ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — 10:35 p.m. — It looks like there may be one runoff election after all.
In council District 7, Janice Arnold-Jones did not reach the 50 percent mark, according to unofficial totals posted by the city tonight.
If that result holds up, Jones will have to face off with Diane Gibson in a runoff on Nov. 19.
Arnold-Jones, a Republican, was appointed to the Northeast Heights seat by Mayor Richard Berry earlier this year after Councilor Michael Cook resigned.
That race, if it happens, would determine whether Republicans hold on to a majority of the council.
9:45 p.m. — City Councilor Isaac Benton just got off the phone with opponent Roxanna Meyers, who conceded the District 2 City Council election after getting just around 40 percent of the vote late into election night.
Meyers, the incumbent, congratulated Benton on a good race, Benton said. Benton, the current District 3 incumbent, said he’s looking forward to working with the council and said it’ll be interesting to see how the election shakes out.
He’s hoping the District 7 race will end in a runoff with incumbent Republican Janice Arnold-Jones getting less than 50 percent of the vote there. She’s currently at around 51.6 percent, having fallen from 54 percent earlier this evening.
Thirty-six of 50 voting centers are reporting.
Keep with ABQJournal.com for updates as we near the end of election night.
Mayor Richard Berry has declared victory in his bid for a second term as Albuquerque’s mayor.
He is the first mayor to be elected with more than 50 percent of the vote since the current form of government was adopted in the early ’70s. And it appears he will exceed that mark by a wide margin.
Berry, the first Republican to hold the seat in 20 yearss, was introduced tonight by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.
Berry thanked his supporters and volunteers during a speech about 9:15 at the Sheraton Uptown.
“Tonight, we’re a city united, and I’m humbled and I’m grateful,” Berry said. “I want to thank each and every one of you.”
Martinez introduced the mayor this way: “Mayor Berry has shown how a real leader can bring people together to solve problems.”
Brian Sanderoff of Research & Polling Inc., which does surveys for the Journal, said in an interview just now that he expects Berry’s support to fall from over 70 percent into the 60s as more Election Day results come in.
Still, it’s an impressive victory, he said.
“The secret to his success demographically was that he enjoyed a significant share of support among Democrats and independents,” Sanderoff said, in addition to “nearly universal support among his own party, Republicans.”
Sanderoff said turnout appeared to be light, perhaps hitting 21 percent.
He said Berry is “a likeable guy who I just don’t think a lot of people felt there was a reason to change course.”
8:37 p.m. — Dinelli delivered a concession speech at his campaign headquarters on San Mateo NE about 8:30 p.m.
“This one-year journey has come to an end,” he said. “It’s not the end that we wanted.”
8:31 p.m. — Isaac Benton is poised to win the battle of the incumbents for Albuquerque’s City Council District 2, having won almost 60 percent of the votes.
That total is drawn mostly from early and absentee ballots, with only two of 50 vote centers reporting their election-day amounts.
Benton, who was unseated from his City Council position in District 3 due to redistricting, is running against Roxanna Meyers, who was appointed to the district after former Councilor Debbie O’Malley joined the County Commission.
Elsewhere in the city, Republican incumbent Janice Arnold-Jones appears to be successfully splitting the votes of her two Democratic opponents, Diane Gibson and Matthew Biggs. Arnold-Jones has almost 55 percent of the vote.
Each candidate needs to win 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff.
Incumbents elsewhere in the city also appear to be keeping their seats, including Dan Lewis in District 5 and Don Harris in District 9, in addition to Ken Sanchez, who is running unopposed in District 1.
In District 3, Klarissa Pena is just a couple percentage points ahead of the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff. Her opponent, Tania Silva, has just above 31 percent.
Keep with ABQJournal.com for updates throughout election night.
Mayor Richard Berry turned in an incredibly strong showing among early and absentee voters, according to unofficial results posted just after 7 p.m.
He had 73 percent of the vote among early and absentees, and Dinelli had 24 percent. Heh was at 2 percent.
The latest results can be found here. Totals from Election Day vote centers will roll in throughout the night. The absentee numbers may change slightly, too, as some ballots may not have made into the first batch posted tonight.
KOAT-TV has already called the race for Berry.
Albuquerque could be in for some history tonight, almost no matter the results.
To win re-election and avoid a runoff, Mayor Richard Berry will need to claim at least 50 percent of the vote. No candidate has hit that percentage of support in the first round of voting in at least 30 years.
On the other hand, if Berry falls below 50 percent and ends up in a runoff with Pete Dinelli or Paul Heh, that will be unusual, too. The city hasn’t had a mayoral runoff since 1993, when Martin Chavez narrowly defeated David Cargo.
How quickly we’ll have the results isn’t clear. City Clerk Amy Bailey said she expects the results from early voting and the bulk of the absentee ballots to be available by 8 p.m., an hour after polls close.
Results from the 50 Election Day voting centers will trickle in throughout the night after that.
No one seems to be expecting heavy turnout in today’s election, based on the reports so far. In 2009, more than 83,000 people voted, or 26 percent turnout of registered voters.
I’ll post more here throughout the night. Feel free to peruse our 2013 election page with candidate profiles and other news in the meantime.