CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Republican Attorney General candidate Matt Chandler, left, looks at New Mexico returns Tuesday night in Clovis with Campaign Manager Henry Varela.
Gary King never thought victory would come easy. But he said the spoils had to be short.
“I feel like it was a good, hard battle,” King said after defeating 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler and securing his second term as attorney general. “We’ll have a chance to enjoy the victory tonight, and then I’ve got to get back to being attorney general tomorrow.”
According to online state results as of 11 p.m., King received 275,474 votes to Chandler’s 248,642.
“There are still more votes to be counted tonight,” Chandler said. “But the numbers are to a point where it would be difficult to catch up.”
As late as one month ago, an Albuquerque Journal poll had King leading Chandler by 20 points, but King said statewide races are always close, and his 2006 victory was the same way.
“I never felt like I was going to win this race by 20 points,” King said. “Once Matt got a substantial amount of money for advertising and was able to get his name and face out there, I knew that he’d pick up some votes.
“I think he ran a good, hard aggressive race. I think he can hold his head up for the race he ran.”
King felt his victory came on the heels of his work protecting children from Internet predators and protecting senior citizens from scam artists.
Chandler said he “absolutely” expects to finish his two remaining years as district attorney and thanked his supporters for a solid campaign.
“From the beginning of this campaign, I was the dark horse in the race,” Chandler said. “We were able to communicate with voters and let them know they could and should expect more from the attorney general’s office in respect to the corruption that has been going on in the state.
“I’m very thankful for my family and the talent of supporters and volunteers who worked to bring change to the attorney general’s office. We gave it a fantastic run, we have no regrets.”