Harden holding off challenger

By David Irvin

Incumbent New Mexico Sen. Clint Harden, R-Clovis, held a 232-vote lead over challenger Robert Frost with 97 percent of the precincts reporting late Tuesday.

Harden had 7,913 votes; Frost had 7,681 with 66 of 68 precincts final.

If Harden wins, he can credit Curry County where he recorded 76 percent of the vote (3,794 votes to 1,211).

Frost, D-San Jon, had a strong showing in Quay County, with 2,692 votes to Harden’s 1,354 with all precincts reporting, the Secretary of State’s Web site showed.

“I’d just rather not make any predictions,” Frost said late Tuesday. “Nobody has called the winner yet, so I’m just going to hold off (from making predictions).”

While Harden dominated Curry County, he lost ground in Quay, Colfax, Union, Harding and San Miguel counties, according to figures posted on the Secretary of State’s Web site.

“I don’t know that Curry (County) can swing it for me even though my friends were so supportive,” he said. “It was humbling really.”

Harden is the business administrator and owner of Twin Cronies in Clovis. He was appointed to the state Senate in 2002 by former Gov. Gary E. Johnson. Before his appointment he served as state cabinet secretary and for the Department of Labor for eight years.

Frost has been the owner and manager of a ranch since 1962. According to his Web site, he has extensive experience on the Quay County Fair board and is a current New Mexico State Fair commissioner. Former political experience includes serving on the San Jon School Board and as former president of New Mexico Cattle Growers Association.