Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe handily won reelection to another four-year term.
Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe handily won reelection to another four-year term Tuesday night (Nov. 6).
With most of the 36 precincts reporting at 9 p.m., unofficial results showed 9,160 votes cast for Hogrefe versus 4,189 votes for his Republican challenger, Jani Dean Davis.
As the final election results rolled in for the only contested race in Taos County, Hogrefe celebrated a victory that at times seemed less than certain under pressure from a tenacious opponent.
Davis had hoped to become the first female sheriff to be elected in the history of the county, but it was not to be.
"I put everything on the table, and the voters spoke," Davis said as she celebrated a hard-fought, but unsuccessful campaign at Gutters bowling alley in Taos. "I spoke from the heart, and I think people listened to me, and Taos gets who they vote for."
The former Taos Police Department Officer-turned-sergeant had campaigned hard throughout the county after an unchallenged bid in the June primaries.
Hogrefe knew there would be pressure going into Tuesday's election.
"I felt confident, but I wasn't taking anything for granted," the sheriff said as he celebrated with friends, family and members of his office at the Kachina Lodge in Taos Tuesday night.
In his next term, Hogrefe said he plans to focus on moving forward with Taos County's incorporation into the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Initiative, a multi-agency effort to combat New Mexico's ongoing problems with drug trafficking and addiction.
Hogrefe said he will also continue to push the Taos County Commission and manager, Leandro Cordova, to provide funding for additional deputies that can beef up patrols and allow for deeper dives into cases.
In the months leading up to the general election, his opponent described difficult working conditions and exhausted deputies at the sheriff's office, but Hogrefe said Davis' characterizations were exaggerated for effect.
"The people of Taos County deserve clean campaigns," Hogrefe said, referencing some of the shots Davis had taken at him during her campaign.
Davis brought an energy to her campaign that struck a chord with county residents who were unsatisfied with Hogrefe's first term, but Hogrefe ultimately won by a wide margin.
"It really tells me the people in the community saw there was two people they could select from, but only one choice," Hogrefe said. "I'm truly grateful for that."
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