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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Galindo wins judge's race; Hill surprises Castillo

Staff Writer
PECOS, March 13, 2002 - Reeves County voters returned several incumbents to office on Tuesday in voting in the Democratic primary election, but voters in Precinct 2 elected a new county commissioner and constable, and put the incumbent Justice of the Peace into an April runoff.

Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo was re-nominated for a third term as county judge, colleting 2,052 to 1,313 for challenger Louis Matta. Galindo currently is unopposed in the November general election.

"I would like to thank the voters of Reeves for the opportunity to continue serving as your county judge," said Galindo. "It has been a great honor to represent Reeves County.

"I sincerely appreciate the help of all my supporters who know, that without their help, this would not be possible," said Galindo. "I would like to congratulate my opponent on a hard fought race."

"I realize that we all want to work to make Reeves County a better place to live and raise a family and I will work with everyone in our community to achieve this goal," said Galindo.

But while voters went for the incumbent in the county judge's race, Precinct 2 voters gave challenger Norman Hill a surprise win over incumbent Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 2 David Castillo.

Castillo who received 361 votes to Hill's 450 votes, had been commissioner for the past four years. He had replaced Dr. W.J. Bang who had held that position for eight years and chose not to run for re-election in 1998.

"I wish you luck," said Castillo, who visited Hill at his home following the election results last evening and offered his services and help to the new commissioner.

"I'm overwhelmed, it still hasn't sunk in," said Hill, who added that this is the first time he has run for office.

Hill was a U.S. Postal Service employee for over 30 years and had retired recently.

"I want to thank everyone, I appreciated it very, very much," said Hill. "I want to thank David (Castillo) for being such a gentleman and running a clean campaign."

Hill said he plans to work hard and do the best job he can for everyone in Precinct 2.

"I'm still in shock, I didn't expect all this," said Hill.

Precinct 2 voters will also have one runoff election to decide on April 9, between two of the three candidates in the Justice of the Peace election.

Incumbent J.T. Marsh received 244 votes finishing second to challenger Jim Riley, while a third candidate, Jaime Salgado received 233 votes. Since Riley did not get 50 percent of the votes, he and the incumbent, Marsh will face each other once again in April.

Voters in the other three precincts will also be eligible to go to the polls on April 9, to cast ballots in the runoff election for U.S. Senate.

In other local elections, Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez defeated her opponent Sofia Abila. Florez had 2,354 votes and Abila received 882 votes.

"I would like to first thank God, for giving me the strength and inspiration that allows me to continue my life in politics," said Florez. "I would like to thank all the people who went out to vote in early voting and the elections."

"I want to thank my family and volunteers who helped me get re-elected," said Florez. "I want to thank you all for the confidence you had in re-electing me."

Florez said that she also wanted to thank her opponent for a good race.

Three other candidates, County Court-at-law judge Walter M. Holcombe district clerk Pat Tarin and county treasurer Linda Clark, were unopposed in their bids for new four year terms, as was county commissioner for Precinct 4, Gilberto "Hivi" Rayos, who like Castillo was seeking he second four-year term on the commissioner's court.

Justice of the Peace Precinct #1 Amonario Ramon, JP #3 Rosendo L. Carrasco and JP 4 Lamberto T. Herrera were also unopposed in their bids for re-nomination to new terms, as was county Democratic Party chairman Bobby Dean.

No local candidates filed to run in the Republican primary election for Reeves County.

Massey gets easy win in Ward judge's race

Monahans News

MONAHANS, March 13, 2002 - Ward County Judge Sam Massey handily won re-election to another term during Tuesday's Democratic primary election, polling 2,247 votes to his opponent, Jo Ann Widdess' 742

Following his win by a 3-to-1 margin, Massey was remarkably low-key, saying, "I'm humbled and I appreciate all the help I got from my supporters."

He went on to note, "I think the community has spoken and I will do my best to make them a good hand for the next four-plus years."

