Rep. Mary Helen Garcia, D-Las Cruces, who came out less than 20 votes behind her primary opponent Bealquin Bill Gomez last week, is requesting a recount.
“In the past week, I have received countless phone calls and emails asking me to request a recount and exhaust the options provided me under the State Election Code," Garcia said in a news release. "After discussing it with my family, I believe I owe it to my constituents to formally recount and review the results.
"Ironically, I have heard through testimony in my committee about elections being decided by one vote and results changing after a recount," Garcia said. Especially given the fact that only 16 votes separate us, the results can very easily shift.”
The news release also notes:
Some individuals have approached the Garcia campaign who were given sample ballots that may have been deliberately marked to confuse voters. There is a history of serious accusations of election fraud in Sunland Park and a pending legal case dealing with election fraud specifically involving absentee ballots. Rep. Garcia has been the most vocal advocate on of the behalf of the people of Sunland Park in the effort to combat such crimes. Given this fact, these people may have led an illegal effort to defeat Rep. Garcia. Depending on the outcome of the recount, Rep. Garcia will decide whether to challenge the election results.
Garcia was one of two incumbent House members who came out behind in the primary. The other was Rep. Tom Anderson, R-Albuquerque.
Updated 5:10 pm An earlier version of this post quoted the Garcia news release saying Garcia lost by 16 votes. However, according to the numbers on the Secretary of State's website, the margin is only 11 votes. That's been corrected in the above text. Also, I initially misspelled " Bealquin." That's been corrected.
Updated 5:25 pm Garcia campaign spokesman Carlos Trujillo just told me that after the canvass, the margin actually is 16 votes... I think we can all agree that it's close.