Home News Local News Herrington elected sheriff; NMMI police officer to become chief deputy

Herrington elected sheriff; NMMI police officer to become chief deputy

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Mike Herrington with family, his future deputy sheriff and fans after making an entrance to the song “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons at the American Legion Post 28 Veterans Memorial Hall at 1620 N. Montana Avenue. Herrington celebrated his unofficial victory as sheriff with crowds of friends and supporters on Tuesday night. Shortly before this photo was taken, the parking lot was filled with party attendees as two Chaves County Sheriff’s Office vehicles drove into the lot and flashed their lights while the crowd cheered to congratulate Herrington. (Alison Penn Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

After a long campaign that started with a challenger’s declaration in late June 2017, Chaves County has elected a new sheriff.

Michael Herrington, 47, a former Chaves County deputy, beat incumbent Britt Snyder, 54, according to unofficial results in the Tuesday night primary elections.

Snyder earned 2,182, or 43.48 percent, of the 5,018 total votes cast for the race. Herrington received 2,836, or 56.52 percent, of the vote. Both Republicans, Herrington faces no opposition in the November general elections and will win the office by garnering a single vote.

“I can really say that I am proud of my team. I am proud of everyone who got me here, and I am excited to the do the job. I really love this job,” Herrington said after receiving the congratulatory call from Snyder at about 9:15 p.m. and as he and wife, Christy, celebrated with family and supporters at the American Legion building on North Montana Avenue.

Herrington said that he has respect and appreciation for the man with whom he worked for more than two decades.

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“I believe after this we are still going to be friends, and as he said himself that is exactly what will happen,” Herrington said. “With that, I can’t express my appreciation enough to him for what I learned from him over 22 years.”

Herrington’s chief deputy will be Charles Yslas, a law enforcement officer for more than 20 years. A Roswell native, Yslas served for 10 years with the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office and about 11 years as a captain and the deputy chief of the New Mexico Military Institute police force.

Yslas said he has known Herrington since the newly elected sheriff was his training officer 20 years ago.

Herrington described one of his top goals as getting out into the community to meet with residents and listen to their concerns. He also said he wanted to bring down the county crime rate down and reduce drug-related infractions that often are the underlying cause of many crimes. He said he thinks that what many people appreciated about him as a candidate was that he worked hard as his own campaign manager to meet with as many citizens as he could. 

“I got to go out and talk to every single person, and that is important,” he said. “Those car decals — I put those decals on cars and I spoke to everyone as I was doing it and it made it very personal.”

Many residents in the county saw Herrington’s car window decals over the past months, but Herrington also used radio ads, newspaper ads and Facebook promotions. He raised $56,298 in cash and in-kind donations and spent $52,297 by election day. Snyder said he raised about $40,000 and spent about $38,500.

“For Jean and I, we are just glad it is over,” said Snyder to supporters meeting at the Historical Society for the Southeast New Mexico Museum Archive Building on North Lea Street. “We decided what our message should be and how we should connect with the voters, and obviously that message didn’t resonate.”

He added, “Mike ran a very aggressive campaign, and it just paid off.”

Snyder, who will be sheriff until January, said he is not sure what he will do next with his career, but said on behalf of his wife and himself about the campaign, “We will be glad to put this behind us and move on.”

He expressed appreciation for those attending the election event and for his volunteers and supporters who helped him in his 2014 race as well as the current one.

“I have been in law enforcement just here in Chaves County 29 years and 32 years total,” he said. “I certainly have nothing to be ashamed of about that and I am proud of that. I am thankful for the voters of this county that they gave me this opportunity at all.”

Election results will become official when the Chaves County Board of Commissioners canvass the votes Friday afternoon.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

Candidates with no primary opposition look ahead to November

Eleven candidates from the area seeking county and state legislative offices had no primary opposition and are either en route to their swearing-in ceremonies in January or preparing for their general election contests in November.

Heading for November Face-Off

Those who face a general election challenger include Division 2 Chaves County magistrate judge candidates Republican E.J. Fouratt, the incumbent, and Libertarian Mayna Myers, an asset protection manager for Wal-Mart. Fouratt received 3,022 votes in the Tuesday primary election, according to unofficial results, while Myers got 12 votes.

The District 1 Chaves County Commissioner seat also will be a contested race in November. On Tuesday, Democrat Michael Trujillo, a former commissioner and a longtime leader in local Democratic politics, obtained 283 votes. Republican Dara Dana, a former state representative, received 533 votes.

Greg Nibert, an oil and gas lawyer and the Republican incumbent for state representative, District 59, received 2,031 votes in the primary. His general election opponent, Libertarian Carl Swinney, got 10 votes.

Uncontested Races

Those who face no general election opponent will take office in January if they receive one vote in November. These include the following candidates:

Republican K.C. Rogers, the incumbent Division 1 magistrate judge for Chaves County, who received 1,151 votes in the primary election;

Republican Will Cavin, the incumbent Chaves County commissioner for District 5, who had 772 votes; and Republican Clarke C. Coll, a probate lawyer, who received 4,224 votes as he seeks to once again hold the office of Chaves County probate judge.

In addition, two Republicans will move forward to uncontested general elections for state legislature seats. Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, the incumbent, garnered 987 votes for the District 58 House of Representatives seat.

Phelps Anderson got 1,203 votes in his bid to become state representative for District 66, a seat being vacated by Bob Wooley, who is retiring from the legislature.

Results will become official after a Friday canvassing of the votes by the Chaves County Board of Commissioners.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.