Albuquerque mayoral election set for Tuesday
Posted at: 10/07/2013 6:26 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
It’s all just about over except for the voting.
Election Day is Tuesday in Albuquerque, and city voters will either re-elect Mayor Richard Berry or replace him with either Pete Dinelli or Paul Heh. The big question – can Berry get at least 50 percent of the vote and avoid a runoff with his closest challenger? That would most likely be Dinelli.
Dinelli spent Monday working hard on the ground game, topping off weeks that featured thousands of phone calls and thousands of door knocks. Dinelli unabashedly plays the Democrat card in the supposedly non-partisan election. Democratic voters outnumber Republicans in the city by 46 percent to 31 percent.
“The goal is to get the vote out,” Dinelli said during a break in his busy, crowded campaign headquarters in an aging strip mall on San Mateo near Constitution. “We’re gonna get the Democrats out to vote and I think there’s a lot at stake in this election, and I really believe this is going to happen. Tomorrow night you’re gonna see a few people surprised that there’s gonna be a runoff.”
Berry spent Monday on the job as mayor. He is riding high in the polls, up over 60 percent in two recent independent ones. Can he hang on to stay at 50 percent or better?
“The voters are gonna decide that,” Berry said after a news conference to announce a new customer service and tech support center that will eventually employ at least 150 people. “We run a campaign that basically builds up our city. We say that we have a great city, that we have great opportunities. We have a nice track record from our first term that we can show folks that we’ve been on the job doing good things as the mayor.”
We caught up with Heh putting out campaign sings near Carlisle and Indian School Monday afternoon. He didn’t raise or spend much money, and runs way behind in the polls.
“I know what the problems of the city are,” Heh said. “I’ve had ‘em in my face for 25 years as a police officer, and I’m the only veteran in the race. But hey – it’s not about me, it’s about repairing and fixing this city.”
More than 26,000 people voted early – more than twice as many as the city election four years ago. That could mean a heavier turnout than many election-watchers predicted. We’ll find out tomorrow night. The voting sites are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.