By Gabriel Weinstein Assistant editor
RATON— Political newcomers Rick Sinclair and Roy Fernandez were victorious Tuesday in their bids for Colfax County Sheriff and Colfax County Commission’s District 1 Seat.
Sinclair, a Republican, defeated Democratic challenger Lawrence Trujillo 2,432 to 1,722 to become the next Colfax County Sheriff according to unofficial results from the Colfax County Clerk’s office. Trujillo hoped to become sheriff after four previous unsuccessful attempts.
Sinclair, a deputy with the Colfax County Sheriff’s Office, was formerly Springer’s police chief and was with the Las Vegas (Nevada) Police Department for 13 years before moving to New Mexico. This was his first election and will be the first political office he has ever held. When Sinclair takes over in January 2015 he plans on bringing former Raton Police Officer Leonard Baca, Jr. as his undersheriff. Baca is the son of Colfax County Clerk Freda Baca.
“The people of the county have voted. They obviously have confidence in me,” Sinclair said Tuesday night.
In the County Commission race, Fernandez will replace outgoing County Commissioner Jim Maldonado as the District 1 Commissioner after defeating Robert Horner 713-632. District 1 includes everything north of Moulton Avenue in Raton and everything east of 2nd Street in Raton. Fernandez, an auditor with the United Mine Workers of America, previously ran for County Commission in the 1990s and was previously the chairman of the Miners’ Colfax Medical Center board of directors. This will be Fernandez’s first elected position.
Red River resident Jerry Hogrefe, a Democrat, defeated Republican challenger Ronald G. Montez for Taos County Sheriff 6,081 to 2,999, with 28 of 36 precincts reporting according to the <em>Taos News.</em>
“I’m not going to let this community down. The people have spoken. I’m honored to be their choice and I’m anxious to take office and begin to fulfill my promises I made to the people,” Hogrefe told the <em>Taos News </em>Tuesday night.
In the New Mexico House of Representatives District 40 Race, Rep. Nick Salazar won his reelection bid with 4,671 votes over Cimarron Republican James Gallegos, with 28 of 34 precincts reporting. Gallegos, a retired Cimarron Municipal Schools Superintendent, received 1,652 votes. The District includes parts of Colfax, Mora, San Miguel and Rio Arriba counties.
Dennis Roch won reelection to the House of Representatives for District 67 unopposed. The district includes parts of Colfax, Curry, Harding, Quay, Roosevelt, San Miguel and Union counties.
With 6 of 61 precincts reporting, 8th Judicial District Judge John Paternoster looked to retain his seat. He had received 810 votes in favor of retention and 429 against.
Colfax County Commission District 2 Candidate Bill Sauble, Colfax County Assessor Candidate Linda Gallegos, Colfax County Probate Court Judge Roy Ackerman, Colfax County Magistrate Judge Division 1 candidate Warren Walton, Colfax County Magistrate Judge Division 2 Felix Pena all ran unopposed.