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T or C Mayor Survives Recall

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LAS CRUCES — A majority of those voting in Tuesday’s recall election in Truth or Consequences favored removing Mayor John Mulcahy from office, but the mayor retained his seat anyway.

Under New Mexico law, for a recall effort to succeed, the number of votes cast in favor of recalling a specific elected official must equal or exceed the number of votes that the targeted official received when elected to office.

In the special election Tuesday, 332 people, or 54.8 percent of those who cast ballots, favored recalling Mulcahy, who has only held office for nine months. A total of 273 votes were cast against the recall.

For the recall to be successful, proponents needed at least 374 votes — the same number Mulcahy received when he was elected to the City Commission in March, said deputy city clerk Judy Harris.

Mulcahy, the former executive director of the Sierra County Economic Development Organization until he lost the position due to a lack of funds, said he was not certain what motivated the recall effort but he was chastened by the results anyway.

“There was no reasonable cause (for the recall) that I could tell at all. … I certainly don’t understand the vitriol that I’ve experienced,” Mulcahy said Wednesday.

Nevertheless, Mulcahy added: “Message received. Now let’s move forward and try to come together and work on things that we need to work on.”

Mulcahy, 52, receives $550 per month as mayor.

January Roberts, a local businesswoman who ran against Mulcahy in March and supported the recall effort, said the mayor has irked some critics by not supporting a city-sponsored site for a spaceport visitor center, for his ties to several influential developers, and for City Hall’s push to build a waste transfer station, a project that is the subject of a citizen-led lawsuit.

Roberts said she was disappointed that more locals didn’t voted in the recall election. Turnout, according to unofficial results, was 14.3 percent, down from the 22.7 percent turnout rate in the March election.

“I am appalled at the apathetic attitude in TorC. I’m embarrassed, but I am so proud of the people who came in and did vote,” Roberts said. “I hope that’s a wake-up call for him, that people are not happy with what he’s doing.”
— This article appeared on page C2 of the Albuquerque Journal

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