Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Garcia, Fortner win local GOP races


June 8, 2022

Undersheriff Dennis Garcia easily won the Republican nomination for Quay County sheriff, and Brian Dale Fortner prevailed in a five-way race for the GOP nod in the District 3 county commissioner race during the primary election Tuesday.

Garcia overwhelmed recently retired Tucumcari police officer Herman Martinez by about a 5-to-1 margin in unofficial totals.

Because no candidate filed for the Democratic nomination, Garcia almost certainly will become the county's new sheriff, succeeding the term-limited Russell Shafer.

Fortner gained 403 votes in the county for the Republican nomination for District 3 commissioner, easily surpassing runner-up Kent Terry's 280 votes in a crowded field. Justin Knapp totaled 203 votes, Franklin Gibson 175 and Zachary Scot Murray 103.

Fortner will face Democratic nominee Tommy Wallace in the November general election. Wallace was unopposed in his race Tuesday, totaling 371 votes.

District 3 encompasses Logan, San Jon, Bard, Nara Visa, Norton and east Tucumcari. The position is at-large, which means every registered voter in the county can cast a ballot in the primary election.

Voter turnout was about 34%, which County Clerk Ellen White was near historical norms of 35% to 40% in primary elections and considering the Democratic side saw few contested local races.

Final results were known about 30 minutes after polls closed at 7 p.m. No provisional ballots were cast in the county. The county's election results are scheduled to be deemed as official during the canvass on Monday.

More details on the primary will be in the June 15 edition of the Quay County Sun.


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