City Councilor Isaac “Ike” Benton takes the race.

With 100% of precinct results reporting, Benton (D-District 2) received 52.2% of the vote in Tuesday's runoff election, while challenger Zack Quintero (D) got 47.8%. The gap between the two candidates was just over 4%.

Benton will retain in his seat for another four-year term.



The City Council incumbent Benton defeated UNM Law School graduate Quintero in a race that was much closer than generally anticipated.

None of the six candidates in the Nov. 5 general election for the District 2 seat earned more than 50% of the vote. In that election, Benton garnered 4,855 votes (42% of the vote) while Quintero came in second with 2,387 votes (20.6%).

This is the first year that all non-partisan elections were held on the same day. The election reshape came after a change to the voting code in the 2018 legislative session. Voter turnout was higher in the general than in previous years, and that trend held true with this election.

Key policy issues in the campaign were public safety, homelessness and economic development.

Benton was endorsed by Mayor Tim Keller and U.S. Representative Deb Haaland but met with considerable opposition from the local firefighter union. In total, 5,500 people voted in the election. 3,413 voters participated via early voting and 2,087 walked in on election day.

The vote is expected to be certified next week. 

Lissa Knudsen is a beat reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at news@dailylobo.com or @lissaknudsen