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Las Cruces to have first-ever all-female city council; LCPS bond passes

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It appears the City of Las Cruces will have an all-female city council for the first time since the city’s first election 1907.

Unofficial returns show that 11.2 percent, or 14,434 of Doña Ana County’s approximately 128,000 eligible voters, cast ballots in the election, the county clerk’s office said in a news release. That compares to a 16 percent turnout in 2019.

Las Cruces City Council

  • District 3: Becki Graham 467 (52.06 percent), Bev Courtney 408 (45.48 percent), Gregory Shervanick (write-in) 22 (2.45 percent). District 3 incumbent Gabriel Vasquez did not run for a second term.

“I'm so honored by the outcome of the election and will be spending the next two months preparing so I can hit the ground running for my district in January,” Graham said Wednesday morning, Nov. 3. “I'm committed to continuing conversations with people in District 3 – I am here because of them, and for them.”

  • District 5: Becky Corran 1,164 (56.45 percent), Robert Paquette 898 (43.55 percent) after three rounds of voting in the race, which was decided by ranked-choice voting. After the first round, Corran had 990 votes (44.84 percent) to 502 (22.74 percent) for Paquette, 508 (23.01 percent) for Ronnie Sisneros and 208 (9.42 percent) for David Telford. Telford was eliminated because he had the lowest vote total. In the second round, Corran received 1,064 votes (48.76 percent) to 563 (25.8 percent) for Paquette and 555 (25.44 percent) for Sisneros, which eliminated Sisneros. District 5 incumbent Gill Sorg did not run for a fourth term.

“Thanks to the support of an extraordinary team, I'll be lucky to join the city council in January,” Corran said. “I look forward to collaborating with a brilliant slate of history-making women, committed to representing Las Cruces with compassion and long-term vision. I will communicate inclusively, working to elevate historically marginalized groups in city priority-setting. My hope will be to build a Las Cruces that focuses on the well-being of our people, environment and companion animals by investing in economic innovation and development, green spaces, and animal care.”

  • District 6: Yvonne Flores (incumbent) 1,691 (54 percent), William Beerman 1,434 (46 percent).

Las Cruces Public Schools Board of Education, General Obligation Bond and Two-Mill Levy

  • District 1: Ray Jaramillo (incumbent) 1,112 (55 percent), Abelardo Balcazar 920 (45 percent).
  • District 2: Pamela Cort (incumbent) 1,187 (66 percent), Henry Young 608 (34 percent). Cort was appointed to the seat in July, following the resignation of Terrie Dallman.
  • District 3: Robert Wofford 1,740 (63 percent), Eloy Macha 1,004 (37 percent). District 3 incumbent Maria Flores did not run for a fourth term.
  • Las Cruces Public Schools $50 million general obligation bond issue: Yes 8,763 (69 percent), No 3,911 (31 percent). LCPS two-mill levy: Yes 7,766 (64 percent), No 4,330 (36 percent).

Doña Ana Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors

Two at-large seats. Retiring Las Cruces City Councilor Gill Sorg 5,198 (32 percent), Joseph R. Skaggs 4.558 (28 percent) Joshua J. Switzer 3,663 (22 percent), Jose F. Makk 2,873 (18 percent). Incumbents Craig Fenske and Kevin Bixby did not run for second terms.

Other races

Municipal races were also held in Mesilla, Anthony, Hatch and Sunland Park. In Anthony, incumbent Mayor and Doña Ana County Commissioner Diana Murillo-Trujillo was reelected with 210 votes (41 percent) to 187 (36 percent) for Fernando Gomez Herrera and 119 (23 percent) for Ernesto Alonso Salazar.

In Hatch, unofficial returns show incumbent Mayor Andy Nuñez losing, as he received 35 votes (29 percent) to 42 (35 percent) for James Lynn Whitlock, 32 (27 percent) for G. Dennis Torres and 11 (nine percent) for Robert E. Torres.

In Mesilla, Adrianna Cecilia Merrick received 239 votes (39 percent) and Biviana M. Cadena received 210 (34 percent) to win election to the two seats on the ballot. Incumbent Carlos Arzabal received 161 votes (26 percent).

The Gadsden Independent School District and Hatch Valley Public Schools also held school board elections, and both school districts overwhelmingly passed bond issues.

The county clerk’s office said it would begin a canvass of the votes Nov. 3 and present a final report to the county commission Nov. 12.

Find unofficial returns for all 2021 New Mexico races at www.sos.state.nm.us/voting-and-elections/election-results. The Secretary of State’s office said the statewide turnout was 19.34 percent, with 242,838 of the state’s 1,255,465 eligible voters casting ballots.