Strickler defeats Robinson for House District 2

Sharon Clahchischilliage narrowly defeats challenger GloJean Todacheene for the House District 4 seat

Hannah Grover
At center, state Rep. James Strickler, R-Farmington, talks with fellow watch party attendees on Tuesday at No Worries Sports Bar and Grill in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — Two Republican incumbents will continue to serve this area in the New Mexico House of Representatives after voters had their say in Tuesday's general election.

Rep. James Strickler defeated his opponent Kenneth Robinson and won his sixth term as the representative for House District 2, which covers parts of Farmington, Bloomfield and Crouch Mesa. And Sharon Clahchischilliage narrowly defeated challenger GloJean Todacheene for the House District 4 seat.

According to final, but unofficial, vote tallies released shortly after 11 p.m., Strickler led with 6,072 votes to Robinson's 2,355. Clahchischilliage led with 5,042 to Todacheene's 4,246 votes.

Clahchischilliage said her race was close because of Todacheene's name recognition. Todacheene has served as a school teacher, principal, Navajo Nation council delegate and county commissioner.

State Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage, R-Kirtland, talks with friends on Tuesday at the Shiprock Chapter house.

Clahchischilliage said she will focus on "saving what we have right now and then adding to it." She highlighted the energy industry as one area she will work to protect.

Both Strickler and Clahchischilliage expressed concerns about the possibility that the Democratic Party would gain the majority in the state House of Representatives. The Republican Party gained the majority in the House two years ago but appeared at risk of losing it during Tuesday's general election.

"We just love the fact that we were able to have the House for two years," Strickler said.

Clahchischilliage cautioned that a Democratic majority could hurt the local power plants because Democrats don't tend to be "pro fossil fuel power plants."

"At least I was starting to learn how to crow a little louder," she said.

She said she will crow "louder and fiercer" in the future to advocate for San Juan County.

State House District 4 candidate GloJean Todacheene makes an appearance on Tuesday at the San Juan County Democratic headquarters in Farmington.

Strickler said San Juan County residents are concerned with over regulation from federal agencies like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Bureau of Land Management.

"We've got a tough row to hoe in New Mexico because so much of our lands are federal lands," he said.

He said the state legislature will have to work with New Mexico's congressional delegation to pass national legislation that benefits New Mexico.

Strickler said he was humbled to be reelected as the representative in District 2.

Carmel Gutierrez, left, greets state House District 2 candidate Ken Robinson on Tuesday at the San Juan County Democratic headquarters in Farmington.

"It's a real honor to serve San Juan County," Strickler said. "I mean I love San Juan County. I love Farmington."

There were also six uncontested races for New Mexico House seats representing San Juan County.

According to the results, Rodney Montoya, R-Farmington, received 10,666 votes for the District 1 seat, which represents east Farmington to west Aztec.

Paul Bandy, R-Aztec, received 8,281 votes for the District 3 seat, which includes northeastern San Juan County including Aztec and Cedar Hill.

Doreen Johnson, D-Gallup, received 1,945 votes in San Juan County's portion of District 5, which covers south central San Juan County and part of McKinley County.

Patty Lundstrom, D-Gallup, received 787 votes for the District 9 seat, which represents southwest San Juan County and part of McKinley County.

Derrick Lente, D-Sandia Pueblo, received 584 votes in San Juan County for the District 65 seat, which represents portions of San Juan County, Sandoval County and Rio Arriba County.

Harry Garcia, D-Grants, received 270 votes in San Juan County for the District 69 seat, which represents the southeast corner of San Juan County as well as portions of McKinley, Cibola and Bernalillo counties.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.