Democratic Party's primary for New Mexico House District 5 still too close to call

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FARMINGTON – Farmington resident Rebecca Morgan defeated Matt Dodson in today's Democratic Party primary election to determine the nominee for the state Senate District 1 seat.

The state House District 5 race for the Democratic nomination was too close to call as of press time.

With 32 of 34 San Juan County voting convenience centers reporting, Morgan received about 64 percent of the votes while Dodson had about 36 percent, according to unofficial results from the San Juan County Clerk’s Office website.

With a total of 1,525 votes cast in the race, Morgan received 980 votes while Dodson received 545, according to the results.

Morgan, 63, will face Republican incumbent Bill Sharer in the Nov. 8 general election for the senate seat. Sharer was first elected in November 2000 and is seeking his fifth four-year term in office. He ran uncontested in the Republican primary.

“I have been delighted with the response I’ve gotten from people in the community,” Morgan said.

Morgan is the owner of Namaste House, a Farmington assisted living facility, and an ordained United Church of Christ minister.

This is the first time Morgan is running for office. She said she was a little hesitant about running at first but after hearing people talk about issues important to them, she felt the courage to stay in the race.

Members of the community also talked about a number of issues that Morgan hopes to discuss as the November general election approaches.

“I’ve been surprised how great it is to hear what is important to them,” Morgan said.

Morgan said people expressed concerns about the economy, education and health care, among others, and she hopes to address these issues in a way that will benefit San Juan County.

In the Democratic primary for the state House of Representative District 5 seat, Kevin Mitchell had a slight lead in the San Juan County tally over incumbent Doreen Wonda Johnson as of 11 p.m. It was reversed in McKinley County.

District 5 is comprised of San Juan and McKinley counties as well as some Navajo Nation chapters.

No Republican candidates were in the race.

With 32 of 34 polling places reporting in San Juan County, Mitchell had 51.5 percent of vote with 707 ballots cast. Johnson had 48.5 percent.

In McKinley County, Johnson received 52.8 percent of 2,864 votes cast while Mitchell received 47.2 percent, according to the Secretary of State website.

There are 46 total precincts in McKinley County, and as of 10:30 p.m., 44 had reported results, according to the county’s Bureau of Elections Department.

However, the numbers posted on the Secretary of State website at that time did not reflect the total number of ballots cast at the 44 locations because the bureau director was still entering results, according to the department.

Johnson, 50, is a resident of Gallup but was born and raised in Crownpoint. She is seeking a second term as a state house representative.

Mitchell, 52, is a Tohatchi resident. He is the vice president of the Gallup-McKinley County Schools Board of Education and owner of Shaggy Dog Pet Grooming in Gallup.

Reporter Noel Lynn Smith contributed to the story. 

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.

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