Massey, who is in his 11th year as county judge, has been involved this year in the first major challenge since he took office in 1990. His opponent, Mrs. Widdess, is a former district clerk who retired at the end of 2000. Her husband, Ron Widdess, currently serves as county commissioner in Precinct 3. Massey has no Republican opponent for the November General Election.

Also winning the Democratic nomination Tuesday was Precinct 2 Commissioner Kathy Fausett who fought off a challenge from newcomer Liz Martinez. Ms. Fausett received 625 votes to Martinez's 309. Ms. Fausett will now face Republican Coy Wall in the November General Election.

"I am pleased that the people of Precinct 2 are happy with the job I've done as county commissioner," said Ms. Fausett following her win. "I hope to have their support for the November election."

First term Precinct 4 Commissioner Rick McCurdy lost his bid for the Democratic nomination, running fourth in a four-way race. McCurdy received 102 votes. That nomination will be determined in a runoff election April 9 between Eddie Nelms, who drew 201 votes, and Glenn Garland, who polled 195 votes. The fourth person in that race, Norman Luckie, received 133 votes. Winner of the Democratic nomination will face Republican candidate David Cutbirth in November.

Other runoffs to be decided in the April election include District Clerk and Justice of the Peace in Precincts 2 and 3.

In the four-way race for District Clerk, Patricia Oyerbides and Pam Bingham will be in a runoff. Ms. Oyerbides, an employee in the County Clerk's office, drew the most votes, 1,200. The current District Clerk, Ms. Bingham, who was appointed to the position, drew 1,164 votes;

Irma Tejada received 335; and Jane Moreland Martin received 273. The Democratic winner will face Republican Ann Gandy Parker in November.

Another four-way race, that for Justice of the Peace in Precincts 2 and 3, ended in a runoff pitting current Justice of the Peace Ronold Ray against Elizabeth Polanco. Ray received 618 votes to Ms. Polanco's 485. David Watts received 467 votes and Bill Hare polled 146 votes.

The three-way race for County Treasurer was won by Teresa Perry, who received 1,456 votes to Melissa Taylor's 875 votes and Miki Mitchell's 541 votes.

To avoid a runoff a candidate must receive at least 50.1 percent of the total vote in that race. Ms. Perry's total accounted for 50.6 percent.

The only other contested race locally was for County Clerk and was won by current County Clerk Natrell Cain. Ms. Cain drew 2,348 votes to challenger Phelitha Schmidt's 545 votes.

The only uncontested race in Ward County's Democratic primary was for Justice of the Peace in Precincts 1 and 4, where incumbent Pascual Olibas received 836 votes.

A total of 3,065 ballots were cast in Ward County for this election.

Ward County's votes in the statewide races are listed below:


U.S. Senator - Victor Morales, 921; Ken Bentsen, 752; Ron Kirk, 374; Gene Kelly, 248; Ed

Cunningham, 154.

Governor - Tony Sanchez, 1,392; Dan Morales, 815; Bill Lyon, 309; John Worldpeace, 111.

Lieutenant Governor - John Sharp, 2,030.

Attorney General - Kirk Watson, 1,886.

Comptroller of Public Accounts - Marty Akins, 1,851.

Commissioner of General Land Office - David Bernsen, 1,531; Ray Madrigal, 664.

Commissioner of Agriculture - Tom Ramsay, 1,475; Ernesto De Leon, 821.

Railroad Commissioner - Paul C. Looney, 1,115; Sherry Boyles, 1,077.

Supreme Court Chief Justice - Richard C. Baker, 1,817.

Supreme Court Justice Place 1 - Linda Yanez, 1,828.

Supreme Court Justice Place 2 - Jim Parsons, 1,782.

Supreme Court Justice Place 3 (unexpired term) - William E. Moody, 1,769.

Supreme Court Justice Place 4 (unexpired term) - Margaret Mirabal, 1,732.

Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Place 1 - John W. Bull, 1,735.

Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Place 2 - Pat Montgomery, 1,478; Julius Whittier, 551.

Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Place 3 - J. R. Molina, 1,788.

State Board of Education District 1 - Rene Nunez, 1,834; Said Abakoui, 285.

