Albuquerque’s local elections this fall drew more than a dozen candidates for four City Council seats, but in the end, the governing body will change by just one. Longtime Councilor Brad Winter had his final meeting on Monday, Dec. 16.
Political newcomer Brook Bassan beat Ane Romero in the December runoff and will take the seat next month, making it the first time the nine-person council will be majority women.
After 20 years representing the far Northeast Heights, Brad Winter told meeting-goers Monday he has appreciated the non-partisan nature of the council.
He said whether they're progressive, Democrat or Republican, "everybody works together and compromises to make the city better, and I don’t think they do that at the state level, and I don't think they do that at the federal level. So I think we are very, very fortunate to have this form of government."
Winter, a Republican, got his district its first community center in 2011, and helped establish the city’s Civilian Police Oversight Board in 2014. He said he’ll miss being at City Hall each month, “although it is the right thing to do. You know, there’s something to be said for term limits."
There’s no limit to the number of four-year terms someone can seek on the City Council.
Winter’s successor is Brook Bassan, who ran on a tough-on-crime platform and said she wants to end Albuquerque’s status as a sanctuary city for immigrants. She won the runoff against Romero by seven points.
The other runoff race, in the city center district, was even closer. Longtime incumbent Isaac Benton beat Zackary Quintero by just four points.
Just about 15 percent of voters in those two districts turned out for the runoff. That’s a drop from the November elections, which drew nearly a quarter of registered voters in the city.
Support for KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and from KUNM listeners like you.