EL PASO, Texas -- The third-place finisher in this month's El Paso mayoral voting is now throwing her support behind the front-runner in his upcoming runoff to unset incumbent Mayor Dee Margo.
Veronica Carbajal officially endorsed Oscar Leeser in a social media post on Wednesday night, telling her supporters: "Our City cannot withstand another 4 years of Dee Margo."
On the November ballot in a crowded six-person field, Leeser led the way by a significant margin with 87,810 votes or 42.4%. Margo was a distant second with 51,186 votes or 24.7%, while Carbajal finished on the mayor's heels in third with 45,340 votes or 21.9%.
Because no candidate amassed 51% of the vote to win the mayor's office outright, a Dec. 12 runoff was slated between the top two vote-getters with early voting set to start on Nov. 25.
"He is the better candidate in the upcoming run-off election," Carbajal said of Leesser.
Carbajal would've been the first Latina hold the mayor's office had she won. She is an attorney who currently represents Duranguito tenants in their repeated opposition to the proposed demolition of their neighborhood so that an arena can be built; the arena project has been championed by Margo.
During his four years in office, Margo has faced turbulent times beyond just a series of court battles over the planned downtown arena. Other turmoil he's seen has included a surge in immigration, the Walmart mass shooting, and now the Covid-19 pandemic.
Margo, a longtime businessman and former Republican state legislator, may face the biggest challenge of his tenure in the runoff against Lesser, who is seeking a return to the city's top elective office which he held from 2013 to 2017.
Leeser, the well-known owner of the El Paso Hyundai car dealership, decided not to seek re-election when his term was up, clearing the way for what would be Margo's election to the post. Four years later, Lesser has launched a comeback bid to challenge Margo for the city leadership mantle.
I am endorsing Oscar Leeser for Mayor. He is the better candidate in the upcoming run-off election. To everyone who supported me, please vote for him. Our City cannot withstand another 4 years of Dee Margo. pic.twitter.com/3ptuKtn1b8— Verónica Carbajal (@VeroforElPaso) November 19, 2020