FARMINGTON — The Republican primary for the San Juan County Commission District 4 came down to the absentee ballots as Terri Fortner is poised to take over her husband's seat on the commission after defeating Erich Cole during the June 2 primary election.

As of 11:30 p.m., Fortner had gathered 2,250 votes to beat Cole, who had 2,011 votes, according to San Juan County Clerk's Office unofficial results.

Don't miss out on the latest news and analysis on the 2020 election process.  Help us continue providing content like this by subscribing today.

A review of election results showed Cole leading Fortner for most of the evening until the absentee ballot results were added.

Current commissioner Jack Fortner, Terri's husband, has reached term limits and could not seek reelection. 

There were no Libertarian or Democratic party candidates on the primary election ballot, which means Terri Fortner is likely the next county commissioner following the Nov. 3 general election.

Previously: County clerk says her office has received a record number of absentee ballot requests

Fortner told The Daily Times she was excited about winning the primary and was appreciated everyone who turned out and voted for her.

She is a nurse who has worked at positions at the area schools, the local hospital and at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center as a nurse practitioner.

Fortner has also served on the New Mexico Board of Nursing for eight years including a term as the chairwoman.

More: Candidates with very different backgrounds seek County Commission District 4 seat

She helped consult on the San Juan County behavioral health gap analysis report and is on the San Juan Regional Medical Center Executive Board.

Fortner said she enjoys giving back to the community and believed it was the right time to serve on the county commission.

Economic development, public safety and working to help fund behavior and mental healthcare are top priorities for her.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at

Support local journalism with a digital subscription:

Read or Share this story: