Sanchez declared winner

........................................................................................................................................................................................

The waiting is finally over for Clemente Sanchez. Just over a month has passed since the June 5 primary and Sanchez, one of four Democratic candidates vying for the State Senate District 30 seat, was finally declared the winner.

Because the margin was so close between Sanchez and challenger Maxine Velasquez, state statute called for an automatic recount of all the ballots cast in the district, which spans four counties. District 30 stretches across parts of Socorro, Valencia, Cibola and McKinley counties.

After the recount concluded, and the State Canvassing Board met Monday to certify the results of the recount, Sanchez ended up with an 11-vote lead over Velasquez.

Sanchez, who is from Grants, will face Republican Vickie Perea of Belen in the November general election.

This was not Sanchez's first experience with a mandatory recount. He lost the Democratic primary four years ago by just five votes to David Ulibarri, who has held the Senate seat since then. Ulibarri lost his seat, coming in third in last month's primary.

Because he was on the "other side" of the 2008 recount, Sanchez says he is very happy with this years outcome.

"I am happy with the process. It was very good, professionally done as opposed to last time. It was the first time they had done a recount under the new laws," Sanchez said. "The clerks did very good job."

Now that the final results are in, Sanchez said he will take a breather for the next couple of weeks, then get back to campaigning.

"We are going to take a break, breath a little, then get out there and work hard again," he said. "We worked hard in the primary. We didn't have the financial resources like the other candidates did but we outworked them."

Going into the general election, Sanchez said he will keep his same grass roots campaign going with the help of his supporters.

"Our supporters are very eager to get out there and get after it," he said. "I really want to thank all supporters voters of Senate District 30 for getting out and voting and supporting me. I want to commend the other three candidates — they worked hard.

"Other papers have asked me what endorsements I'm hoping for but the only endorsement that matters to me is the voters who vote. That's the ultimate one to me. It's only one that counts."

Sanchez is the director of the small business development center at the New Mexico State University Grants campus.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.