Runner-up in Sunland Park city council election calls for lynching of winner

Re-elected Sunland Park city council wants to resign

Sunland Park, N.M. - The runner-up in Tuesday's city council election in Sunland Park, N.M., is calling for the winner to be "lynched."

Voters re-elected District One City Councilor Christian Lira. But Lira said Friday he doesn't want that seat, because he wants to run for New Mexico District 34 state rep.

"I think he should be lynched," said District One runner-up Kenneth Giove.

Giove was at the city council meeting Feb. 18, when Lira announced his plan to withdraw his name from ballots.

"Several weeks before registration, the election registration, Mr. Lira called me," Giove said. "Spoke to him in the City Council meeting, said that he wasn't going to run, that I was the best candidate."

But Lira missed the Jan. 14 withdrawal deadline, said Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea.

"As far as I know, he wasn't going to campaign or anything like that," Perea said.

And Lira still won re-election by three votes. If he wins a seat in the state house, he said he'll likely resign his council seat.

"My last name is one of the strongest names here in Sunland Park, New Mexico, as of today," Lira said. "And it's because of my merits, because of the deeds that I've done.

"Nobody knows who he is, except his family," Giove said. "He shouldn't be a city councilor. He's not qualified to be a state rep. He missed 40 percent of his meetings."

"The most important meetings that I've been here, to change the leadership, to change the structure of how the city is, I have been here," Lira said.

Lira also denied an accusation that he doesn't actually live within the district he represents.
"No, I live with my parents," Lira said.

"Anything more," Giove said, "I'll probably put my foot in my mouth."

By law Lira could hold both offices at the same time.

The state house primary election is June 4. If Lira wins that and goes on to win in November -- and resigns city council -- the mayor could appoint a replacement with council approval, or hold a special election.

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