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Rep. Mary Helen Garcia will ask for recount of House District 34 votes

Incumbent state Rep. Mary Helen Garcia, D-Las Cruces, who was defeated in a tight primary election contest last week, said today she will request a recount of votes cast in her southern New Mexico district.

“After discussing it with my family, I believe I owe it to my constituents to formally recount and review the results,” Garcia said in a statement.

Garcia, a nine-term lawmaker who serves as chairwoman of the House Voters and Elections Committee, was ousted by Bealquin “Bill” Gomez of La Mesa in the House District 34 primary race.

After a final canvass of votes cast, Gomez received 16 more votes than Garcia — 410 to 394 — and won 47.8 percent of the vote compared to 46 percent for Garcia. A third Democratic candidate, Christian Lira of Sunland Park, received 53 votes.

A day after the election, Garcia expressed concern about the high number of absentee votes from Sunland Park that Gomez received.

Sunland Park was home to a 2012 government corruption scandal that included several cases of false voting.

Garcia will have to pay for the recount, since a state-paid recount is only automatic in cases where the margin of victory is less than 0.5 percent of all votes cast in a race.

The cost of the recount is unclear, but Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins said today it will likely be “very expensive.”

Click here to read more about Garcia’s primary election contest. And check tomorrow’s Journal for more information.


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