Local voters back Sanchez, Morales in top races

Staff Writer
PECOS, March 13, 2002 -Reeves County Democratic voters went along with the rest of the state in supporting Tony Sanchez over Dan Morales in the race for the party's gubernatorial nomination, but local and statewide voters were split on several other down-ballot races in Tuesday's primary election.

Many voters in Reeves County who cast ballots in the local races failed to fill out their card for the regional and state primary races. A total of 3,495 votes were cast in Reeves County, but no uncontested candidate received more than 2,300 votes, less than Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez got in her contested election against Sofia Abila.

Sanchez received about 60 percent of the vote in defeating Morales and two other candidates on Tuesday for the right to oppose Republican Gov. Rick Perry in the November general election. In Reeves County, the Laredo businessman picked up 1,981 votes to 839 for Morales, the former Texas Attorney General.

In the primary election for U.S. Senate, Victor Morales was the choice of most local voters, and wound up in an April 9 runoff against Ron Kirk, who finished fourth out of the five candidates in that race among Reeves County voters. Morales, who lost to Phil Gramm in 1996 after winning the Democratic nomination for Senate, picked up 1,662 votes to 406 for Ken Bentsen, 229 for Gene Kelly, 160 for Kirk and 114 for Ed Cunningham.

Morales and Kirk, the former Dallas mayor, finished in a virtual dead heat in the primary race, both with about 33 percent of the vote, while Bentsen placed third, with 28 percent and missed the runoff election.

In the other contested races, David Bernsen won nomination as Land Office Commissioner, though voters in Reeves County favored Ray Madrigal by a 1,113-936 margin; Tom Ramsey was nominated for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, though he lost in Reeves County by nearly a 2-1 margin to Ernesto DeLeon, 1,471 to 763; while Sherry Boyles did win both locally and statewide in the race for nomination for the Texas Railroad Commission. Boyles received 1,333 votes in the county to 641 for Paul G. Looney.

County voters also went with the rest of the state and regional Democratic voters in two other races, for Place 2 on the State Criminal Court of Appeals and for Place 1 on the State Board of Education. Pat Montgomery defeated Julius Whittier in the Court of Appeals race and won in Reeves County by a 1,308 to 482 margin, and incumbent Rene Nunez defeated challenger Said Abakqui for the board of education post by a 2,010 to 175 margin.

Other candidates running unopposed included incumbent State Rep. Pete Gallego and incumbent State Sen. Frank Madla, and Henry Cuellar, who'll face incumbent U.S. Rep Henry Bonilla in the November general election.

Senate hopefuls Kirk, Morales in April 9 runoff

Associated Press Writer

March 13, 2002 - Laredo millionaire Tony Sanchez outspent rival Dan Morales, then outpolled him in a surprisingly lopsided contest that gave the Democrats their first Hispanic nominee for Texas governor.

Meanwhile, schoolteacher Victor Morales and former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk slipped into a runoff ahead of Houston congressman Ken Bentsen in a neck-and-neck race for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination,

With 98 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday morning, Sanchez had 60 percent of the vote compared with Dan Morales' 33 percent.

"If my boys wouldn't tease me, I might start crying," Sanchez, referring to his grown sons, told jubilant supporters in Austin.

The historic win brought national attention for Texas Democrats.

"The Democrats are very happy about it, because there's been some small worry about the Hispanic vote being nibbled away by the Republican Party," said Allan Saxe, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. "This spells good news for the Democratic Party."

The intensity between the two front-running candidates increased in the campaign's final weeks as the two fought for the right to challenge incumbent Republican Rick Perry.

The race took a strange twist on election day when a judge granted Morales' request for three additional hours of voting at some stations that didn't open on time in his hometown of San Antonio.

In Harris County, voters in at least nine precincts were unable to vote because of unstaffed polling places.

The gubernatorial battle began when Morales, a former Texas attorney general, made a surprise entry into the contest and frustrated Sanchez's plans to sew up the Democratic nomination without major opposition.

