Judge Wins Election by Coin Toss Kenneth Howard Jr. makes the right call to break a tie By Arden Dier, Newser Staff Posted Jul 11, 2014 11:02 AM CDT 4 comments Comments Heads up! (Shutterstock) (Newser) – How do you decide on a new judge? In New Mexico, by coin toss, apparently. Kenneth Howard Jr. has officially won a four-year term as the McKinley County magistrate judge after he called heads in a flip versus Robert Baca, the AP reports. Both men received exactly 2,879 votes in a Democratic primary on June 3, and with no opponent on the general election ballot, the winner would take all. Since state law requires a tie to be decided by lot, the men's luck fell on a 50-cent piece. Howard got to call it since he was lower on the ballot. According to the Gallup Independent, he asked to keep his lucky coin.