Regional
3:04 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Sunland Park Council Candidate Re-Elected Despite Withdrawing From Race

A councilor in a troubled New Mexico border city who withdrew from his race was re-elected this week anyway.

Sunland Park city councilor Christian Lira beat out three other opponents with 32 percent of the vote and says he plans on remaining in office "because of all the support." And now Lira says he plans on challenging longtime Rep. Mary Helen Garcia in the Democratic primary.

The 31-year-old Lira publicly withdrew from his council race last month but not in time to get his name taken off the ballot.

Lira says he did not campaign because he was thinking about running for state representative. He says the results have encouraged him even more to challenge Garcia.

Sunland Park drew national headlines in 2012 after a mayoral candidate was charged with extortion by secretly recording an opponent receiving a lap dance from a topless woman in his campaign office.

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