March 9, 2005
It appeared challenger Bernadette "Bernie" Jimenez defeated Guadalupe Mayor Vinicio Alvarez on Tuesday night in a recall effort touched off by a property scandal.
Voters also recalled incumbents Margarita Cota, Dovar Flores and Veronica Flores, whose terms would have expired later this year, according to unofficial results.
Recall challengers Refugia Martinez, Jimenez, and Socorro H. Bernasconi will replace ousted councilmembers until June, when a new council is sworn in.
Despite being recalled, Cota captured enough votes to win a spot in the upcoming runoff in May.
If the election results stand, she will battle political newcomers Margarita Garcia, Bonifacio Gonzales, and Patricia Jimenez for three open seats because no candidates captured enough votes to win a seat outright.
The grounds for recall, printed on the ballot, accuse council members of “fiscal irresponsibility by allowing the town to fall into significant debt.”
They are suspected of pushing for a town property tax, and squandering town resources by authorizing the sale of land owned by the town worth about $250,000 to make up for a onetime shortfall in the current year's town budget.
The recall seekers also accused Alvarez of calling council meetings at random hours to avoid public participation.