ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It was a blowout Tuesday night in the race for mayor.
State Auditor Tim Keller got more than 23,000 votes over his opponent, Councilman Dan Lewis.
Keller wrapped up his victory speech just before 9 p.m. at the Hotel Andaluz. It wasn’t long after the polls closed at 7 p.m. that the winner was clear — Keller, by a large margin.
As the results started coming in, Keller held strong with more than 60 percent of the vote. The room erupted in cheers and applause when Keller took the stage, thanking his supporters for electing him the next mayor.
The Democrat also thanked his opponent Dan Lewis for putting up a fight and for his service as a city councilor. Keller went on to say that now the city will be moving in the right direction.
“No longer are we going to wait for anyone else to fix our problems, no longer are we going to blame someone else for our challenges, we are going to own the responsibility for our future going forward,” Keller said in his victory speech.
In a race that hinged heavily on public safety and crime reform, Keller had the endorsement of both the police union and the fire union. Both of those groups were present Tuesday night, and say they’re thrilled at the runoff results.
As quickly as the Keller camp knew they had the election in the bag, the Lewis camp knew there would be no celebrating Tuesday night.
Dan Lewis accepted the loss early on, speaking to a crowd of his supporters.
Lewis spoke just before 8 p.m. conceding the race and offering congratulations to his opponent, Tim Keller.
The party at the downtown Hyatt was pretty much over before it even started, with Lewis down by about 25 points with only early and absentee vote totals reporting.
It was similar to the spread seen between the two candidates in the October election.
Lewis, a Republican, has been a city councilor for the last eight years. He’ll now have to give up that council seat in the next few weeks. Still, Lewis said he’s proud he ran.
As for what’s next, Lewis started a church in Albuquerque and runs a wholesale fuels company, and will continue to do that. Politically though, it’s unclear what Lewis might do next.
In 2012, he ran for a congressional seat, but dropped out during the primary. Tuesday night, he’s saying he has no other political plans yet.
Cynthia Borrego and Robert Aragon also faced off in District 5 to fill Dan Lewis’ seat. Borrego won by about 900 votes. She’ll give the Democrats a 6-3 edge in the council.
Here are the unofficial election numbers from the Albuquerque City Clerk’s office:
- 57,572 early votes
- 36,389 voters voted at the polls
- 2,946 returned absentee ballots