Democratic candidate Trudy Reed, 35, a social worker for San Juan Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, rose to a slight lead by latest results reporting at 11 p.m. Her lead, at nearly 52 percent with 3,157 votes counted.
"It was a great campaign," Reed said by phone. "I have to thank all voters in Division 4 on the reservation who really came out to show their support. I'm excited to listen to the people, to be a good young learner."
Born and raised in San Juan County, Reed earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona and a master's degree from Arizona State University. Both degrees are in social work. Watching her grandfather speak at Navajo chapter house meetings as a girl and her work as a court monitor during DWI trials for Mothers Against Drunk Driving sparked her interest in civic duty.
McDaniel, 58, who had enjoyed a comfortable lead for most of the night, was overtaken by Reed late Tuesday. Shortly after 11 p.m., he had a total of 48 percent with 2,925 votes counted.
Gary McDaniel is the Republican candidate. Gov. Susana Martinez appointed McDaniel, 58, to the position of magistrate judge in April after the seat had been vacant for more than half a year after Magistrate Judge Wilma Charley resigned. McDaniel will likely now step down from the Division 4 seat to make way for Reed.