Sanders, George get primary wins in Roosevelt County

Thomas Garcia

Republican David Sanders won the District 2 Roosevelt County Commissioner seat and Barbara George defeated Laverne Standifer and Mitchell Morgan in the Republican primary for probate judge in the two locally contested races Tuesday night.

George will face Democrat Mark Paternoster in the November general election.

Sanders received 59.81 percent (250 votes) defeating Richard “Rick” Leal, who has 40.19 percent (168 votes). George, in a field of three, won the Republican probate judge primary with 666 votes 52.11 percent of the Republican vote.

Local candidates said they were concerned with a low voter turnout for Roosevelt County’s June primaries.

On Tuesday, 1,379 voters cast their ballots in person, combined with 640 ballots from early voting and absentee mail for a total of 2,019 voters.
“Voters should come out and voice their opinions,” said Leal. “When people do not come out and vote it will affect us all.”

“It is a concern that there was not a better turnout,” said Sanders.

“We want to see everyone come out and exercise their right to vote,” said George.

Though he was uncontested in the Democratic primary, Paternoster, who received 532 votes, lamented with others the low turnout.
“I am a little disappointed in the turnout in both races (Republican and Democratic),” Paternoster said.

After the election the candidate spoke about their opponents.

“I want to wish Mr. Sanders all the best in his upcoming term,” Leal said.

“Richard Leal has been my friend for 15 years, and he would have made a great county commissioner,” Sanders said.

With the win Sanders will serve the remaining six months of his four-year term and be sworn in on January 1 for another four-year term.

“I truly appreciate the support, I love this county,” Sanders said.” Roosevelt County has done so much for me that I will continue working to give back.”

George defeated Standifer who had 28.33 percent (362 votes) and Morgan who received 19.56 percent of the vote (250).

“Well this was the semifinals and now we have the finals to look forward to,” George said. “First things first I am going to take a break for a couple days before I begin campaigning again. Mark (Paternoster) and I have been friends for many years and I am not sure how it will be running against a close friend.”

Jake Lopez ran unopposed in the District 1 Democratic Roosevelt County Commission receiving 101 votes.