Leeser defeats Ortega handily in runoff
El Paso businessman Oscar Leeser will be the city's new mayor after defeating City Council Rep. Steve Ortega in their rematch on June 15.
Leeser jumped out to a commanding 3-1 lead after early voting numbers were released and never looked back.
Leeser had 33,266 votes or 74.32 percent to 11,492 votes or 25.68 percent for Ortega.
Leeser said, "Mr. Ortega has been nothing but a gentleman to me. If he was here, I'd give him a hug."
ABC-7 asked Leeser about coming into office with the City dealing with a $3 million shortfall.
"We need to look at our budget to see where we can cut responsibly, so we need to look at it to see how we're going to balance our budget," Leeser said.
Ortega said once the numbers came in he immediately called Lesser to congratulate him. Ortega said he and his supporters are very disappointed.
"I called to offer my congratulations to Oscar Leeser as he begins his term as mayor of El Paso. Let's move forward and keep focused on building a great city!" Ortega posted on his Facebook campaign page.
"Very proud of my friend, Steve Ortega, who worked really, really hard, showed up for debates, stood strong behind his principles and values, served 8 great years on City Council and helped make things happen," El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar wrote on her Facebook page. "Very proud also of all the supporters who were so loyal and stood with him and helped every step of the way, especially in the runoff. Steve gets to enjoy private life and his profession now, and he should be proud of the great work he did while on Council."
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