High on Hogrefe
Voters overwhelmingly reelect Taos County Sheriff to second term
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.
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.
Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe embraces a supporter Tuesday (Nov. 6) at the Kachina Lodge in Taos.
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.