High on Ho­grefe

Vot­ers over­whelm­ingly re­elect Taos County Sher­iff to sec­ond term

The Taos News - - FRONT PAGE - By John Miller jmiller@taos­news.com The Taos News

Taos County Sher­iff Jerry Ho­grefe hand­ily won re­elec­tion to an­other four-year term Tues­day night (Nov. 6).

The fi­nal tally from the 36 precincts in the county showed 9,653 votes cast for Ho­grefe ver­sus 4,424 votes for his Repub­li­can chal­lenger, Jani Dean Davis.

As the fi­nal elec­tion re­sults rolled in for the only con­tested race in Taos County, Ho­grefe cel­e­brated a vic­tory that at times seemed less than cer­tain un­der pres­sure from a tena­cious op­po­nent.

Davis had hoped to be­come the first fe­male sher­iff to be elected in the his­tory of the county, but it was not to be.

“I put ev­ery­thing on the ta­ble, and the vot­ers spoke,” Davis said as she cel­e­brated a hard­fought, but un­suc­cess­ful cam­paign at Gut­ters bowl­ing al­ley in Taos. “I spoke from the heart and I think peo­ple lis­tened to me, and Taos gets who they vote for.”

The for­mer Taos Po­lice of­fi­cer-turned-sergeant had cam­paigned hard through­out the county af­ter an un­chal­lenged bid in the June pri­maries.

In the months lead­ing up to the gen­eral elec­tion, Davis de­scribed dif­fi­cult work­ing con­di­tions and ex­hausted deputies at the sher­iff’s of­fice, but Ho­grefe said her char­ac­ter­i­za­tions were ex­ag­ger­ated for ef­fect.

‘It re­ally tells me the peo­ple in the com­mu­nity saw there was two peo­ple they could se­lect from, but only one choice’ —Jerry Ho­grefe, Taos County Sher­iff

“The peo­ple of Taos County de­serve clean cam­paigns,” Ho­grefe said, ref­er­enc­ing some of the “mud” Davis flung at him dur­ing her cam­paign.

But Davis also brought an en­ergy that struck a chord with county res­i­dents who were un­sat­is­fied with Ho­grefe’s first term.

He knew there would be pres­sure go­ing into Tues­day’s elec­tion. He said he had strug­gled to find time to cam­paign while run­ning the of­fice, but hoped his ex­pe­ri­ence and lead­er­ship in the field would help pull him through at the polls.

“I felt con­fi­dent, but I wasn’t tak­ing any­thing for granted,” the sher­iff said as he cel­e­brated with friends, fam­ily and mem­bers of his of­fice at the Kachina Lodge in Taos Tues­day night. Jake Cor­dova, a deputy who had chal­lenged him dur­ing the pri­maries, was there to shake Ho­grefe’s hand as the win was locked in.

“It re­ally tells me the peo­ple in the com­mu­nity saw there was two peo­ple they could se­lect from, but only one choice,” Ho­grefe said. “I’m truly grate­ful for that.”

In his next term, Ho­grefe said he plans to fo­cus on mov­ing for­ward with Taos County’s in­cor­po­ra­tion into the High In­ten­sity Drug Traf­fick­ing Ini­tia­tive, a multi-agency ef­fort to com­bat New Mex­ico’s on­go­ing prob­lems with drug traf­fick­ing and ad­dic­tion.

He said he will also con­tinue to push the Taos County Com­mis­sion and man­ager, Le­an­dro Cor­dova, to pro­vide fund­ing for ad­di­tional deputies that can beef up pa­trols and al­low for deeper dives into cases.

Mor­gan Timms

Taos County Sher­iff Jerry Ho­grefe lifts up 2-year-old Ricky Pacheco, of Ran­chos de Taos, af­ter learn­ing of his con­vinc­ing lead in the polls Tues­day (Nov. 6) at Kachina Lodge in Taos.

Mor­gan Timms

Taos County Sher­iff Jerry Ho­grefe em­braces a sup­porter Tues­day (Nov. 6) at the Kachina Lodge in Taos.

Mor­gan Timms

Taos County Sher­iff Jerry Ho­grefe watches the vote tally on his phone Tues­day (Nov. 6) at his elec­tion watch party at the Kachina Lodge in Taos.

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