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Voters watched anxiously as results began to come in on Election Night

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — As polls closed, a crowd of Republicans gathered at No Worries Sports Bar and Grill in Farmington to watch results come in. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of New Mexico hosted a virtual watch party rather than having in person events.

Republican Party of San Juan County Chairman Drew Degner said he felt anxious as he watched results begin to come in after the polls closed.

President Donald Trump, the Republican incumbent, faced a tight race nationwide and Degner said a lot is at stake in this election.

“I think our energy is at stake, our jobs are at stake, especially in San Juan County,” Degner said.

Republicans watch election results come in, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, at No Worries Sports Bar and Grill in Farmington.

He said if Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden wins the election it could devastate the energy industry, which is already hurting amid state policies promoting renewable energy.

But while Degner anxiously watched results coming in, state Rep. Rod Montoya, R-Farmington, who serves as the minority whip was cautiously optimistic that, at least in terms of the state Legislature, the Republicans could see some good news.

Montoya said he anticipated Republicans would pick some seats in the Legislature, which has been controlled by Democrats, however he did not know how many.

Republicans gathered for an election watch party, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, at No Worries Sports Bar and Grill in Farmington.

“We’ve never put together this kind of effort before,” Montoya said.

He said the Republicans in the House of Representatives, the Senate and the state party have come together to get conservative candidates elected to the state Legislature.

In San Juan County, Montoya was hopeful that Republican challenger Mark Duncan, an experienced politician, could unseat the incumbent Rep. Anthony Allison, D-Fruitland.

“I’m hopeful that New Mexico voters will bring some balance back to New Mexico,” Montoya said, adding that the Democratic Party has controlled the state government for most of the past 90 years and, he said, New Mexico ranks at the bottom in terms of many quality of life measures including education.

Duncan was also hopeful about his race, although he acknowledged it is a tough district to win.

State Rep. James Strickler, R-Farmington, attends an election watch party, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Farmington.

“Every race you get into, you can get your behind kicked,” he said.

Montoya didn’t expect to necessarily know the results of the presidential election on Election Night, highlighting that Pennsylvania results may not even come in until Friday.

As for the presidential election, Duncan said he hopes Trump wins in a landslide. Duncan described the election as a “paycheck election” and anticipated the economic gains that occurred during the Trump presidency could win Trump another term. He highlighted that the economy was doing great until the COVID-19 pandemic hit and has improved in the last quarter.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party celebrated high levels of voter turnout.

“As Democrats, we are proud to see record early and absentee voting in New Mexico and across the nation," said Democratic Party of New Mexico Chairperson Marg Ellison in a statement. "We are committed to respecting the electoral process, and we understand that given the unprecedented nature of this election, results may not be available tonight. It is essential that we allow time for all legally cast ballots to be counted. We continue to encourage all voters to make a plan and get to the polls."

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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President Donald Trump campaign merchandise is pictured, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, during an election watch party in Farmington.