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Game of Poker Settles Tie in New Mexico Election
Fri, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 12:00am
For the third time in 10 years, a municipal election in New Mexico's Torrance County seat of Estancia in the U.S. has been determined by a game of chance, this time by a game of poker.
This past Monday, the candidates for Town Trustee, Josie Richards and Michelle Dunlap, ended a tie vote by following the rules of New Mexico election law which says the winner of a tie is determined through a game of chance.
The pair had tied with 81 votes during the municipal election held on March 4.
They agreed on a single hand of five-card stud.
Josie Chavez Richards drew a pair of nines to beat Michelle Dunlap's ace to win her seat on the town Board of Trustees.
OTHER TIE BREAKERS USING CARDS
Monday's poker hand was not the first time an election-deciding game of chance was played in Estancia. According to several local newpapers, four years ago, Trustee Ted Barela tied with Carlos Lopez Jr. in the election. Barela won a poker hand with a pair of sevens that time.
And in 1998, James Farrington and JoAnn Carlson squared off for the mayor's seat. Both Farrington and Carlson drew heart flushes, but Farrington won with higher value cards.
And another town in the Estancia Valley has used card games to determine the winner of an election: Edgewood, who has had two games in its nine-year history determine an elected office.
In the town's first-ever election in 1999, playing cards decided the winner after a three-way tie for the Edgewood Town Council. Candidates Gary Chemistruck, John Romero and Richard Pledger drew for the high card, and Chemistruck won with the seven of spades.
Then in 2006, Howard Calkins drew a high 10 to determine the 2004 mayoral election in which Robert Stearley had been declared the winner and served for about two years. A state District Court judge, however, determined the election had been a tie and called for the game of chance to determine the winner.
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