Berry defeats Chávez; GOP takes over ABQ city council
With all 186 precincts reporting results that are still unofficial, Berry has 43.82 percent of the vote — enough to avoid a runoff election.
Berry and his campaign staff celebrated with hundreds of supporters at the Sheraton Uptown Tuesday evening. Berry told the crowd that he will focus on the job at hand and pledged to bring “commonsense leadership” to city hall.
“Bottom line is I want to serve Albuquerque. This is a great city,” said Berry, a Republican. “I want to take a commonsense approach to government. Take my business experience, my legislative experience, and just roll up my sleeves and try to move Albuquerque forward.”
Berry will have to resign his seat in the state Legislature because of a city rule. A replacement will be chosen by the Bernalillo County Commission.
Meanwhile, Chávez told his supporters at a southeast heights bar that he’d called Berry earlier in the evening and promised a smooth transition. “I’ve spoken to R.J. and congratulated him on a great campaign,” Chávez said. “He and I will be meeting at noon.”
Chávez, who got 35.02 percent of the vote, told his misty-eyed supporters that it has been an honor to be mayor of his hometown.
“All you have to do is look around to see what we have done together to transform this community,” he said.
Republicans will also control the city council
Chávez was not the only incumbent defeated on Tuesday.
City Councilor Michael Cadiagan, who dropped out of the mayor’s race in time to run for re-election in District 5, will be replaced by Republican Dan Lewis. Lewis beat Cadigan by nearly 12 percent, picking up 55.98 percent of the vote to Cadiagan’s 44.02 percent.
Republican incumbent Dan Harris easily won re-election, defeating David Barbour by 59 points.
Democrat incumbent Isaac Benton won re-election by defeating Bernalillo County Commissioner Alan Armijo by almost 20 points.
Councilor Ken Sanchez, a Democrat incumbent, was unopposed, and Mike Cook received 95.69 percent of the vote in winning the open District 7 seat.
In December the council will have five Republicans and four Democrats.
Voters OK tax, bonds and charter amendments
Albuquerque voters approved a 10-year extension of a 1/4 cent transportation tax, $159.4 million in general obligation bonds and all 10 city charter amendments.
Analysts had been closely watching the results of several proposed charter amendments. With all 10 passing, the city attorney and city clerk will have a bit more independence from the mayor.
And city councilors, who unanimously overrode a mayoral veto of the charter amendments, could be getting a raise after voters approved a five-panel independent commission to review the salaries of city elected officials.
All of Tuesday’s election results are posted online here.
St. Cyr is a contributing writer for this site and an Albuquerque radio reporter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. By way of disclosure, St. Cyr is paid as a subcontractor through Mayor Martin Chávez’s campaign spokeswoman on a contract to help promote the Town of Taos that has nothing to do with the Albuquerque election. A prior version of this posting incorrectly stated that Berry’s replacement would be chosen by the governor.
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