New Mexico – State Representative Richard Berry told an excited crowd of supporters, "Hey, we did it!" as unofficial returns show he will be Albuquerque's next mayor.
The returns show Berry with nearly 44 percent of the vote.
A candidate had to win at least 40 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff next month.
The city's current mayor, Martin Chavez, had 35 percent of the vote, while the third candidate in the field, former state Senate President Pro Tem Richard Romero, trailed with 21 percent.
The mayor's term begins Dec. 1.
Chavez had sought an unprecedented fourth term.
He stopped short of conceding, but his campaign spokeswoman agreed vote totals were "trending" toward Berry.
Berry is a general contractor who's serving his second term as a Republican legislator.
His campaign in the nonpartisan mayor's race emphasized his work with both political parties in the Legislature.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.