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Bar-Hopping Justice Makes Runoff, Dead Judge Loses With AM-Texas Elections

May 4, 1986 GMT

EL PASO, Texas (AP) _ A justice of the peace who ran his campaign out of a bar was forced into a runoff with an opponent who demanded his resignation because he frequented local pubs.

But another candidate in Texas’ primary elections who campaigned from a psychiatric ward, a dead judge and two men who were released on bond from jail and continued campaigning all lost their bids for Democratic nominations Saturday.

Veteran Justice of the Peace Walter McGhee left the Incredibles bar about a half hour before final results were announced Saturday, said a woman who answered the bar’s phone.


McGhee, who received 1,537 votes, or 29.4 percent, will be in a runoff against Louis R. Lopez, who received 2,445 votes, or 46.7 percent, said Gwen Pascoe, assistant elections administrator. A third candidate, E.C. Riley, received 1,252 votes, or 23.9 percent. A runoff is required when no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote.

Lopez had demanded that McGhee resign because he frequented went El Paso bars. McGhee declined and instead predicted a landslide victory would keep him in office.

Meanwhile, in a telephone call to The El Paso Times Saturday night, Hoss Garvey complained he had not been allowed to leave a state mental hospital to vote for county judge, the county’s chief administrative post, which he was seeking.

Garvey, whose mother had him committed after he threw two bowling balls through a neighbor’s window, established a campaign headquarters at the county hospital’s psychiatric wing before being transferred to the state hospital.

Garvey received 513 votes, or 1.9 percent. Luther Jones, who quit as county attorney to enter the race, received 12,953 votes, or 47.2 percent, and will be in a runoff against Alfonso Perez, who got 7,869 votes, or 28.7 percent, said Ms. Pascoe. A fourth candidate for county judge, T. Udell Moore, received 6,113 votes, or 22.3 percent.

Despite predictions from some local observers, the late State District Judge Edwin Berliner lost the Democratic nomination for the judgeship to attorney Peter S. Peca Jr., 16,567 to 8,489, or 66.1 percent to 33.9 percent. Berliner died after the deadline for removing names from the ballot.

A third candidate’s bid to get his name on the ballot after the deadline was turned down.

Two other candidates, both of whom were released on bond from jail Tuesday and continued campaigning, were also defeated.

El Paso County Attorney Danny Anchondo, indicted Tuesday on a charge of cocaine possession, lost to Joe Lucas 17,528 to 9,390, or 65.1 percent to 34.9 percent.

Anchondo, appointed in January and seeking election to the county attorney’s post, claimed his arrest and indictment were politically motivated. He was not accepting calls, said a desk clerk at the downtown Travelodge hotel, where Anchondo and his supporters awaited the results.

Michael Webster, who also claimed his arrest Tuesday on a felony theft charge was political, received 447 votes, or 5.8 percent, in his bid for a seat on the El Paso County Commission. He was last, behind top vote-getter Orlando Fonseca, with 4,713 votes, or 60.6 percent, and Miguel Solis, with 2,613 votes, or 33.6 percent.

Richard Hobbs, Webster’s former campaign manager, filed a police complaint charging that Webster gave him the runaround about returning a stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer and television set. Hobbs also claimed Webster hit him on the head when he tried to retrieve the items.