Democratic candidates enjoyed a good night nationwide and in New Mexico on Tuesday. In New Mexico, three Democrats won three city council elections in Las Cruces. In one case, they flipped a Republican city council seat to Democratic. Gabe Vasquez, Gill Sorg and Yvonne Flores, all of whom ran on progressive platforms, won Tuesday night according to unofficial numbers. The races are officially nonpartisan, but party lines were evident in the campaigns.
Votes by the Las Cruces City Council during Monday’s meeting assured that three members of the council will not be facing recall elections. For now, at least. The Las Cruces Sun-News reported that in three separate votes, the Las Cruces city council voted 4-1 to certify a ruling by the former city clerk that recall petitions against three of the Las Cruces city councilors did not have enough valid signatures to move forward with a recall election. The three councilors, Gill Sorg, Olga Pedroza and Nathan Small, each abstained from the votes pertaining directly to them, but each voted to certify the clerk’s ruling on the other two cases. Councilor Miguel Silva abstained from voting on any of the resolutions and Carl Levitano voted against certifying the petitions.
The Las Cruces City Council will not vote next week on three resolutions related to recall elections for three city councilors, according to a city official. Udell Vigil, a spokesman for the city of Las Cruces, told New Mexico Political Report the council will remove the items from the agenda due to a pending civil case. “The three resolutions will remain on the agenda, but they will be pulled by the council at the start of the meeting, which means they’re not going to consider them,” Vigil said. The council was scheduled to vote on whether or not to ratify signatures from three petitions aimed at recalling councilors Olga Pedroza, Nathan Small and Gill Sorg. Esther Martinez-Carrillo, the city clerk, deemed a number of signatures collected by a group called New Mexicans for a Better Tomorrow as invalid.
[box type=”info” style=”rounded”]PETER GOODMAN is a Doña Ana County resident who writes, shoots pictures, and sometimes practices law. Visit his blog, “Views From Soledad Canyon,” by CLICKING HERE.[/box]
Local business interests who hired people to collect signatures to recall City Councilor Gill Sorg failed to collect enough signatures to trigger a recall election; but the recall proponents may file suit. The bar was low. They needed only 10% of the district’s registered voters. Their cause was so unpopular they had to lie about what the petition was for.