Home News Elections Burt beats Hensley in GOP primary for state Senate

Burt beats Hensley in GOP primary for state Senate

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New Mexico State Sen. William Burt, R-Alamogordo, beat back a primary challenge and will be on the ballot this November to retain the seat he occupied in the Legislature for nearly a decade.

“It has for 10 years and continues to be my honor to serve the people of District 33 as their state senator and we have a lot of work to do,” he said.

Burt defeated fellow Republican Christopher Hensley in the Tuesday New Mexico primary election in Senate District 33, according to the website of the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office.

The Roswell Daily Record reached out to Hensley for comment and he said he would respond at a later time.

With all 49 precincts having fully reported by 10:50 p.m., the results showed Burt prevailing over Hensley, 3,827 votes to 2,997.

Hensley carried Chaves County 59% to 40% and edged out Burt 51% to 48% in Lincoln County. However, Burt dominated in his native Otero County, 67% to 32%.

Burt now advances to the general election where he will face Democrat Denise Lang-Browne of La Luz in November.

Senate District 33 is composed of portions of northwest Chaves County, as well as Lincoln and Otero counties, and as of late May, has 30,732 registered voters, according to data on the Secretary of State’s website. Of the registered voters, 50% are registered Republicans, 26% registered Democrats, 1% registered Libertarians and 23% classified as “other.”

Burt, 69, was appointed to fill the vacant Senate District 40 seat then held by fellow Republican Dianna Duran in 2011 after Duran was elected New Mexico Secretary of State. Burt was later redistricted into Senate District 33.

He said Tuesday night he decided to run for another four-year term because there is more that needs to be done. Those agenda items include looking at how the state can more efficiently spend its money, improving veterans’ care and repealing the state’s tax on Social Security benefits.

“So there’s a lot of work to be done in this state and I’m a New Mexico native. I’ve lived most of my life here, I love it and I just think, I think there is a lot of things we can do better in the state,” Burt said.

Hensley, 39, is a petroleum land man who works mainly in the Permian Basin and is the father of four girls, according to a March 18 post on his campaign Facebook page.

“We want to bring some of our experiences, some of our outside ideas and see if we can lead this State in a NEW DIRECTION a NEW FUTURE and we are VERY excited to do so!” the post states.

Throughout the primary contest, Burt said he and Hensley engaged in a primary campaign that he described as cordial.

“I think we are both trying to do better, to do the right thing for New Mexico,” Burt said.

Burt was born and raised in Deming. He earned a degree in mass communications from New Mexico State University. Burt is president and general manager of Burt Broadcasting Inc., which owns and operates several radio stations in and around Alamogordo.

In addition to the Senate Finance Committee, Burt, during the interim, serves on the Legislative Finance Committee, the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee and the Science, Technology and Telecommunications Committee.

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

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