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Majority of Eddy County residents voted on Election Day

Mike Smith
Carlsbad Current-Argus

Nearly 70 percent of Eddy County registered voters cast ballots during the 2020 General Election, according to the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office.

Figures show 34,599 residents were eligible to vote Tuesday and 23,106 cast ballots — or around 67 percent. Statewide, 912,565 votes were cast and more than 1.3 million residents were eligible to vote.

On Election Day, the Secretary of State's Office showed 1,860 Eddy County Democrats voted absentee, 3,444 voted in-person and 1,130 voted on Election Day. A total of 6,434 Democrats voted across Eddy County.

Eddy County had 1,290 Republicans vote absentee, 10,753 voted in-person and 1,572 voted on Election Day. A total of 13,795 Republicans voted.

County's uncontested races garner thousands of votes

According to unofficial election results, 22,268 votes were cast in the contested races for Eddy County Treasurer and Eddy County Sheriff.

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Incumbent Republican Treasurer Laurie Pruitt defeated Artesia Democrat Rosie Garcia by more than 10,000 votes, per election figures.

“I have worked the past four years as the Eddy County Treasurer and in the Treasurer’s office for a total of seven and two years prior to that in the Assessor’s office. Before coming to the county, I worked as a bank officer for nine years at Pioneer Bank and Wells Fargo.  I also worked for Guaranty Title Company for seven years where I was a certified title insurance agent.  I have earned my certification as a New Mexico Certified Appraiser and completed all of the requirements as a Certified County Official,” Pruitt said.

Eddy County Treasurer Laurie Pruitt waits for results on Election Night at the Eddy County Clerk's Office in Carlsbad.

The Treasurer’s office may not grab the spotlight that the Sheriff’s office or Board of County of Commissioner’s gets. But, the treasurer has lots of responsibility, Pruitt said.

“As the treasurer, I am responsible for all money that is brought into the county and all money that is spent. I currently reconcile 16 different bank statements each month and I am responsible to make sure taxpayer money is tier invested and safe. I have to know and adhere to the New Mexico state statutes that govern my position. I am responsible for my own budget as well as sit on the County Finance Board that makes budgeting recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners,” she said.

More:Election Day 2020: Live updates and results as voters take to the polls

Pruitt is also responsible for distributing tax payments to the various entities the county collects for, such as the local school districts, cities and the state.  

“I manage the office in Carlsbad and the Sub-Office in Artesia and oversee six employees,” she said.

Cage, Eddy County’s Republican incumbent Sheriff, defeated Democrat Donald Cantrell by 12,306 votes Tuesday.

Shelly Granado checks some voting information on Nov. 3, 2020 at Trinity Temple Assembly of God in Artesia.

Cage had 17,297 votes and Cantrell had 4,991, the unofficial numbers read.

Cantrell said COVID-19 caused his campaign to get off to slow start.

"(The) lack of being able to gather and really talk to a lot of people. All-in-all I think the campaign went really well. I have to take my hat off to Mark Cage and Allen Griffith," he said.

Tuesday's run for Sheriff was Cantrell's first time running for elected office.

"I met a lot of great people and hopefully if I decide to do something else in the future I'll know where to start," he said. 

Members of Eddy County’s New Mexico Legislative delegation won’t change as most were unopposed.

State Rep. Jim Townsend from Artesia (R-54) had 7,294 unofficial votes in Eddy County.

More:Our Election Day commitment to you

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve District 54. I appreciate the support of this District and I am here to serve all constituents within this district. Please feel free to call me if I may help,” he said.

State Rep. Cathrynn Brown from Carlsbad (R-55) garnered 10,960 votes to return to Santa Fe in 2021.

In the State Senate, Roswell Republican Cliff Pirtle (R-32) picked up 1,179 votes in Eddy County and Eunice Republican David Gallegos (R-41) garnered 4,521 votes in Eddy County, election figures read.

Kadee Rodriguez looks over some election material on Nov. 3, 2020 at the Early Voting Room in Carlsbad.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve in the Senate,” Gallegos said.

Gallegos said he and U.S. House Rep. elect Yvette Herrell spent time campaigning in Eddy and Lea Counties.

“I loved the opportunity to go door-to-door with Yvette,” he said.

More:Cordova among lineup of Democrats, Republicans seeking election to county government

State Sen. Ron Griggs from Alamogordo (R-34) defeated Democrat Darren Murray Kugler in Eddy County by a count of 4,216 to 1,220. 

Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at MSmith@currentargus.com or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.