That turned out to be not a bad thing for Sanchez, said Cal Jillson, professor of political science at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

"It also forced him to drive his name recognition through the roof. He's now set to run a substantive campaign against Governor Perry," he said.

The two traded barbs about their heritage and campaigns, as well as affirmative action.

The men held what was believed to be the first debate in Spanish for a U.S. gubernatorial race, although Morales translated his answers into English - calling it the state's "principal language."

Sanchez ran strongly among Hispanics, Jillson said.

Morales accused Sanchez, a banker, of trying to buy a victory with his vast personal wealth, while Sanchez said he was fighting to distinguish himself from the "professional politician" in the race.

With the hotly contested governor's race absorbing most of the spotlight, less attention was paid to the race to replace longtime Republican Sen. Phil Gramm. The front-running Senate Democratic hopefuls were Kirk, Bentsen and Victor Morales, who may have been better known because of his unsuccessful race six years ago.

With 98 percent reporting, Kirk and Morales were tied with 33 percent of the vote while Bentsen had 27 percent.

There was no drama in the race to replace Cornyn as attorney general. Unchallenged Democrat Kirk Watson, a former Austin mayor, will face former Supreme Court Justice Greg Abbott, a Republican, in the fall general election.

Land Commissioner David Dewhurst, a Republican, defeated little-known Galveston executive Tom Kelly for the lieutenant governor post. Former Comptroller John Sharp ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.

In the Republican race to replace Dewhurst, former state senator Jerry Patterson beat state Rep. Kenn George.

On the Democratic side, state Sen. David Bernsen of Beaumont defeated Corpus Christi businessman Ray Madrigal.

Two of Perry's appointees to the Texas Supreme Court faced challenges from within their own party in the crowded statewide judicial races. Only one was successful.

Republican Supreme Court Justice Wallace Jefferson, the first black to serve on the panel, beat Lake Jackson lawyer Sam Lee. Xavier Rodriguez, another Perry appointee, lost to Austin lawyer Steven Wayne Smith.

In U.S. House races, Denton County Judge Scott Armey advanced to a runoff from a six-candidate field in the GOP primary for the District 26 seat. Armey is the son of Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey, who is retiring. The winner faces Democrat Paul LeBon.

Peter Wareing and John Carter advanced to a runoff for a new U.S. House seat, District 31. The race also included Brad Barton, son of Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis.

Three candidates file for Barstow council positions

BARSTOW, March 13, 2002 - With city, school and hospital elections just around the corner, Barstow Mayor Benny Hernandez and two incumbents have filed to retain his position on the council.

Council members Robert Ortega and Carol Gonzales joined Hernandez in seeking to run in the May 4 election. Ortega filed for a full-term while Gonzales filed for the one-year unexplired term seat she was appointed to last year, following the death of councilman Lucio Florez.

One full term position on the council is still open and nobody has filed for that position yet.

Swimming pool repairs, Rifle range on city's agenda

March 13, 2002 - The Pecos City Council is scheduled to meet in council chambers at City Hall Thursday morning at 7 a.m.

Certified Public Accountant Dan Painter will be on hand to present the 2000-2001 audit report.

A resolution to approve the central counting station for the upcoming city elections is on the agenda.

The council is scheduled to discuss a grant application for a regional solid waste grant and will consider granting an easement to Pure Resources, L.P.

Bids for repairing the city swimming pool is also on the agenda as is a proposal to refund the city's Outstanding Combination Tax and Revenue Certificates of Obligation, series 1992.

The council has also scheduled an executive session to discuss the "Status of Title to Real Property _ Rifle Range."


PECOS, March13, 2002 - High Tuesday 86. Low this morning 48. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows near 55. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. Thursday: Partly cloudy and breezy. Highs in the upper 80s. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Lows near 50. Friday: Partly cloudy and not as warm. Highs 70 to 75. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Lows 40 to 45. Highs around 75.

Dionisia Villanueva

Dionisia Villanueva, 76, of Pecos died Tuesday, March 12, 2002 at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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