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FARMINGTON — San Juan County's new assessor was sworn in on Thursday in Aztec District Court and will serve until the end of 2016.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge," Jimmy Voita said. "I've got a great group of employees. We're all public servants."

Voita has been the county's chief deputy assessor for about five years, but Clyde Ward, the former assessor, recommended the County Commission appoint Voita to succeed him. Ward accepted a job in the New Mexico State Land Office, and today is his last day working for the county.

Voita will have to campaign in the 2016 primary and general elections to keep his position, and he said he plans to do so.

Before he worked for the county, Voita owned a local appraisal company called Voita Appraisal Services. He said he closed the business when he began working under Ward. He earned his real estate license in 2003.

County Executive Officer Kim Carpenter said Ward set a high standard in the assessor's office, but he knows Voita will meet it.

"There will be no doubt that Jimmy will fill those shoes," Carpenter said.

He said he can think of no one else as qualified to lead the assessor's office as Voita. Under Ward's tutelage, Voita learned how to do his new job well, Carpenter said.

Dan Schwartz covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606 and dschwartz@daily-times.com. Follow him @dtdschwartz on Twitter.

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