ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Control of the Albuquerque City Council remained uncertain Wednesday as a runoff election seemed likely after one incumbent barely failed to gather 50 percent of Tuesday's vote, according to unofficial returns.
The outcome could determine partisan control of the nonpartisan body, which in recent years has seen a Republican majority working with Republican Mayor Richard J. Berry, who also won reelection Tuesday.
Councilor Janice Arnold-Jones, appointed to a vacancy earlier this year, tallied 49 percent of the vote in the three-way race. If the canvass confirms that number, she'll face Diane Gibson in a runoff election on Nov. 19.
Gibson came in with 39 percent of the more than 2,500 votes cast. Her election would swing the balance on the council to a 5-4 Democratic majority.
A runoff election also would include a ballot question about banning late-term abortions in the city. Without a runoff, the city plans a mail-in vote on the question forced by a petition drive.
Jones is a Republican and former state legislator while Gibson is a Democrat although all city candidates run on a nonpartisan basis.
That political balance of power on the nine-member council hangs in the balance after incumbent Isaac Benton, a Democrat, defeated council colleague and Republican Roxanna Meyers 5,556-3,360.
The two faced off after council redistricting placed both councilors in the remapped District 2, which runs from the University of New Mexico to the North Valley.
"I stand by all the folks who stood by me and walked and knocked on doors and made phone calls," Benton said Tuesday night. "I think that's the way we win elections, and I think the people have spoken and very strongly in our favor"
The unofficial returns show incumbents Dan Lewis and Don Harris winning reelection by comfortable margins and newcomer Klarissa Peña taking 56 percent of the vote in her three-candidate race.
Counciler Ken Sanchez won reelection running unopposed.
Ten bond issues authorizing $115 million in bond borrowing for city projects and improvements also won voter approval.
A woman was stolen from her daughter's car, a woman who died more than five years ago.
Albuquerque police shot and killed a man Sunday night after responding to an assault call near UNM.
Deputies were led on a chase around 4 p.m. Monday after a person called 911 to report their vehicle had been stolen and was being driven recklessly around Albuquerque.
New Mexico could have hundreds of millions of dollars more to spend as legislators get ready to put together next year's budget in the upcoming legislative session.
Organizers of the Gildan New Mexico Bowl are hoping to shed the disappointing attendance numbers that weighed down the event last year when the Colorado State Rams and the Washington State Cougars face off Dec. 21.
The numbers are in, and so far, few students are choosing to opt-out of the state assessment test.