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Local News

  • Dems win two council seats

    As 2013 dawns, the make up of the Los Alamos County Council will be decidedly different.

    When the Charter Review Committee evaluated the county’s system of elections, one of the arguments for adopting an alternative to the current election system was the fact that just last year the entire council was comprised of Republicans.

    The selection of David Izraelevitz to replace Jim Hall brought one Democrat into the mix. Tuesday’s election brings that total to three, with Democrat Kristin Henderson, Republican Steve Girrens and Democrat Peter Sheehey, winning the race to fill three vacant seats.

    Henderson was the top vote-getter, with 4,816 votes. Girrens was just six votes behind her. With 4,691 votes, Sheehey beat out Republican Marc Clay for the third vacant seat by just 19 votes.

    Republican Vincent Chiravalle, who was running for re-election, netted 4,581 votes and meanwhile the last person to enter the race, Michael Redondo, brought in 3,453. Redondo was nominated to replace Kenneth Johnson on the Democratic ticket Aug. 27.

    Henderson was pleased about what she thinks her top ranking represents.

  • Republicans pick up seats in New Mexico Senate

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and her Republican allies made gains in the state Senate, including ousting a top Democratic leader.

    Unofficial returns from Tuesday showed Democrats winning or leading enough House races to likely hang on to the party's majority but the outcome remained uncertain because several races were very close.

    Martinez achieved a big victory when Senate President Tim Jennings of Roswell lost his re-election bid.

    Roswell farmer Cliff Pirtle received 52 percent of the vote to 48 percent for Jennings, according to unofficial but complete returns. Jennings was the second-longest serving state senator.

    Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, a Belen Democrat, survived a costly effort by pro-Martinez forces to make a clean sweep of the top Democratic leadership. Sanchez, who has served in the Senate since 1993, handily defeated first-term Republican David Doyle, a Los Lunas lawyer who gave up a House seat to run for the Senate.

  • Today in History for November 7th
  • LA voters OK all four charter amendments

    Following a highly contentious public debate regarding four Charter amendment questions, Los Alamos voters gave the nod to all of them:

    Charter Amendments Yes   No
    Question 1              5331 4113
    Question 2              4888 4437
    Question 3              5461 3712
    Question 4              5852 3365

    Get a complete wrap up of local, state and national races in Wednesday's Los Alamos Monitor. As a public service, Wednesday's edition of the newspaper will be a Total Market Circulation distribution delivered to virtually every household in Los Alamos County.

    Look for a follow up report on the reaction to passage of the Charter amendments in Thursday's edition of the Los Alamos Monitor.

  • Lujan Grisham picked as Heinrich's replacement

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Democrats kept control of two of New Mexico's three congressional districts with the election Tuesday of Michelle Lujan Grisham to represent the Albuquerque area.

    Lujan Grisham easily defeated former Republican state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones after an uncharacteristically quiet campaign for what is traditionally a swing district known for its hard-fought races.

    Lujan Grisham replaces Democrat Martin Heinrich, who defeated his predecessor, Republican Heather Wilson, for the state's open U.S. Senate seat.

    Although the majority of voters in the district are Democrats, Wilson managed to hold the seat for a decade before giving it up in 2008 to make her first run for Senate. Heinrich has held the seat since then.

    It is the most competitive of the three congressional districts in New Mexico. In the other two, Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Lujan and GOP Rep. Steve Pearce easily held onto their seats.

  • NM voters approve $140M in library, school bonds

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico voters have approved three general obligation bond proposals that provide more than $140 million for senior citizen centers, libraries and colleges and universities around the state.

    Officials at the University of New Mexico, the state's largest university, say the bonds include $19 million for renovations on the main campus and another $5.5 million is earmarked for branch campuses in Gallup, Los Alamos, Taos and Valencia County.

    Senior centers from the Navajo Nation south to Dona Ana County would share $10.3 million in bonds for improvements, new construction and other equipment.

    Another $9.8 million in bonds would go to state agencies for purchasing books, electronic resources and other materials as well as library construction projects.

    Bonds are backed by property taxes and must be approved by voters.

  • Heinrich defeats Wilson for Senate seat

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Democrat Martin Heinrich won New Mexico's open U.S. Senate seat on Tuesday in a race against a former Republican congresswoman.

    He defeated Heather Wilson, and will succeed Democrat Jeff Bingaman, who is retiring after 30 years.

    Heinrich has represented the Albuquerque area's 1st Congressional District since 2009, when he took over a seat held by Wilson for five terms. Wilson didn't seek re-election in 2008 and ran unsuccessfully for the GOP Senate nomination after Republican Pete Domenici decided to retire.

    Both parties viewed the race between Heinrich and Wilson as important in the national battle for control of the Senate. However, polling during the campaign showed that Wilson struggled to attract crossover support among Democrats, which is critical in a state where Republicans account for only one-third of voters.

  • Garcia Richard wins battle for Dist. 43 State House seat

    Democrat challenger Stephanie Garcia Richard has edged out incumbent Republican Jim Hall in the pitched battle to represent District 43 in the House.

    With some of the votes still being tallied, Garcia Richard has garnered 7, 092 (51 percent) versus Hall's total of 6,782 (48 percent).

    As of 7 a.m. roughly  83 percent or 25 out of 30 preceincts had been counted.

    "It looks like she won by about 300 votes," Hall said this morning. "I expected her to win by about 100 or so but I have not been able to find the results from all the precincts. The Secretary of State website has not been updated since last night. But I think it's a done deal."

    Hall said he felt the difference in the race was the turnout in the La Cienega section of Santa Fe where twice as many people came to vote than they did in 2010 when the late Jeannette Wallace edged Garcia Richard by 210 votes.

    "There was no way I could overcome that."

  • Obama wins another four years

    BOSTON (AP) — His reach for the presidency thwarted, Mitt Romney stayed out of sight late Tuesday as news organizations including The Associated Press announced that President Barack Obama had won a second term.

    Dejected Romney supporters milled around a hotel ballroom where the Republican hopeful had planned to declare victory and groaned as key battlegrounds moved Obama's way.

    Obama's victory in closely fought Ohio narrowed Romney's path to the 270 electoral vote. The Democrat also was declared the winner in other swing states including New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Colorado and Iowa. Michigan and Pennsylvania, which Republicans hoped to put in play, stayed in Obama's camp as well. Florida and Virginia remained too close to call.

    Romney supporters cheered a win in North Carolina, which Obama captured four years ago. But it was a rare prize in an evening that broadly favored the presidency.

  • Henderson, Sheehey and Girrens win Council seats

    Democrats Kristin Henderson and Peter Sheehey along with Republican Steve Girrens were elected to Los Alamos County Council Tuesday night.

    Sharon Stover, meanwhile, won the county clerk race against Nathan Hjelm.

    In addition, all four county charter amendments passed.