 3 Commissioner winner Daniel Lopez is interviewed by radio station report Carole Keith about his goals as a newly elected commissioner.

It appears Jimmy Sandoval won't have to play another game of cards.

In a municipal election marked by low turnout — ironically, including Sandoval's opponent — Sandoval retained his District 2 seat by one vote in a four-person race.

Dora McTigue and Daniel Lopez took victories in Districts 1 and 3, respectively, defeating incumbents in each race.

Sandoval claimed his second four-year term with 36 votes against Amy J. Gutierrez' 35.

"It was pretty close," Sandoval said. "I want to wait to see the official results before saying anything more."

The margin stands out because Gutierrez did not vote.

"I had a family emergency in Amarillo and I was not able to cast my vote," Gutierrez said. "I am just happy that people came out and voted."

In the 2004 municipal election, Sandoval tied Christopher Maestas with 67 votes. The two later decided the election in a card game. Maestas drew a nine, and Sandoval drew a two.

Agnes Arellano (23 votes) and Howard Littell (14) were the other candidates in the district.

"I tried, and that is all one can do," Arellano said. "I am going to continue to fight for what is best for Tucumcari be it sitting up there as a commissioner or down here on the floor as a citizen."

Littell said, "The people have spoken," and declined further comment.

Lopez did not have to sweat out his race, taking 102 votes against incumbent James Witcher (11 votes) and George Aragon (three).

"Hard work pays off," Lopez said. "This shows that citizens want to take an active role in what happens in their city."

Lopez said the residents are ready to see change, and that does not reflect poorly on past leadership.

"Change is necessary," Lopez said. "I want to thank Chaplain Witcher for all his years of service."

Lopez said he also wanted to thank Witcher's family for supporting him as he served the city.

Witcher said he is certain Lopez will do a great job in representing the community.

"A good man won this election," Witcher said. "If I was not running against him, I would have voted for him."

Aragon said he hopes Lopez moves Tucumcari forward and is willing to do all he can if needed.

"I wish him all the best," Aragon said. "If I can help in any way I hope he will call on me."

McTigue took 64 votes against District 1 incumbent Antonio Apodaca.

"I wish Dora well on her duties as commissioner," Apodaca said.

McTigue said the commission has a lot of work ahead of them.

"Thank goodness this election is over," McTigue said. "We can no concentrate on all the work that needs to be done."

McTigue was excited as she spoke about a few of the items she is wanting to address as commissioner.

"The budget is one of the first items we need to look at," McTigue said. "As I spoke to people for their support, they shared with me a long list of things that need to be fixed in the city."

City Clerk Christine Dougherty said voter turnout was 19 percent.

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