A primary election day that should have been simple and easy fell short of that. After waiting for more than two hours after the poles closed, there were actual election results. However, Terry County Elections Administrator Krystal Valentin summonsed the Precinct 4 Republican candidates to the annex for a brief meeting.

Judge Wagner & Wife Kay hugging after results of him winning

As the candidates began to congregate around the table, Terry County Republican Party Chairman Brad Moore began to explain that there were two votes that were cast in Precinct 4 that should not have been. This probably would not have been that big of a deal if three of the four candidates vote margins were not within one vote of each other.

The final results for Precinct 4 were: Ernesto Elizardo had 131, Aaron Thompson had 64, Howard Moorhead had 63 and Marvin Dawson had 62. Elizardo received 41% of the vote, well short of the 50.01% needed to avoid a runoff election. The issue with the other three candidates is the discrepancy of the two votes that were not suppose to be cast in Precinct 4. According to Moore and Valentin, there is no way of knowing who those two votes actually went to.

Aaron Thompson, Brad Moore, Howard Moorhead & Krystal Valentin discussing options.

Moore told the candidates, “probably what has to be done is that a district court lawsuit will have to be filed.” Moore also went on to say, “because of the closeness here of this, it’s my opinion that the race was not fair because of the two extra votes that were cast.” Other than Elizardo, the other three candidates were given an option to either workout who would run in a runoff with Elizardo or contest the results. When asked what their decision was, Thompson did not want to contest the race at first, however he change his mind later on. Dawson did want to contest the results and Moorhead as well.

As of election night,  Moore was not sure whether there will be a special election for the three candidates who had less than Elizardo or if all four will have to run again. Whoever wins the primary of this election will end up with an opponent in the November election. Larry Lira was the only primary candidate for Precinct 4 County Commissioner on the Democratic ticket.

Marvin Dawson & Ernesto Elizardo listening about next steps

The other contested primary race for Terry County was the County Judge seat. Since there were no candidates on the Democratic side or any other candidates from other parties, this particular primary would decide who will be County Judge for the next four years after the November election. The two candidates who ran were Loy Daniels and incumbent Butch Wagner. As the early vote came in, Wagner was ahead by 45 votes and when the final results came in Wagner held on to his seat with 657 votes to Daniels 547.

In other elected county and district offices, Paige Lindsey will keep her seat as District Clerk, Kim Carter will stay as County Clerk, Karen Grigsby will continue as County Treasurer, Angie Garza as Justice of the Peace and Kirby Keesee as Precinct 2 County Commissioner. These elected offices were all unopposed in both primary and general elections.

TownTalk will continue to follow the story.