By Steve Hansen and Thomas Garcia
Democrat Nathan Wallace will square off against Republican Russell D. Shafer in the race for Quay County Sheriff in the Nov. 4 general election, according to preliminary results of Tuesday’s primary election.
Republican Franklin McCasland virtually won election to Quay County Commission seat for District 3, beating out primary opponent Warren E. “Lucky” Carter by a vote of 457 to 322. No Democrats ran for the seat, which is currently held by Brad Bryant of San Jon.
Wallace won in a six-way race to win the Democratic primary, garnering 290 votes. His closest competitor was Dennis Smart, who received 226 votes. Shafer beat out opponent Juan Barreras by a 606 to 125 vote.
Winners in the November election take office on Jan. 1.
Voter turnout was good for the primary election, with about 37 percent of eligible voters casting ballots, according to Ellen White, chief assistant county clerk. She said 39 percent of registered Republicans and 35 percent of registered Democrats cast votes in Tuesday’s primary, In all, 1,029 Democrats cast votes out of 2,938 registered. A total of 792 Republicans voted out of 2,047 registered, she said.
In the 2012 primary, Democratic turnout was 36 percent—1,100 votes out of 3,030 registered voters. Republican turnout was 39 percent — 769 voters out of 1,960 registered voters.
White warned that all vote totals in Tuesday’s primary are preliminary until Friday, after votes are canvassed.
In claiming his primary victory, Wallace said, “I appreciate all of the support from the voters who have given me the honor to run on the Democratic ballot for Quay County Sheriff.”
Wallace said he wants to be a sheriff who serves the residents of Quay County to the best of his ability and hopes for the continued support from the voters in the November general election.
Shafer said he was feeling “relief” after a hard campaign. “We can put this one down and start working on the general election,” he said.
Barreras was called away to an emergency, he said, and declined to comment.
McCasland said, “I want to thank all of the residents of Quay County for their votes and faith in me to be their commissioner. It is an honor and privilege to serve as District 3 commissioner.”
McCasland said now that the election is over he is looking forward to once again working with the citizens to help move Quay County forward.
Carter said of the result, “It was fine. They wanted him (McCasland). That’s great. I don’t have a problem with that. The people voted and the best man won.”
Democratic sheriff candidate Smart said, “It was a good and clean campaign. The best man won, and I congratulate him.”
Democratic sheriff candidate Larry Cooksey said, “We did the best we could. The people have voted.”
Lane Bradley congratulated Wallace and said, “I’ll be supporting him in the general election.”
Charles “Ben” Gates, Democratic sheriff candidate said, “It’s time to go back to work. The people have decided. That’s the way is.” Gates is a sheriff’s deputy.
Frankie Gutierrez, another Democratic sheriff contender, could not be reached Tuesday for comment.
Quay County Democrats picked Gary K. King to run against incumbent Republican Susana Martinez for governor. King received 503 votes to beat Democratic challengers Howie C. Morales, 73 votes; Alan M. Webber, 147 votes; Lawrence D. Rael, 101 votes; and Linda Lopez, 112 votes.
Democratic Quay County voters also picked Tim Eichenberg to run against lone Republican contender Rick J. Lopez in the state treasurer’s race. Eichenberg received 509 votes in Quay County, versus 323 votes for John Werthem to win the Democratic contest in Quay County.
In the U.S. Senate race, Quay County Republicans picked David Kale Clements to run against incumbent Democrat Tom Udall, who ran unopposed. Clements got 475 votes to be Quay County’s Republican choice over Allen Weh, who received 232 votes.
Quay County Democrats picked incumbent U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan to run to keep his seat over Democratic challenger Robert Blanch in a 673 to 281 vote. Quay County Republicans cast 619 votes for sole challenger Jefferson Byrd.
Other non-opposition election results in the county included:
• State Representative, 67th District: Incumbent State Rep. Dennis Roch (R-Logan), 640 votes. No Democrat ran.
• County Assessor, Vic Baum, Republican, 655 votes. No Democrat ran.
• Quay County Magistrat Judge, David Joel Garnett, Democrat, 842 votes. No Republican ran.
• Quay County Probate Judget, Nelda Burson, Democrat, 777 votes. No Republican ran.
• Lieutenant Governor, Incumbent John A. Sanchez, 566 votes. Debra A. Haaland, Democrat, 723 votes.
• State secretary of state, Incumbent Dianna J. Duran, Republican, 571 votes. Democratic challenger Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Democrat, 699 votes.
• State auditor, Robert J. Aragon, Republican, 544 votes. Timothy Keller, Democrat, 718 votes.
• State attorney general, Susan Riedel, Republican, 547 votes. Hector Balderas, Democrat, 713 votes.
• State commissioner of public lands, Aubrey Dunn, Republican, 576 votes. Ray Bennett Powell, Democrat,726 votes.
• State judge of the court of appeals, J. Miles Hanisee, Republican, 540 votes. Kerry C. Kiernan, Democrat, 684 votes.
• State public regulation commissioner, Patirck H. Lyons, Republican, 600 votes. No Democrat ran.