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Sanchez elected council president

Councilor Ken Sanchez

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque city councilors have just elected Ken Sanchez to serve as council president for the next year.

Sanchez, a Democrat, won the position by a 6-3 vote, receiving support from all three Republicans on the council — Don Harris, Trudy Jones and Brad Winter — and from two fellow Democrats, Klarissa Peña and new councilor Cynthia Borrego. Sanchez also voted for himself. Democrats Pat Davis, Diane Gibson and Isaac Benton voted for Davis to become the next council president.

“We need to work together with the new administration and Mayor Keller,” Sanchez said. “I think we’re looking at some very exciting yet very challenging times. I think it’s going to be paramount that we collaborate and work together (on the challenges we are facing as a city).”

Sanchez was first elected to the Council in 2005 and represents District 1, which covers Albuquerque’s central West Side. He was recently elected to a fourth term on the council and has served two previous stints as council president.

Sanchez operates an accounting firm and is president of Ken Sanchez & Associates Realty.

The council president presides over council meetings and, at times, serves as an unofficial spokesman for the city’s legislative branch. Sanchez replaces Benton.

Also at tonight’s meeting, the council selected Harris as vice president, and Jones was chosen as chairwoman of the council’s budget committee.

As with the council president vote, Harris, Jones, Winter, Peña, Sanchez and Borrego voted to make Harris vice president, while Benton, Davis and Gibson voted for Davis as vice president.

Jones, meanwhile, was elected chairwoman of the budget committee by a 5-4 vote, with Harris, Jones, Winter, Peña and Sanchez voting for her and Benton, Davis, Gibson and Borrego voting for Gibson.