Voters elect new county Sheriff
There will be a new sheriff in San Juan County as Rick Eldredge won a tightly-contested race against incumbent Mike Lacy in the November 2 general election.
Eldredge, running on the Democrat ticket, relied on strong voter turnout and support in south-county precincts to pull away from Lacy. After the ballots were counted, Eldredge had 2,433 votes and Lacy had 1,612.
Eldredge, who comes to the Sheriff’s office from the Utah Highway Patrol office, will take the oath of office on January 1, 2011. Lacy has served four terms as Sheriff since first being elected in 1994.
More than 100 provisional and absentee ballots are not included in the totals. They will be considered on Thursday. The final canvass will take place on November 15.
There will be two additional new faces in county government as Phil Lyman takes the Commission seat currently held by Lynn Stevens and Glenis Pearson takes the treasurer position currently held by Paul Barr. Both Lyman and Pearson were unopposed on the general election ballot.
A long list of incumbents were reelected to county offices in unopposed elections, including Commissioner Kenneth Maryboy, Assessor Howard Randall, Attorney Craig Halls, Clerk Norman Johnson, Recorder Louise Jones, and Surveyor David Bronson.
In other races, Elsie Dee was re-elected to another term on the San Juan School Board. She narrowly defeated challenger Howard H. Todachinnie, 276-232.
Nelson Yellowman was reelected to another term on the school board.
County voters followed the statewide trend in state elections, favoring Governor Gary Herbert, Senate candidate Mike Lee and Congressman Jim Matheson.
Christine Watkins was unopposed in her quest for an additional two years in the Utah State House of Representatives.
In the Sheriff’s race, Eldredge won the majority of votes in 14 of the 20 precincts, including by a large majority in Oljato, Montezuma Creek and Navajo Mountain.
The northern county precincts (White Mesa and north) favored Eldredge over Lacy by a narrow 55/45 ratio. The south county precincts favored Eldredge 69/31.
Navajo Nation elections helped drive much of the voter turnout in the south county.
The 88-member Navajo Nation Council will become a 24-member Council in 2011. As a result, a number of incumbent councilmen faced one another for the pared-down nummber of seats, including three local council members running for a single seat.
In the Northern Agency, a challenge between incumbents Kenneth Maryboy and Davis Filfred ended with Maryboy receiving 61 more votes to represent Aneth, Mexican Water, Red Mesa, Teec Nos Pos and Tólikan. Incumbent Francis Redhouse also ran for the position as a write-in candidate.
In Western Navajo, incumbents Jonathan Nez and Herman Daniels Jr. vied to represent Oljato, Navajo Mountain, Shonto and Ts'ah Bii Kin, with Nez winning by 488 votes.
Ben Shelley was elected president of the Navajo Nation.