Half of the eight-member Santa Fe City Council will be made up of women as a result of Tuesday’s election in which three newcomers, including two women, won office.
In the District 1 City Council race, incumbent Signe Lindell trounced perennial candidate Marie Campos, who ran her fourth unsuccessful campaign for council, three of which taxpayers funded under the city’s public campaign finance system.
Lindell, 63, a former university professor and city planning commissioner who has served as mayor pro tem since 2016, handily won a second four-year term to represent Santa Fe’s north side with nearly 70 percent of the vote.
“The people have spoken,” Lindell said in a statement late Tuesday. “Now it is time for us to roll up our sleeves, put aside our differences and work to make the lives of our citizens better.”
First-time political candidate Carol Romero-Wirth emerged victorious in the three-way race in District 2, which encompasses southeast Santa Fe.
Romero-Wirth, 54, a public policy consultant who has served on various nonprofit and advisory boards, defeated general contractor and business owner Joe Arellano and Nate Downey, who owns a landscape contracting company and a landscape-architecture firm.
Romero-Wirth won outright, receiving about 53 percent of the vote. She will replace City Councilor Joseph Maestas, who vacated his council seat to launch an unsuccessful bid for mayor.
Romero-Wirth is new to elective office but not to politics. She is married to state Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe.
In the south-central District 4, voters elected real estate agent JoAnne Vigil Coppler, who has a broad range of experience that includes serving as deputy director of the state Supreme Court and human resources director for the city of Santa Fe, Los Alamos County and the New Mexico Department of Taxation and Revenue.
Vigil Coppler, 63, scored a victory against challengers Eric J. Holmes, who owns and manages four businesses, and Greg Scargall, veterans resource coordinator at Santa Fe Community College. The District 4 race was decided in two rounds, with Holmes being eliminated first under the city’s new ranked-choice voting system.
The District 4 seat was vacated by three-term incumbent Ron Trujillo, who also ran for mayor but lost Tuesday.
In the southwest-side District 3, Roman “Tiger” Abeyta sailed to victory as the only person on the ballot in an uncontested race. Abeyta replaces Carmichael Dominguez, a three-term city councilor who did not run for re-election this year.
“I think I only needed technically one vote, and my wife voted just now and told me she voted for me,” Abeyta, 44, said with a chuckle Tuesday afternoon.
Abeyta, a former Santa Fe County manager who briefly ran for mayor in 2014, said he campaigned in his district despite not having any opposition, including holding campaign signs outside two polling places Tuesday morning.
“I did have two opponents when we started out,” said Abeyta, who is now the head of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Fe/Del Norte.
“I started knocking on doors, talking to the voters directly, and whether I had opponents or not, I continued to do that even after they dropped out,” he said. “I really wanted to get a sense for what’s going on in my district as far as what the people are saying they would like to see, the changes they would like made, things like that.”
Abeyta also campaigned in support of mayoral candidate Alan Webber.
“I was introducing him to a lot of people in District 3 that I had met and who were supporting me,” he said.
Contact Daniel J. Chacón at 505-986-3089 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @danieljchacon.