Democratic incumbent Jesse James Casaus of Placitas won the title of sheriff again Tuesday night, beating out Republican challenger Darrell Keith Elder. Both candidates had decades of experience coming into the race, Casaus himself has been in law enforcement for over 20 years and is a former state police officer. Casaus kept the seat in a clear 53-47 percent margin.
A feather in Casaus’ hat was starting the first narcotics unit in Sandoval County. His department has worked with a Joint Task Force several times for major drug busts this past year, and in August made one of the largest fentanyl busts in the state, worth over $50,000.
Casaus oversaw the implementation of close to a million dollars in state-mandated body cameras for all officers on duty earlier this year. The department uses the same cameras used by the Bernalillo County Sheriff Department.
Casaus campaigned on the promise to continue to focus on the drug trade and swearing in more deputies.