Winner of Mayoral Race Banned From Setting Foot in City Hall
Read the whole thing here.
Mayor pro tem Daniel Salinas, 28, who’s been charged with extortion and related crimes, won the Sunland Park mayoral race on Tuesday — the latest twist in an ongoing political drama in the city.
Salinas accrued 637 votes, about 51 percent, and beat out his main contender, Gerardo Hernandez, by 84 votes, according to unofficial results.
Still, Gerardo Hernandez, 59, a former administrator for Border Steel in Vinton, said he’ll challenge the results, considering Salinas’s edge mainly came from absentee ballots. It’s a pool Hernandez has raised questions about for weeks and one that has turned up some fraudulent votes cast by Texans.
“Pretty much since the start of the election we were talking about the absentee numbers,” he said.
Salinas is still capable of holding office, in spite of the four felony allegations against him, but officials have noted he’ll have difficulty running the city. That’s because the conditions of his release from jail specify that he not set foot on city property or have contact with city workers or other witnesses in the case. An eventual conviction, should it occur, would require his removal.
Here’s another article about the situation, with an audio version you can listen to.
Daniel Salinas won the March 6 mayoral election Sunland Park, New Mexico with 51 percent of the vote. Just last month, he was arrested by state police and accused of trying to blackmail another mayoral candidate out of the race.
The alleged method of blackmail is a video of his opponent receiving a lap dance from a topless dancer.
Here’s another story, with a few additional details, and a video that wouldn’t play for me..
As the first polling location reported the tallies from the Sunland Park Fire Station, supporters for Hernandez went wild. The unofficial results had Hernandez in the lead with 206 votes, Daniel Salinas with 61 votes, and Jose Hernandez with 33 votes. Rumors started flying among the crowd of the same trend at the Riverside Elementary polls, and the reported numbers confirmed the rumors. At Riverside Hernandez led with 137 votes, Salinas with 71 votes, and Jose Hernandez with 32 votes.
But as officials finished tallying the absentee and early voting ballots, the game changed.
If that’s not enough, go read some more here.
As we’ve posted before, Sunland Park has had a number of other embarassing incidents in the recent past.
Back in late September, state Rep. Mary Helen Garcia (D-Las Cruces) personally called on the state’s Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) to take the extreme step of intervening and running the Sunland Park city government after she was aghast to watch the name-calling and backbiting at a city council meeting dengenerate into what the editorial board at the Sun-News called ‘the Jerry Springer show.’
Earlier in 2011, Sunland Park made national headlines when its mayor, Martin Resendiz, admitted that he signed city contracts while drunk.