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City election results certified by commissioners

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The results of last week’s Roswell Municipal Election were certified Tuesday, following a canvassing at a special meeting of the Chaves County Board of Commissioners.

Robert Corn, commissioner representing District 4, made a motion to accept the results of the March 3 elections. Commissioner T. Calder Ezzell Jr., of District 2, seconded the motion before it was passed by the commission, 5-0.

Five seats on the Roswell City Council, one municipal judgeship and a bond issue that would have generated $35 million through an increase in property taxes to plan and construct a public safety complex were on the ballot March 3.

City Clerk Sharon Coll, who presented her report and the results to the commission, told commissioners one provisional ballot was cast on Election Day.

Coll said the voter had filed an application Feb. 21 for an absentee ballot. Though the application was approved and the ballot mailed out, Coll said the voter showed up at a voting convenience center on Election Day because she reported not having received her absentee ballot.

When she was found to be a qualified voter, the woman was permitted to cast a provisional ballot.

Coll said 5,565 people, or 22.6% of Roswell’s 24,596 eligible voters, cast a ballot in the city elections.

The turnout, she added, was comparable to years when there is a race for mayor, but Coll said she thought voter turnout was still too low.

“I’d like to see a lot more people get out and vote,” she said, speaking to the commissioners.

In all, 3,506 voters cast their ballots on Election Day, Coll said. Another 1,916 took advantage of early voting opportunities, while 143 others cast absentee ballots.

The results remained unchanged from Election Day.

Final numbers show the bond issue was defeated 4,456 to 1,081.

In the race held for the Ward 1 seat on the council, incumbent Juan Oropesa defeated challenger Cristina Arnold, 349 to 294.

Jason Perry, a former city councilor in Ward 4, prevailed in a three-way race for the open seat in Ward 2 now held by outgoing councilor Steve Henderson.

Perry garnered 929 votes while his opponents Edward Heldenbrand and Bonnie Bitzer finished with 672 and 472 votes, respectively.

Jeanine Corn Best in Ward 3 and Savino Sanchez in Ward 4 were unopposed in their races for re-election. Best received 1,003 votes, while Sanchez netted 790 in his contest, according to the final results.

In Ward 5, Councilor Barry Foster defeated Oswaldo Vazquez Nava, 299 to 176.

Incumbent Municipal Judge Joe Seskey finished with 2,259 votes. Timothy H. Davidson trailed Seskey with 1,839 votes and Gary Galassini rounded out the field of candidates, receiving 1,093 votes.

Seskey was appointed by the City Council in August to replace Judge Eric Brackeen. Following his victory, Seskey will be able to serve a full four-year term.

Seskey and winners of the races for City Council are scheduled to be sworn in March 30.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.