By Jack King
Incumbent County Commissioner Pete Hulder will hold on to his District 2 seat, winning the Republican primary against two opponents with about 59 percent percent of the vote Tuesday.
With no Democratic challenger, Tuesday’s vote decided the race.
Hulder received 585 votes to challenger Carol Nichols’ 241 and challenger Ray Montoya’s 158.
Hulder called winning the primary “sort of emotional.”
“I’m very happy the voters of Curry County had enough faith in me to return me to a second term,” he said. “I made a promise the first time I ran to look after the voters of Curry County and that’s what I intend to do.”
Hulder said the margin of the victory surprised him.
“I thought a person could win the race with 45 percent to 47 percent of the vote, so this was fantastic,” he said.
Nichols, who finished second in the race, congratulated Hulder. She said public safety and the needs of children had been the major themes in her campaign, issues she hopes the county will still address.
“I hope they recognize them and help to change the county,” she said.
Montoya called his first-time political race “a good experience.”
“I knocked on a lot of doors and, frankly, I’m surprised there was that much of a difference (in the totals),” he said.
He added he was disappointed by one aspect of the race.
“I talked to people and they said they were dissatisfied by the way things are going in the county. They said nothing is changing. But, then, they voted this way,” he said.
Montoya said he plans to stay involved in public life and plans to run again later.
“Possibly I was considering the school board in January,” he said.