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2 State Senate Primary Winners Survive Recounts

SANTA FE – Two state Senate candidates who survived recounts in their tight primary races were certified Monday by the State Canvassing Board.

Clemente Sanchez of Grants will be the Democratic nominee on the Nov. 6 general election ballot in District 30, and Cliff Pirtle the Republican nominee in District 32.

Sanchez picked up two additional votes in the District 30 recount to defeat lawyer Maxine Velasquez, his niece, by 11 votes, 1,237 to 1,226. The incumbent, Sen. David Ulibarri, D-Grants, was unseated, coming in third with 888 votes. Grants lawyer Randolph Marshall Collins had 624 votes.

It was the second razor-thin race in four years for Sanchez, who lagged just five votes behind Ulibarri after a recount in the 2008 Democratic primary.

Sanchez, who runs a small-business development center, will run against former Albuquerque City Councilor Vickie Perea, a Republican who now lives in Belen.

Pirtle, a Chaves County farmer, won the District 32 GOP primary by 10 votes, besting Chad Hamill 1,019 to 1,009.

He’ll run against Senate President Pro Tem Tim Jennings, D-Roswell, in the general election.

STEPPING IN: Former state elections official Daniel Ivey-Soto will replace Democratic Sen. Tim Eichenberg on the November ballot in Senate District 15 after squeaking out a win over the weekend at a meeting of the Bernalillo County Democratic Central Committee.

The vote was 14-13 for Ivey-Soto over Vanessa Alarid, a lobbyist and former executive director of the state party.

Ivey-Soto faces Republican former Sen. H. Diane Snyder in the general election.

Eichenberg, who defeated second-term Snyder in 2008, announced recently his withdrawal from the ballot and retirement from the Senate at the end of the year.

Ivey-Soto headed the Elections Bureau under Secretary of State Mary Herrera and is executive director of the county clerks’ affiliate of the New Mexico Association of Counties.
— This article appeared on page C2 of the Albuquerque Journal