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City of Las Cruces has new mayor, other races close

Former Las Cruces Fire Chief Eric Enriquez takes race after six rounds


At 10:30 p.m. on Election Night, with all 119 precincts partially counted, but none of them fully counted, several City of Las Cruces election races were still too close to call.

(UPDATED 12:52 a.m. Nov. 8) MAYOR’S RACE: At 10:30 p.m. City Councilor Kasandra Gandara was leading the mayor’s race with 5,314 votes (35%), followed by former Las Cruces Fire Chief Eric Enriquez with 5,137 votes (34%). A winner could not be declared until one candidate has more than 50 percent of the vote, meaning Ranked Choice Voting kicked in, and Gandara and Enriquez  picked up some of the backup votes from the other candidates.  UltimatelyEnriquez won 52.32 percent to Gandera's 47.68 percent in the final round.

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1: Cassandra McClure was leading with 847 votes (37%); Daniel Buck had 518 votes (23%); Jason Estrada had 561 votes (24%); Patrick Potter in fourth with 184 votes (8%); and Mark O’Neill in fifth with 182 votes (8%).

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 2: Incumbent Tessa Abeyta had 1,159 votes (49%) to former Mayor Bill Mattiace’s 1,223 votes (51%).

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 4: Incumbent Johana Bencomo led with 1,072 votes (49%), followed by Gabriel Duran Jr. with 753 votes (34%), Lorenzo Medina with 233 votes (11%), and Ramon Ortega with 148 votes (7%). If Bencomo can get to more than 50 percent of the votes, there will be no instant runoff using the Ranked Choice Voting.

In the three Las Cruces Public Schools board of education races, where there is no ranked choice voting, the picture was clearer.

As of about 10:15 p.m. election night, incumbents were leading in two Las Cruces Public Schools Board of Education races and a former school board member was leading in the other race.

In District 1, incumbent Patrick Nolan had 2,80 votes (57 percent) and Joseph Sousa had 1,596 votes (43 percent). Nolan was appointed to the board in April after Ray Jaramillo resigned.

In District 4, incumbent Teresa Tenorio, who is the current school board president, had 1,426 votes (38 percent). Julia Ruiz had 1,295 votes (35 percent) and Edward Howell had 986 votes (27 percent.) Tenorio is seeking her second four-year term on the board.

In District 5, former board member Ed Frank had 1,284 votes (31 percent). Incumbent board member Carol Cooper had 1,259 votes (31 percent), Jose Aranda had 1,002 votes (24 percent) and Ernest Carlson had 567 votes (14 percent). Frank won the seat in 2015, then lost to Cooper in a close race in 2019.

School board races are nonpartisan. Winners are not chosen by ranked choice voting and serve four-year terms.

Doña Ana Community College’s $16 million general obligation bond had support from 13,391 (71 percent) of voters, with 5,434 (29 percent) voting against the bond.

For updates, check back here, at lascrucesbulletin.com or, for the state results, click HERE