LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- Incumbent Ken Miyagishima won his bid early Wednesday morning for a fourth term as mayor of Las Cruces, defeating nine challengers in what was one of the largest mayoral contests in city history -- and perhaps its most complicated.
Tuesday's election marked the first year that Las Cruces utilized ranked-choice voting, which came into play after Miyagishima led the mayoral field when the first-place ballots were counted -- but failed to reach the required 50% threshold to win outright.
However, the mayor was finally able to pull out a victory after a full nine rounds of runoff voting. Under ranked-choice, the candidate with the fewest votes in each round gets eliminated and the candidates ranked second on those ballots are then awarded those votes to eventually produce a winner who reaches 50%+ of the total.
Former mayor Bill Mattiace, who was the distant runner up in the initial vote tally, survived to the final round before losing to Miyagishima by a 55% to 45% margin. (See spreadsheet below with ranked-choice voting by round below.)