November 10, 2015

Two Las Cruces city council races going to a recount

Photo via Flickr by Erik (HASH) Hersman

Two city council races in Las Cruces that finished with close results will be headed to a recount.

Photo via Flickr by Erik (HASH) Hersman

Photo via Flickr by Erik (HASH) Hersman

NM Political Report confirmed with the Las Cruces city clerk that Eli Guzman and Richard Hall each requested recount. The two candidates requested recounts of five polling locations.

The two progressive candidates won by the initial count in the Nov. 3 elections.

The clerk’s office said they are in the process of scheduling the recount.

Like many other areas, Las Cruces is using voting convenience centers, so voters could vote from any of the nine locations throughout the city in the elections last week.

In Las Cruces’ District 1, Kasandra Gandara defeated Guzman 871 votes to 853 votes in a race with three names on the ballot (Steven Calderazzo asked to have his name removed from the ballot, but after the date where ballots were first printed).

In Las Cruces’ District 4, Jack Eakman won by just 11 votes, 621 to 610, over Hall.

Unlike with state elections, such as statewide and legislative races, there is no automatic recount provision in Las Cruces. This means despite the close races, the candidates requesting the recall will have to foot the bills.

Ken Miyagishima won reelection as mayor easily and Gregory Z. Smith won in another city council race.

The Las Cruces area had a high profile recount before; in the House District 37 race in 2012, Terry McMillan ended up winning by eight votes after a recount over Joanne Ferrary out of more than 12,000 ballots cast.

The two had been tied before the recount, but the automatic recount provision in state election law kicked in. In a 2014 rematch, McMillan won again, this time by 409 votes.

Update: added more information to the report and spoke to Jason Isbell, a spokesman for the Guzman and Hall.

“I anticipate a smooth process with the city, but have volunteered to help the candidates with anything they may need during this process,” Isbell said. “The candidates may also seek legal counsel if the need arises.”

Isbell said Guzman and Hall are “going to let the process play out.”