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Seskey to remain municipal judge

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Voters have re-elected Joseph Seskey as municipal judge. (Submitted Photo)

Incumbent wins by 420 votes

In a fairly close race among three candidates, Roswell voters have chosen to keep Joseph H. Seskey as the municipal judge.

A retired police officer appointed to the bench about seven months ago, Seskey received 2,259, or 43.5%, of the votes, according to unofficial results Tuesday night from the City Clerk’s Office.

His challengers were two first-time politicians, retail manager and New Mexico Mounted Patrol officer Timothy H. Davidson, who received 1,839, or 35.4%, of the votes, and Roswell teacher and occupational safety and health specialist Gary Galassini, with 1,092, or 21%, of the ballots cast.

The Chaves County Board of Commissioners is due to canvass the elections and verify the counts March 10 at a 2 p.m. meeting. Elected officials will be sworn-in on March 30, according to City Clerk Sharon Coll.

In a statement issued after his election, Seskey said that Roswell residents can be assured of his fairness and impartiality.

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“I am grateful to be selected by the voters of Roswell to lead the judicial branch of the city of Roswell and serve as their municipal judge,” he said in an email statement. “The citizens of Roswell have entrusted me with a most solemn assignment and have elected a faithful servant of this great city. I am honored to be entrusted with the stewardship and responsibility of this position, and I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office I am about to enter. The citizens of Roswell can have confidence that they have an independent, fair and impartial judiciary.”

He also thanked his supporters.

“I would not be successful in this endeavor without the support of so many people who made this day possible. To my Seskey4Judge Campaign Team, my family, my friends near and far, and those lending support to our campaign, I can not thank you enough for your willingness to come along with me on this journey, your words of encouragement along the way, your constant energy and enthusiasm, and your tireless efforts to make it all happen. My heart is bursting with gratitude for all you have done.”

The number of voters in the municipal judge race — 5,190 — totals about 21.1% of the 24,596 registered voters in the city of Roswell, a significantly higher turnout than was recorded for the 2016 municipal judge race. In that year, about 11.27% voted for a city judge candidate.

Davidson said prior to the final results that he felt a “bit out of my element” as a political candidate and that he was grateful for the endorsement of the Roswell Police Officers Association. He said that he would consider another run for office in the future if “God put it in his heart again” as he felt had been the case this year.

Galassini did not respond by press time to email or phone messages seeking a comment.

Seskey retired after 25 years as a police officer in Alexandria, Virginia, in October 2013. He moved to Roswell — where he was born — about five years ago to be near family.

He made his first run for municipal judge in 2016, when Lou Mallion was elected. Seskey began serving as an alternate judge at that time.

When Mallion retired in May 2018, Eric Brackeen was appointed judge. After Brackeen resigned, Seskey was appointed judge by the City Council on Aug. 9.

To keep up with coverage of this and other 2020 elections of local and regional interest, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/elections/.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.