|Hoyt Clifton in 2002|
"He was totally fair, totally honest, totally non-partisan, just a very decent man," said Denise Lamb, who worked with Clifton for nine years, and who took his place as state elections director after Clifton retired in 1994. "Those were big boots to fill," said Lamb, who called Clifton her mentor
"I don't think we'll ever see another elections director serve under six secretaries of state, consider today's political climate," Lamb said.
Former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron also was saddened by Clifton's death. "I brought him out of retirement (in 1999)," she said. Clifton worked as a consultant for Vigil-Giron for most of her last eight years in office, she said.
"He wrote that election code," she said. "Nobody knew election law like Hoyt."
Clifton, a native of Quay County, will be buried Monday in Melrose, N.M. beside his late wife.
See Friday's New Mexican for more information.