Voters will decide Tuesday what the Albuquerque City Council will look like come January as the campaign season comes to a close with a two-race runoff election.
At stake are the District 7 and District 9 seats and, with them, the political balance of the city’s nine-member legislative body.
Democrat Tammy Fiebelkorn, an environmental economist, and Republican Lori Robertson, a real estate agent, are squaring off to represent District 7. The district is centered around Uptown, encompassing the area west of Eubank between Lomas and Montgomery.
The district’s incumbent, Democrat Diane Gibson, decided not to seek reelection after serving two terms.
The runoff was required since no candidate earned at least 50% of the vote during the Nov. 2 regular election. By City Charter, the top two finishers must proceed to a head-to-head matchup.
In District 9, runoff voters are deciding whether to elect nonprofit board member Rob Grilley, a Democrat, or auto shop owner Renee Grout, a Republican.
The winner will replace Republican Don Harris, who opted to step aside with his fourth term coming to a close.
District 9 is the city’s Southeastern-most district, covering the area south of Menaul and east of Eubank.
While City Council races are officially nonpartisan, the runoff has attracted significant interest as it will determine which party holds the majority. Tuesday’s winners will join four Democrats and three Republicans on the council.
Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in both districts in the runoff, but the disparity is much more significant in District 7, where there are nearly twice as many Democrats as Republicans.
As of Monday, 5,803 people had voted early or absentee in the District 7 runoff, according to numbers the Bernalillo County Clerk’s office provided the Journal. That’s a turnout rate of 13.3% so far.
Democrats represent 3,569 of the votes cast compared to 1,521 Republicans.
In District 9, 5,589 people had voted by Monday — 13.6% of those registered. That includes 2,530 Democrats and 2,308 Republicans.
Election Day voting is available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at 16 sites. For more information, including a full list of sites, go to berncovotes.org.