This election was all about two egos. And the Democratic voters lost. We lost big. An anti-choice, anti-Hispanic, anti-LGBT rights candidate won.
A very conservative Republican walked away with the mayoral race in Albuquerque last night. His two Democratic challengers fell short of the 40% threshold needed to win, or, to get the numbers to force a November runoff if none of the three candidates broke through 40%. Simple math shows that Democrats came out high for the Democratic candidates. Democratic voters totalled 45,360 with 97% of the precincts counted.
The Republican who won is Richard Berry. He is a convservative lap dog for the current mainstream GOP. He was immediately congratulated by RNC Chair Michael Steele for winning a bipartisan race which any thinking person knows really isn't bipartisan.
"I would like to congratulate New Mexico State Representative Richard J. Berry on his election as Mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Richard J. Berry's election in a highly competitive city demonstrates the continuing popularity of conservative principles not only in New Mexico but nationwide. As we approach elections this fall and in 2010, I am confident we will see many more Americans choosing Republicans to represent their best interests. Candidates like Richard J. Berry, who are active proponents of lower taxes, smaller government and small businesses, are the future of the Republican Party and I look forward to helping them all toward victory."
Steele obviously can't add. Berry didn't win a majority of the votes. He lucked into office because of the way that Democrats voted. Continuing popularity of conservative principles? Hardly. This is a progressive town with a very large Hispanic population. Most of us have absolutely nothing in common with Berry.
But Berry won. And he'll be in office because Richard Romero ran a weak campaign. He won because Martin Chavez pissed off so many Progressives during his last terms that they supported Romero, even when it looked like Berry was going to sneak in.
About two weeks ago, the polls were starting to show Romero's weakness in the overall campaign. From the New Mexico Independent this news should have been Romero's first indication that his candidacy was going to split the Democratic voters.
But he didn't bow out.
Did his ego get in the way? Did he despise Marty Chavez so much that he would rather have seen Berry get elected? The best analysis I have read about this race comes from Barbwire over at Democracy for New Mexico. It is an excellent read. She nailed the election results before everyone went to the polls yesterday.
Democrats fighting Democrats is bad politics. It is also really stupid.
Thanks for fucking all of us in yesterday's election, Romero. Marty is no saint and has pissed me off more times than I can count, but, now we have Berry for four years.
This scenario could be coming to a town near you.
UPDATED NUMBERS on the race.