Coin toss decides magistrate race

GALLUP – A New Mexico county magistrate race that ended in a tie has finally come to a head, or rather, heads.

Kenneth Howard Jr. made the lucky call in a coin toss Tuesday in a Gallup courtroom, winning a four-year term as McKinley County magistrate judge.

The Gallup Independent reported that a recount of the June 3 Democratic primary found Howard and Robert Baca each received exactly 2,879 votes.

State law mandates a tie must be decided by lot.

A Democratic Party official tossed a 50-cent piece, and Howard got to make the call as the candidate who was lower on the ballot.

Because there’s no opponent on the general election ballot, Howard gets the job.


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