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Ousted DA County Commissioners blame Sheriff Vigil for political setback

Two incumbent Dona Ana County commissioners who lost their seats in Tuesday’s primary election are blaming the sheriff for swaying voter opinion.

In the District 4 democratic primary, Chairman Wayne Hancock lost to Isabela Solis.

On Wednesday, Hancock told ABC-7 while he can’t speculate on the minds of others, “the voters responded to what they were being told by the last couple of years by the sheriff.”

In District 2, incumbent Dr. David Garcia lost to Ramon Gonzalez.

Dr. Garcia agreed with Hancock, saying one of the main reasons for his loss was the interference of Sheriff Kiki Vigil.

“I was one of the commissioners that voted in chambers of him getting an appropriation from the gross receipts tax and he just didn’t seem to have enough,” Garcia said. “He wanted more and more and then when he thought I wasn’t totally in his favor, he got upset.”

“That’s silly for them to come out and state that,” Vigil said. “The race is over, they’ve lost, the community has spoken. They want change, let’s go forward.”

In October, Sheriff Vigil filed a federal lawsuit against commissioner Hancock and commissioner Billy Garrett.

He told ABC-7 the county was trying to censor him and he was being targeted because he has spoken out against a culture of retaliation within county government.

Vigil has also spoke openly to the commission about a “man-power” shortage in his department, which has forced him to cut services.

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