ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Leading up to Tuesday, the Albuquerque City Council has had a 6-3 Democrat majority, but it appears it may lean more conservative after Election Night. Former City Councilor Dan Lewis, who served District 5 from 2009 to 2017, has won over incumbent Cynthia Borrego, flipping that seat conservative.
Story continues below:
- Community: What’s happening around New Mexico Mar. 31 – Apr. 6
- Albuquerque: Fancy food hall, high end shopping coming to Park Square in Uptown
- Health: New Mexico Supreme Court announces end of mask mandate, social distancing in court
- Crime: Video: Arizona man arrested in New Mexico for 13th DWI charge
Lewis, who ran against Tim Keller for mayor in 2017, says there needs to be more accountability on the city council. “This is a checks and balance and you have to have councilors that are actively holding the administration accountable for decisions that are being made and showing good leadership,” says Lewis.
He says he believes some projects have been put on the backburner that he says he’d like to tackle, including roadway infrastructure, a new multi-gen center and library, and more parks for his district.
Meanwhile, in District 1, another incumbent, Lan Sena, lost to conservative Democrat Louie Sanchez. Sena, who faced her first election Tuesday, had hoped to retain her position on council after being appointed to the seat by Mayor Tim Keller in early 2020 following the death of longtime city councilor Ken Sanchez.
A retired Albuquerque Police officer, Louie Sanchez’s campaign focused on crime and jobs. “I’d like to see new money, new jobs here on the west side. The west side is the place to expand,” says Sanchez.
In District 3, Klarissa Peña ran unopposed in southwest Albuquerque. Peña’s uncontested win Tuesday guarantees her a third four-year term on council. Peña was first elected in 2013.
A runoff will be needed to confirm a winner in District 9, a seat being vacated by four-term councilor Don Harris, another conservative vote on council. Conservative Renee Grout will be in the runoff as she secured the most votes with 43%. Her opponents Robert Grilley and Byron Powdrell are only separated by just one percent of the vote.
As of now, Districts 7 and 9 seats could both have run-off elections in December. If conservatives Lori Lee Robertson and Renee Grout win, the balance of power would shift on the city council to six conservative-leaning councilors versus three liberal-leaning councilors.