March 7, 2018

Santa Fe elects new mayor, Rio Rancho keeps the incumbent



Edited. cc

Both major political parties saw some signs of encouragement in municipal elections Tuesday.

The most high-profile election took place in Santa Fe. Not only is the state capital one of the largest cities in the state, it also used ranked choice voting for the first time.

Santa Fe voters chose Alan Webber as the next mayor. The election had high turnout with 38 percent of the city’s registered voters taking part. Webber won in the fourth round of the ranked-choice vote.

In ranked-choice voting, also known as instant run-off, each voter ranks the candidates. If no candidate reaches 50 percent, the candidate with the least amount of votes is eliminated and those who ranked them first have their second choice picked. This continues until one candidate gets 50 percent of the vote.

In Rio Rancho, incumbent Gregg Hull, a Republican, won with 50.7 percent of the vote, being former Rio Rancho mayor Tom Swisstack, a Democrat, and political newcomer Christopher J. Muldrow. If he hadn’t cleared 50 percent, there would have been a runoff election.

Republicans also cheered the results in Española, where Javier E. Sanchez won an easy majority. In Roswell, former state Rep. Dennis Kintigh, a Republican, was reelected mayor, but Democrats chose to celebrate three Democratic victories for city councilors in the Republican haven.

Democrats also won three city council seats in Aztec, another heavily-Republican city.