Lincoln County voters say yes to new hospital - Albuquerque Journal

Lincoln County voters say yes to new hospital

Lincoln County voters overwhelming threw their support behind a plan to build a new county hospital in Ruidoso by approving a $25 million bond issue by a vote of 6,018 in favor to 2,448 against, based on unofficial results late Tuesday.

They also helped toward the reelection Republican State Pearce as the representative for the 2nd Congressional District in New Mexico, and backed Republican Nora Espinoza for New Mexico Secretary of State, although the vote went to Maggie Toulouse Oliver. Republican John Patrick Sugg will stay on as 12th Judicial District Attorney.

County Clerk Rhonda Burrows placed the voter turnout in the 22 precincts for the general election at 65 percent of the 13,950 registered voters.

“It’s went really well,” Burrows said. “We had a few voters from other areas of the state who tried to vote at our polling centers. Some were in the area hunting. But we told them they had to vote (by law) in the county where they are registered.”

A poll worker in Corona reported seeing people show up to cast a ballot in this election that they had never seen come out previously to vote.

Burrows’ office issued 978 absentee ballots and 935 were returned, she said. At the county courthouse in Carrizozo, 893 voters showed up to cast their ballots early and 3,714 came to the Horton Complex in Ruidoso for a total of 4,607, translating to about 40 percent of the registered county voters casting their ballots before general election day. Another 3,419 showed up at voting centers Tuesday bringing the total to 65 percent, she said.

Despite New Mexico’s overall vote favoring Democrat Hillary Clinton for president at more than 51 percent to 38 percent, Lincoln County stayed true to its Republican two-to-one majority by voting 5,859 for Donald Trump and Michael Pence to Clinton and Timothy Kaine’s 2,318.

Former Republican governor Gary Johnson and his vice president nominee Bill Weld with the Libertarian Party drew about 8 percent statewide and 525 votes locally.

In the secretary of state race at press time, Democrat Oliver was ahead of Espinoza statewide by about 59 percent to 41 percent, but locally, Espinoza drew 5,786 votes to Oliver’s 2,180.

With partial results for the District 39 race in the senate, Republican State Sen. Ted Barela held a slight lead over Democrat Elizabeth Stefanics, but in Lincoln County he received 2,984 votes to her 933 votes. Republican Greg Nibert was winning the District 59 state house seat vacated by Espinoza over Democrat Richard James Garcia with 69.8 percent, and locally by 2,884 votes to 1,138 votes.

Those facing no opposition in the election included State Sen. William Burt from District 33, State Rep. Zach Cool from District 56; Dan Bryant for 12th Judicial District judge; Preston Stone for the District 1 county commission seat; Dallas Draper for the District 3 county commission seat; Walter Hill for county assessor. Robert Shepperd for county sheriff; and Stirling Spencer for probate judge. All are Republicans. Sugg faced a write in candidate for 12th Judicial District attorney, but easily won with more than 99 percent of the vote.

Local voters mirrored what seemed to be state results by passing all four state bond issues by votes of 5,199 to 2,870 for Question A dealing with senior citizen facilities; a vote of 4,832 to 3,186 for Question B dealing with library acquisition money; Question C by votes of 4,604 to 3,464 dealing with higher education, including a project at the Ruidoso campus of Eastern New Mexico University; and Question D by votes of 5,370 to 2,679 dealing with law enforcement and public safety. Local voters also approved a constitutional amendment by a vote of 7,287 to 879 to give judges more latitude to deny release on bail pending trial for dangerous defendants in felony cases while retaining the right to pretrial release for non-dangerous defendants who do not pose a flight risk.

In judicial races, local voter chose Judith K, Nakamura, a Republican, over Michael Vigil, a Democrat, by 6,044 to 2,471 votes, and she was ahead statewide with incomplete results at press time; Republican Stephen G. French won locally over Democrat Julie Vargas with 5,958 votes to 2,486, but was behind statewide.

Under judicial retentions, voters kept Supreme Court Justice Barbara Vigil, and three court of appeals judges, Johnathan Sutin, Tim Garcia and M. Monica Zamora.


©2016 the Ruidoso News (Ruidoso, N.M.)

Visit the Ruidoso News (Ruidoso, N.M.) at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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