Uncle takes lead by just 9 votes over niece in state Senate race, recount to come
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On Thursday morning, the county clerk’s office in Cibola County finally tabulated its provisional ballots and saw Sanchez pick up 15 more votes while Velasquez picked up 3 more votes. Velasquez entered Friday morning clinging to a 3-vote margin the Senate District 30 race in west and central New Mexico but adding the Cibola County results, Sanchez has taken the overall lead by 9 votes.
Under state election law, a recount is required if the margin within one-half of one percent of the total votes cast. In District 30, more than 3,800 votes were cast so the 9-vote difference that now exists between Sanchez and Velasquez definitely falls within one-half of one percent.
We’ve got phone calls into Sanchez and Velasquez. We’ll post their comments as soon as we hear back from them.
Senate District 30 encompasses four different counties (Cibola, McKinley, Valencia and Soccoro). Now that Cibola has counted its provisional ballots, all four counties results are in and will be forwarded to the Secretary of State’s office, which will meet with the State Canvassing Board prior to the recount.
Some background: Sanchez and Velasquez took part in a contentious 4-way battle in the Democratic Party primary that saw incumbent Sen. David Ulibarri of Grants ousted from his Roundhouse seat. Sanchez and Velasquez are related — he is her uncle — although the two are not personally close. For Sanchez, the upcoming recount is a repeat for him. Back in 2008, he lost a recount to Ulibarri by five votes in the Democratic primary.