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Democrats sweep Los Alamos County races

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By Jill McLaughlin

Democrats swept the Los Alamos County Council and the races for the sheriff’s office and magistrate judge Tuesday, turning the county blue across the board.

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Sara Scott (5,641), David Izraelevitz (4,999), James Robinson (4,536) and Randall Ryti (4,235) garnered the most votes to win seats on council, according to the county’s unofficial results.

Libertarian Helen Milenski (3,486) followed the winning pack, while Republicans Brady Burke (3,750), Dawn Trujillo Voss (3,876) and John Bliss (4,016) also took in the fewer votes.

“If the numbers turn out like they are, it’s a credit to our excellent candidates and our excellent team,” said Los Alamos County Democratic Party Chair Robyn Schultz. “We’ve got a really good organization that we’ve worked really hard on the last eight years to build. We recruited excellent candidates and that all came together tonight.”

Izraelevitz, an incumbent councilor, said the all-Democrat council did not mean that the party was pushing a certain mandate. Each councilor would bring their own set of priorities to council, he said.

“There is no county platform,” Izraelevitz said. “Each one of us is going to come from our own angle. It’s going to be seven individual councilors from seven individual platforms.”

When Izraelevitz was first appointed to his seat in 2011, the council was all-Republican, he said. Now, just seven years later, the party marjority has changed but the local issues remain the same.

“The issues we address day-to-day in council, they’re not the typical Republican versus Democrat social issues,” he said. They’re more everyday. They’re very, very local issues that really don’t have a party affiliation.”

The demographics are changing in Los Alamos and the Democratic Party has become more well organized than the Republican Party, he said.

For Scott, this will her first time as an elected official.

“It’s surprising and exciting and humbling,” Scott said. “I certainly just looking forward to having a great team on council and having us work together and deciding on priorities that we really want to focus on. We’re all committed to making a difference and serving the community.”

Robinson said he was excited about the record-breaking turnout. This will also be Robinson’s first time as an elected official.

“The turnout’s been amazing,” Robinson said. “I’m just humbled by the amount of votes I got. I’m really looking forward to getting to know my fellow councilors. I’ve gotten to know most of them while campaigning and other various activities. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can all accomplish together. Despite how some other elections went, I’m happy to see how the council elections stayed it was a debate of policies and not personalities.”

In Los Alamos, 10,423 voters cast ballots in the election. Of those, 3,063 voted Tuesday at a polling place, 6,562 voted during early voting and 706 returned absentee ballots.

Statewide, 620,320 voters cast ballots in the election.

In the sheriff’s race, Democrat Joe Granville easily won with 4,405 votes. Republican James Whitehead garnered 2,413 votes, Chris Luchini took in 1,472 votes and Greg White won 1,242 votes.  

Democrat Elizabeth Allen unseated incumbent Judge Alan Kirk to win the Municipal Judge seat for District 32, taking in 5,269 votes compared to Kirk’s 4,641 votes. Kirk had served the district for 20 years.

Incumbent Magistrate Judge Democrat Pat Casados easily won her seat with 5,944 votes compared to James Rickman, a Libertarian, who garnered 3,461 votes.

For House District 43, Los Alamos Councilor Chris Chandler, a Democrat, defeated Republican Lisa Shin by garnering 7,426 votes. Shin earned 4,727 votes.