Garcia, Kumar reclaim city council seats


77 votes separate Kumar and Chavez

The two incumbents running for Gallup City Council seats March 14 reclaimed their seats, according to unofficial election results from Gallup City Hall. The certification related to the election took place this week and included City Clerk Al Abeita, deputy City Clerk Alicia Palacios, Municipal Judge Grant Foutz and City Attorney George Kozeliski.

Linda Garcia and Yogash Kumar won council seats in District 1 and District 3, respectively. There are 6,459 eligible voters in Gallup. There were 799 votes cast in the election. The election turnout number was 12.37 percent.

“Everything went very well,” Gallup Deputy City Clerk Alicia Palacios said after the election. “There were no problems with the voting machines.”

Garcia ran unopposed and garnered 96 total votes. Kumar was challenged by political newcomer and restaurateur Angela Chavez and former city parks and recreation director Esco Chavez. Garcia and Esco Chavez are Gallup natives.

Angela Chavez and Kumar are Gallup transplants. Kumar is a hotelier with holdings as far away as Albuquerque.

Garcia, the only candidate present at City Hall monitoring election results, got 96 votes. Kumar won District 3 with 301 total votes and Esco Chavez accumulated 224. Angela Chavez garnered 175 total votes.

“I’m very happy with the way things turned out,” Esco Chavez said. “We didn’t win, but we came away with a lot of votes.”

The absentee and early voting tallies were 31 and 289, Gallup City Clerk Abeita said. Palacios said there was a poll worker who called in sick and that left the North Side Fire Station No. 2 minus a worker, she said.

Gallup councilors serve four-year staggered terms and earn an annual salary of $15,000. Palacios said an election canvassing took place March 16 at 10 am at city council chambers.

“I’m pleased with my vote,” voter Maria Vargas said. “I wish more people would vote.”

The canvassing results were not available at press time.

By Bernie Dotson Sun Correspondent