By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
Ward A incumbent Antonio Salguero said he wants to get started on making those changes he vowed to make for his ward by improving the city’s cleanliness, streets and quality of life.
The retired educator’s victory over opponent Veronica Pena in Tuesday’s Portales municipal election, 67 to 56 votes, will give him four more years to make those changes.
“I just want to thank the Almighty for the victory because really, this victory belongs to him,” Salguero, 69, said Tuesday night before going home to a pot of gumbo in celebration of Mardi Gras. “I also have to give thanks to my wife Sandra, my life partner for 50 years.”
Ward A had the only contested race in Tuesday’s election. A total of 238 votes were cast in the election, about 4 percent of the city’s registered voters.
Portales Mayor Sharon King, Ward B councilor Oscar Robinson, Ward D councilor Dianne Parker, Municipal Judge Barbara George — all incumbents — and Michael Miller in Ward C ran unopposed.
Pena, a 64-year-old retiree of Portales Municipal Schools, congratulated Salguero on his victory but was disappointed in the low voter turnout at the polls.
“I was sad to see the vote count come in,” Pena said. “Not many people are going out. They need to vote. Every vote counts.”
She added that despite losing, she plans to provide service to her ward.
Salguero was appointed to the City Council in 2009 and ran in 2010 to retain the seat. He wants to see several projects start in the next four years, including the building of a fire substation in his ward.
He also wants to add stoplights across U.S. 70 at Chicago Avenue as well as one at the corner of Avenue D and 18th Street.
To stop the leak of entertainment gross receipts being linked to surrounding communities, Salguero also wants to push for a movie theater to be built in Portales.
“I’d like to see a movie house for our kids, we really need it,” he said.