Nov. 2 was a good day for Santa Fe County Clerk Valerie Espinoza. Elections went smoothly, with no more than "a call or two from people needing to know where to go to vote."

That would make Espinoza happy. But Espinoza is "ecstatic." She's riding high from the defeat of incumbent Democrat Secretary of State Mary Herrera by Republican Secretary-elect Diana Duran, who received 57.6 percent of the vote. The defeat concludes a two-year-long fracas between Espinoza and Herrera.

"The good news," Espinoza says, "is that we'll have a leader who will work with us, who can direct us and guide us."

Like Espinoza, Denise Lamb, Bureau of Elections director for the county, and a former state Bureau of Elections director, is pleased with the election's outcome, and says she's looking forward to working with someone who is "competent."

Duran, a former Otero County clerk, also carried elections-related legislation as a state senator.

But the Santa Fe County Clerk's Office isn't the only one anticipating a sea change in the relationship between the county clerks and the Secretary of State's Office.

Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins says Duran is "going to be an improvement because much of the direction we received—we didn't always get very much—it was often incorrect and infrequent."