By Tony Parra
Democrat David Sanders will take control of the District 2 County Commissioner position on Jan. 1, ending the Chad Davis era after Sanders defeated Republican Charles May in the District 2 race.
According to the unofficial final results, Sanders finished with 851 votes while May earned 775 votes. May accumulated more early votes, 260-248 and more votes in the alternate site (Portales Public Library) 84-75. However, Sanders more than made up the difference in the three largest precincts. Sanders won Precincts No. 2 (190-137), No. 11 (111-85) and No. 18 (107-74).
Sanders is no stranger to the county commissioner position. Sanders was a county commissioner from 1990 to 2000. He said he didn’t want to give up the position but the county commission rule limits commissioners to two consecutive four-year terms. Sanders completed two four-year terms after he finished a two-year term.
May said on Tuesday he will not run again in 2008 and said he would probably not ever run again.
Sanders’ victory will fill the Roosevelt County Commission with all Democrats in January. Sanders will replace Chad Davis, the lone Republican representative.
“I don’t think party affiliation will affect the way we make our decisions,” Sanders said. “I feel we have a good relationship with our Republican representatives like Stuart Ingle and Gay Kernan.”
Sanders said Ingle and Kernan called him to congratulate him on his victory. Sanders has been working for Roosevelt County as a lobbyist, but he said that is going to change. He said county commissioners will need to hire a lobbyist to replace him.
“I think either of the candidates would have been a good addition to the commission,” Gene Creighton, county commissioner, said. “He (Sanders) has the county’s best interest (in mind) as the rest of us do. He’s had a lot of experience. He’s been there before. He travels to Santa Fe at least once a year to lobby.”
Sanders said he and the other commissioners will continue to work as lobbyists, and Creighton said Roosevelt County commissioners will still have Mike Miller work for the county as a lobbyist. Creighton said Miller has done a good job of lobbying and bringing funding for things such as road repairs to Roosevelt County.
“I’m going to be attending meetings,” Sanders said. “I’ve been keeping in touch and know some of the problems they dealt with. I’m ready to go.”
The Roosevelt County results will become official on Friday. Joyce Fraze, county clerk, said there will be a canvas on Friday at 9 a.m. with the county commissioners and on that day the results will become official. Fraze said county clerks will research the registered voters and go over the results leading up to Friday.
There were 11,591 registered voters in Roosevelt County and 7,105 entered their ballots for the election.