Denny makes history with sheriff’s primary win in De Baca County

Staff report

Mylessa Denny is a few months away from a historic promotion.

Denny, a deputy serving in the De Baca County Sheriff’s Office, won the county’s Democratic primary over current Sheriff Dennis Cleaver.

The vote total was 227 for Denny and 171 for Cleaver.

Denny, who faces no opposition in the Nov. 4 general election, would be the first woman elected sheriff in New Mexico, according to research from the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association.

Betty Martinez-Gonzales ran in the Taos County Democratic primary for sheriff, but Jerry Hogrefe won the nine-way race.

Although no woman has been elected as a sheriff in the state, women have held office via appointment. Linnie Thomas, served eight months as Curry County sheriff in 1938 and 1939 in place of her deceased husband.