Rio Rancho city council seats headed for runoff election

RIO RANCHO, N.M. – The votes have been counted in the City of Vision, but the election isn’t over just yet.

“For these city council type elections, we usually have a 9% turnout,” said Rebecca Martinez, the Rio Rancho City Clerk.

City officials are used to a low voter turnout in non-presidential election, but this year it was particularly low. Just over 5,000 voters, about 7% of registered voters, decided on three city council seats, and three general obligation bonds.

Paul Wymer was reelected as the District 4 City Councilor to serve four more years. Residents in Districts 1 and 6 will head back to the polls on April 9, 2024.

“The City of Rio Rancho city charter requires that anyone who is elected receives 50% plus one of the votes. So, the majority of the votes cast. If no one receives that 50% plus one, then we will have a runoff election in any of those districts,” said Martinez.

The runoff for District 1 will be between Deb Dapson who received 44% of the votes Tuesday and Jim Owens who received 43% of the votes.

Nicole List got 43% of the votes for District 6, she will be in a runoff election against Edward Paulsgrove who received 28% of the votes.

Residents overwhelmingly supported the quality-of-life bond, public safety bond, and the road bond.

Lema Road near Lincoln Middle School will be the first road to get fixed under the $10 million road bond, followed by Safelite Boulevard and 19 Avenue.

Star Heights will be one of the parks to get upgrades under the quality-of-life bond.

Under the public safety bond, the police department will get 17 new police vehicles and a crisis negotiation team unit. Rio Rancho Fire Rescue will get a new ladder and engine.