Mayoral candidates prepare for runoff election
POSTED: Sunday, May 12, 2013 - 9:12pm
UPDATED: Monday, May 13, 2013 - 10:09am
EL PASO — With none of the 8 candidates for mayor receiving 50 percent of the vote Saturday, the top two vote getters will campaign for another month to determine the future mayor of El Paso.
Oscar Leeser received the most votes with 47.4 percent and Steve Ortega came in second with 21.7 percent of the vote, forcing them to go head-to-head in the June runoff election.
"We never expected we'd have this kind of support," Leeser said Saturday night. "We are so excited."
The El Paso businessman spent the entire night with a considerable margin over Ortega.
"We're going to put our boxing gloves on in the next couple of weeks," Ortega said.
Ortega said the focus will now turn to what sets the two candidates apart.
"One of the things that we are going to do is distinguish our campaign which is about the future of El Paso versus our opponent's campaign which is about taking El Paso back 20 years," Ortega said.
Leeser said he has the experience to help grow El Paso's economy.
"We have to become business friendly and there's not a better guy, Leeser said. "I brought the Sun Bowl Hyundai and we were able to sell El Paso to Hyundai."
Former El Paso Mayor Joe Wardy was in attendance at the Leeser camp to show support for his friend.
"He's just a great guy and cares about this community tremendously," Wardy said.
But even trailing by more than double Leeser's totals, Ortega said this is a new campaign and anything can happen.
"We're going to be the story of the campaign that went from 20 something percent to the mayor's office," Ortega said.
Lesser said he feels equally as confident.
"I couldn't be more excited and 47.4 percent is a vote of confidence," Leeser said.