Akhil Abbas will be the new state represtentative in this city’s district 20 of the N.M. House of Representatives.
Following an automatic recount of this very close election in the Northeast Heights, Abbas beat Republican Jim Dines—who exits the position after a term that begain in 2016—by a mere 114 votes to become the first member of the Muslim faith in the New Mexico Roundhouse.
Weekly Alibi spoke with Representative-elect Abbas early this morning as he took the Railrunner to Santa Fe. Abbas was upbeat and looking forward to his tenure.
Weekly Alibi: Hello, how are you doing?
Akhil Abbas: I am fine August and on the train to Santa Fe!
So, briefly recap the latest from District 20, please.
So the recount happened. Before the recount, I was ahead by 115 votes. The recount is an amazing process. I applaud Maggie Toulouse Oliver, our Secretary of State as well as our county clerk, Linda Stover, for engaging such a transparent process. Anyway, out of about 11,700 votes, my count went down to 114 votes. So, I won. I am thoroughly impressed by the system that is in place.
So, your election to the New Mexico House has been certified by the Secretary of State?
I believe it has. That happened on Monday. The Canvassing Board has certified the election in District 20.
Yes, I’m getting ready to start my legislative term; I’m going up to Santa Fe to meet other legislators. The group of freshmen representatives is a very close-knit group. We have and we will frequently consult each other to exchange ideas. That’s going very well. I need to get to know the Legislative Finance Commitee. All of these are folks who will support me in indroducing bills, discussing ideas surrounding legislation.
What would you like to tell your constituents?
Of course, thank you for having faith in me and for supporting my candidacy. My focus will be on the district and the challenges it has. I will be working with neighborhood associations and community leaders—as well as City Councilor Don Harris—to see how we can address the challenges in my district.
Well, Mr. Abbas, congratulations!
I’d also like to thank my campaign manager and team. These guys put their heart and soul into this effort. We pulled off an amazing victory that few expected.