Sharer keeps New Mexico Senate District 1 seat

Incumbent Sharer defeats Democratic newcomer Rebecca Morgan for state Senate District 1 seat

Joshua Kellogg
State Sen. Bill Sharer, R-Farmington, watches election results with his granddaughter, Elizabeth Yates, on Tuesday at No Worries Sports Bar and Grill in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — Incumbent state Sen. Bill Sharer, R-Farmington, gained an early lead over Democratic challenger Rebecca Morgan on Election Day and held onto that to secure his fifth-term representing state Senate District 1.

With all 34 of San Juan County's voting convenience center reporting numbers, Sharer had 11,126 votes and Morgan received 4,814 votes, according to unofficial numbers released by the San Juan County Clerk’s Office.

The District 1 seat represents large portions of Farmington and parts of Crouch Mesa.

During a telephone interview tonight, Sharer thanked San Juan County residents for voting in the election.

“I am very grateful to the citizens of San Juan County that participated,” he said.

He added that Morgan was the hardest working candidate he has run against for the seat.

State Senate District 1 candidate Rebecca Morgan, left, greets state House District 4 candidate GloJean Todacheene on Tuesday at the San Juan County Democratic headquarters in Farmington.

This was Morgan’s first run for elected officeShe defeated Matt Dodson in the June 8 Democratic Party primary election for the nomination with 984 votes to Dodson's 548, according to the New Mexico Secretary of State website.

She was running for the same seat her father —  the late former state Sen. Jack Morgan — held for 16 years. Morgan operates Namaste House, an assisted-living facility in Farmington, and is a pastor in the United Church of Christ.

Sharer has operated the Credit Bureau of Farmington since he purchased the business in 1996. He has served as a state senator since 2000.

At the San Juan County Republican Party watch party at No Worries Sports Bar and Grill, Sharer said residents are worried about their jobs.

“Most people here are worried about the economy," he said early in the evening.

Sharer said the message he wants to send to San Juan County residents is that economic enhancements and revitalization can help the state. He said raising taxes is not the way to go.

“If the people don’t have enough, then the government is not going to have enough either,” he said.

From top left clockwise, state Sen. Bill Sharer, R-Farmington, San Juan County District Attorney Rick Tedrow and his son, Jacob Tedrow, look at election returns on a computer Tuesday at No Worries Sports Bar and Grill in Farmington.

As state legislators prepare for the upcoming legislative session in January, Sharer said he hopes to continue discussing ways to simplify the state’s gross receipts tax system.

“We need tax reform so that other businesses can come (here) and want to come (here)," he said.

San Juan County voters also cast ballots in four other state Senate races, all of which were uncontested. The

Unofficial results from the New Mexico Secretary of State showed that Steve Neville, R-Aztec, received 15,011 votes for District 2, which covers northeastern San Juan County including Aztec and Bloomfield.

John Pinto, D-Gallup, received 12,393 votes for District 3, which covers parts of San Juan County, including Shiprock and McKinley County.

George Muñoz, D-Gallup, received 11,667 votes for District 4, which covers southwest San Juan County, southern McKinley County and northern Cibola County.

Benny Shendo, D-Jemez Pueblo, received 11,609 votes for District 22, which includes parts of Bernalillo, McKinley, Rio Arriba, San Juan and Sandoval counties.

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