Republicans swept the field in Montezuma County races Tuesday, reflecting what appears to be a national trend, although GOP candidates are usually a good bet locally during any election cycle.
In the sheriff’s race Steve Nowlin easily bested his write-in opponent Mike Steele, winning 74 percent of the final vote count with 6,241 votes. There were 2,198 write-in votes cast, but only 1,867 were for Steele, with some voters writing in other names, including that of incumbent Sheriff Dennis Spruell, according to Clerk Carol Tullis.
James Lambert also won handily over independent candidate Bill Utrup, even though some voters had expressed alarm over some of the statements made on Lambert’s religious website kingdomseekers.com. He garnered 62 percent of the votes to Utrup’s 38 percent.
Deputy County Clerk Kim Percell scored big in her race as well, getting the nod from 69 percent of the electorate over unaffiliated candidate Judy Marquez.
Tullis said the turnout was quite heavy for a midterm election, with 9,790 ballots being turned in during the all-mail election out of approximately 14,000 that were sent out.