By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer
The will of 580 people entrusted the Division 2 magistrate judge position to incumbent Richard Hollis during the Tuesday primary election.
Hollis, a Republican, will run unopposed in November. The Clovis News Journal was unable to contact the judge early Wednesday morning after Curry County officials released the results.
Hollis received 1,803 votes while his opponent, Roger Hatcher, received 1,223.
Hollis monitored results of the election late Tuesday evening from the Curry County Courthouse, but left the building before all the ballots had been counted.
He said early Tuesday he would continue to serve the county in the manner he has been for the past four years. That includes seeking out alternative sentencing methods for habitual drug abusers, he said.
“I will perform the same as I have the last four years without a lot of changes,” Hollis said.
In the primary race for Division 1 magistrate judge, Clovis native Duane Castleberry edged out his opponent, Diane Mains.
He corralled 1,636 votes, with Mains winning 1,200.
In November, he will run against Democrat Doug Miller, current magistrate judge.
From his home, Castleberry accepted his victory calmly.
“I feel good, of course,” he said.
“There was no mudslinging. It just worked out in my favor.”
Castleberry said name recognition helped him nose ahead of his opponent. He and his father are steeped in the Clovis business community.
First and foremost, Castleberry said he would bring his “good character” to the magistrate office should he win the position.
Magistrate judges assist district judges in preparing cases for trial, and may decide some criminal and civil trials when both parties agree to have the case heard by a magistrate judge instead of a district court judge. The position is part-time in Curry County.
In New Mexico, magistrate judges are required to complete 15 hours of continuing judicial education during each calendar year. They serve for terms of four years.