ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Latest on Albuquerque’s mayoral election (all times local):
Unofficial returns show that Albuquerque voters have narrowly rejected a proposal that would have required employers to provide paid sick leave to workers.
The measure was defeated Tuesday by around 700 votes out of about 91,000.
The proposed Healthy Workforce Ordinance would have required employers in Albuquerque, regardless of size, to provide paid sick time off for their employees. It would apply to full-time, part-time and temporary workers at any business or nonprofit with a physical presence in Albuquerque.
Tuesday’s election caps a 17-month debate that began when supporters launched a petition drive on Mother’s Day last year.
But it drew opposition from some businesses in the days leading up to the election.
Unofficial results show New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller and Albuquerque City Council Dan Lewis have won the top two spots in Albuquerque’s mayoral race.
Both now will face each other in a November 14 runoff.
With more than half of the city’s voter centers reported, Democrat Keller garnered around 40 percent of the vote Tuesday on a platform to revamp the city’s police department and tackle Albuquerque’s rising crime rate.
Lewis came in second with about 22 percent of the vote and promised to get harder on repeat offenders.
Both beat back five other challengers, including former New Mexico Democratic Chair Brian Colon who came in third.
This election marks the first mayoral race in 20 years without an incumbent on the ballot.
Some polling places around Albuquerque are seeing long lines as voters turn out for the city’s municipal election.
Several candidates are vying to become the next mayor, and the ballot also includes a much-debated sick leave ordinance that has garnered opposition from small business owners who say the measure goes too far.
Voters have until 7 p.m. to cast their ballots at any of the 53 voting centers around the city. They must present photo identification.
According to the city clerk’s office, nearly 41,000 people had cost ballots as of Friday, when early voting wrapped up. As of Monday, more than 3,000 voters had already submitted absentee ballots.
The early and absentee votes represent about 13 percent of registered voters in the city.
Voters are set to choose among seven candidates vying to become the next mayor of New Mexico’s largest city.
Polls open Tuesday across Albuquerque in a nonpartisan race dominated by rising crime and pressures to revamp the Albuquerque Police Department.
If no candidate gets 50 percent, the top two vote-getters will face off in a November runoff.
Polls show Democrat and current State Auditor Tim Keller is leading the field. Former New Mexico Democratic Party chair Brian Colon and Republican City Councilor Dan Lewis are battling for the second spot.
This marks the first mayoral election in 20 years without an incumbent on the ballot.
Republican Richard Berry has been Albuquerque’s mayor since 2009 and isn’t seeking re-election to a third term.