One incumbent El Paso County commissioner won a third term while another incumbent’s bid for a second term was thwarted by a longtime Canutillo school board member.
Precinct 2 County Commissioner David Stout won 54% of the vote to keep the Central El Paso area seat. Challenger Judy Gutierrez lost by 544 votes out of almost 6,200 cast.
“This was definitely the nastiest race I’ve been in,” Stout said late Tuesday. “I’m glad that is over, and this is the third time the voters in my precinct have sided with me.”
First-term County Commissioner Precinct 4 Carl Robinson, who represents Northwest and Northeast El Paso, is on his way out, after Canutillo board President Sergio Coronado won 54% of the vote.
Just under 5% of El Paso’s nearly 500,000 registered voters cast ballots in the runoff, according to unofficial final election results.
The Texas Tribune is tracking the statewide Democratic and Republican primary runoff races.
County Commissioner Precinct 2
Stout will be the Democratic candidate on the November general election ballot. He is seeking a third term representing Downtown, Central and South-Central El Paso on commissioners court.
Though there are no Republicans running for the seat, Stout may face an opponent in November as René Fierro filed a declaration of intent to run as an independent candidate for the seat (Fierro has until next month to file a candidate application and nominating petition).
Stout said he was able to separate himself by knocking on tens of thousands of doors while his opponent did not.
“She opted to send out negative pieces of mail, and she thought that was sufficient,” Stout said referring to the mailers that Gutierrez sent out questioning his role on the El Paso Central Appraisal District. “I’ve proven once again that it comes down to engaging voters — letting them see my face and listening to their feedback.”
Gutierrez raised and spent handily in the weeks leading up to the runoff — her second bid for local office, after losing to city Rep. Alexsandra Annello in the December 2020 runoff for the District 2 City Council seat.
Gutierrez’s campaign brought in close to $42,000 after the March 1 primary, money that largely came from influential businesspeople, including Woody Hunt, Paul Foster, Rick Francis, Stanley Jobe, Rodrigo and Miguel Fernandez, and Bobby and Randy Bowling. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Officers Association also gave her $5,000 ahead of the runoff.
Stout brought in close to $27,000 in the nearly three months between the primary and the runoff election.
Stout said he will continue to champion the causes — historic preservation, protecting Duranguito and questioning the need to expand Interstate 10 — he has been working on because that is what the voters in Precinct 2 want.
“I definitely plan to continue down the same road that I’ve been on for the past seven years,” he said. “I’m for Downtown revitalization, but I see it differently than other folks.”
While some business leaders have argued that expanding I-10 in the Downtown area will help economic development, Stout has consistently asked the Texas Department of Transportation to come up with an alternate plan to alleviate traffic.
“I think the voters in my precinct feel the same way,” Stout said. “I plan to continue that fight. I don’t feel beholden to anyone. I will continue to raise my voice.”
County Commissioner Precinct 4
Robinson lost to Coronado by 414 votes out of more than 5,300 cast.
Coronado will face Republican Blanca Trout in the November general election.
Trout, a fellow Canutillo ISD trustee, won 56% of the vote in her race against businessman — and first time candidate — David Adams.
Coronado said that his priority if elected in November will be what he campaigned on — fixing the stormwater issues.
“I will also work on the El Paso promise, which is to get every student free community college or workforce training,” he said. “We must eliminate the obstacles that prevent our students from getting degrees and job training.”
Coronado outraised Robinson during the recent campaign finance reporting period covering Feb. 22 to May 14. His campaign brought in approximately $26,000 in contributions to Robinson’s $12,000.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Officers Association had backed Robinson’s re-election bid.
Trout attributed her victory in the Republican primary runoff to her experience as a school trustee and community volunteer.
“The people see my commitment to public service,” she said. “I have served my community for years and they see it. I do it transparently and in talking to the voters they saw that I work tirelessly for my community.”
327th Judicial District Court
In the runoff’s closest vote, Monique Velarde Reyes defeated Chris Daniel Anchondo by 150 votes out of more than 17,000 cast in the Democratic race for the 327th District Court bench. Incumbent Judge Linda Chew is retiring at the end of this year and there are no Republicans or independents running for this court.
Velarde Reyes, a current Socorro municipal judge, trailed attorney Anchondo by 310 votes in early voting. But she won the election day vote by 460 votes to overcome his lead.
County Court at Law 3
Attorney Melissa Baeza will be the next judge of El Paso County Court at Law 3 when Judge Javier Alvarez retires at the end of this year.
Baeza won about 56% of the vote in the Democratic primary runoff against attorney Monica “Lupita” Perez.
There are no Republicans or independents running for this seat.
Justice of the Peace Precinct 5
Democrat John Chatman, a two-term incumbent, was defeated by Lucilla “Lucy” Najera, who had 62% of the vote.
The runoff determined who presides over the Lower Valley justice of the peace office for the next four years, as no Republicans or independents filed for the seat.
State Board of Education
Melissa Ortega, a University of Texas at El Paso women’s studies professor, is the Democratic nominee for the open District 1 seat on the State Board of Education. She won 57% of the vote in a district that covers much of the U.S.-Mexico border and parts of West Texas. She was opposed by Laura Márquez.
In El Paso County, Ortega has about 54% of the vote.
Ortega will face Republican Michael “Travis” Stevens in the November general election.
Ramon Bracamontes contributed to this report.