Thursday, October 05, 2017

Clippings From Our Newsroom Floor On The Election Week That Was 

On the radio (Bralley) And so it begins. Here's Republican Dan Lewis the day after the city election that put him in a mayoral run-off with Dem Tim Keller:

Let me say this, Tim Keller is not a bad person, but we disagree on how we should reform and renew our city. I am tough on crime, he’s voted for carve-outs for sex predators. I will create a system where you know when judges release career criminals back on to our streets, so you can vote them out. My opponent will protect their identities and their weak-on-crime records. . . If you believe that it’s time to declare war on criminals and restore safety; that it’s time for a champion for entrepreneurs, innovators and job creators; that it’s time to reform and renew ABQ - I ask for your vote. . . 

Front-runner Keller will try to stay above the fray as long as possible and on Wednesday he did just that:

Together, we built a winning coalition that is uniting our city from every corner. Our effort was truly block-by-block, bringing together broad and diverse groups, of every political stripe, in support of a common goal. What is clear is that our message of leadership and urgency is resonating, especially our plans to attack the unacceptable crime crisis and bring immediate relief to our families on day one as mayor. This was also a win against special interest money and a strong statement of support for the idea that how we elect our next mayor matters.

The run-off is not until November 14 so everyone has time to catch their breath before the pace gets breathless again.


Early Wednesday (and we mean early) we had the mayoral turnout on the blog and Facebook at 98,000. It was actually about 97,000 with a turnout of about 29 percent of the registered. It was the highest turnout since the 2001 city election.

Also in that first draft, we forgot to mention that ABQ Dem City Councilor Klarissa Pena was re-elected to the council in a landslide win. And we also did not mention that all the bond issues--totaling $125 million--were approved by voters.

One thing seems certain: The run-off election, lacking the sick leave ordinance and other circumstances, will not approach 97,000 voters. How low it goes from there is anyone's guess.


One of our longtime readers comes with some interesting play on the Election Night numbers:

So working off of a vote total of 96,971 voters who cast ballots in the mayoral race. . . For the bond questions 2,264 people voted only in the mayor’s race and didn’t go any further on the ballot. But of real interest:  The sick leave question drew only 91,384 voters so 5,587 voters did not turn their ballot over.

You had to turn your ballot over to vote on the convoluted sick leave ordinance, another reason it failed Election Night.


The election cries out for more analysis from the spare-no one-Gators. Here they come:

--The election was a big time embarrassment for Attorney General Hector Balderas who endorsed his buddy Brian Colón with TV ads but could not get him over the finish line.

--It was an embarrassment for the ABQ Journal and its owners, the Lang family, who clearly have little influence anymore. Witness their endorsement and performance of Brian Colón who they wrongly labeled a "Progressive Democrat."

--It was an embarrassment for Gov. Martinez political consultant Jay McCleskey who couldn’t get his guy Robert Aragon over 50% to win in city council District 5 on the westside. If he can’t win a city council seat currently held by a Republican then it might not bode well for Monty Newman who is seeking the Republican nomination for the southern congressional seat and who has enlisted Jay's help.

That District 5 council seat ended as tight as a too wet swimsuit, with Dem Cynthia Borrego closing within one point of Aragon. They will face each other in the run-off election Nov. 14. McCleskey is consulting Aragon. Scott Forrester is consulting Borrego. Start your engines, boys.


The ABQ Free Press--the alternative newspaper that raised hell for several years over the condition of the city and did a good job of it--folded its website just days before the election and apparently won't be around for the mayoral run-off. Why it could not hang on a month or two longer after all that spade work is perplexing. Months ago it halted its print edition due to a lack of advertising but the website was relatively inexpensive to run. If you want to change the world, fellas, you gotta be in it.


Early voting was a winner and a loser. We had good turnout, but former State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones is among those saying it's high time the city followed the county and includes Saturday early voting and also keeps the early polls open until 7 p.m. instead of closing at 6.

But the way, the early and absentee vote accounted for 46 percent of the total turnout and fooled the crystal ball readers who thought it would go higher. It was 47% in 2013 and has grown in popularity sine then. But the surprise Election Day rush to the polls had the early vote failing to breach the 50 percent mark as many (including yours truly) had predicted.

And that is a wrap and a take for this most interesting of weeks. Thanks for coming along for the ride. We'll see you back here Monday. This is it. . .

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