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Recounts Ordered in 2 State Senate Races

SANTA FE — The state Canvassing Board ordered recounts Tuesday in two primary election races for state Senate in which the leading candidates held nine-vote margins.

The board directed counties to start the recounts July 5, and the board will meet again July 9 to certify the winners.

State law requires automatic recounts when the difference between the top two candidates is less than 0.5 percent.

One of the recounts is for the Republican nomination in southeastern New Mexico’s Senate District 32. Chaves County farmer Cliff Pirtle had 1,018 votes, followed by 1,009 for Roswell Fire Chief Chad Hamill, according to the latest results outlined to the board.

The eventual winner faces Senate President Tim Jennings, a Roswell Democrat, in the November general election. The district covers parts of Chaves, Eddy and Otero counties.

A recount also is necessary in the Democratic contest in western New Mexico’s Senate District 30. Clemente Sanchez of Grants has a nine-vote lead in a four-way primary. The Democratic incumbent, David Ulibarri of Grants, finished third.

Ulibarri defeated Sanchez in the Democratic primary four years ago by five votes after a recount. This year, Sanchez received 1,235 votes, and his niece, Maxine Velasquez, of Laguna Pueblo, had 1,226. Ulibarri finished with 889 votes, and Randolph Collins of Grants had 624 votes.

The Democratic primary winner will run against Republican Vickie Perea, of Belen, in the general election. The district covers parts of Cibola, McKinley, Socorro and Valencia counties.

Except for the two races with recounts, the board certified the results of the June 5 primary election.
— This article appeared on page C2 of the Albuquerque Journal