Presidio County votes for change as incumbents lose
By ALBERTO TOMAS HALPERN
PRESIDIO COUNTY – Presidio County voters continued a growing trend in contemporary American politics to say adios to incumbents. In the Democratic Party runoff election on Tuesday, they turned away two commissioners and a constable.
In the race for south county precinct 3 commissioner, Presidio Mayor Lorenzo Hernandez defeated two-term incumbent Carlos Armendariz. Hernandez overtook Armendariz by 13 votes as he earned 93 votes to 80 votes for Armendariz, a 54 percent victory margin.
Hernandez will likely resign as mayor later this year, and typically the city council will appoint a new mayor, or keep the post open until the May 2013 election and allow Mayor Pro-Tem Obed Escontrias to run the show.
Longtime north county precinct 1 Commissioner Felipe “Phil” Cordero, who dominated the post for three decades, fell to Marfa rancher Jim White III by five votes.
White received 94 votes to Cordero’s 89, a 51 percent edge over the dean of commissioners. White is a former Presidio County Underground Water Conservation Board director and unsuccessfully ran against Cordero four years ago.
In the race for north county precinct 1 Constable, incumbent Juan Lara, who has held the position for almost 20 years, lost to political newcomer Estevan “Steve” Marquez.
While the constable race was quiet on the surface, delving deep into the political atmosphere was full of chatter in that ‘all politics is local.’ Marquez received 296 votes to Lara’s 287 votes, a nine-vote difference and a shy, 50.7 percent edge for Marquez. Lara is considering a recount of votes.
None of the Democrats have Republican challengers in the November general election and will go on to take office in 2013.
In Brewster County, incumbent precinct 3 Commissioner Ruben Ortega outpolled Eduardo Vega by a vote of 284 to 138, or 67 percent.
And Mike “Coach” Pallanez defeated Van Neie for the precinct 4 commissioner nod by a vote of 250 to 138, or 64 percent. Pallanez is a cousin of the late commissioner Wacky Pallanez, who passed away while in office last year.
The two Democrats face Republican candidates in November, Ben Ramirez in precinct 3, and Carl Lewis in precinct 4.
Story filed under: Top Stories