Raton mayor resigns over 'discriminatory' gov't

Posted at: 10/10/2012 3:13 PM
By: The Associated Press

RATON, N.M. (AP) - A mayor of a northern New Mexico city has resigned over what he calls is the city's "discriminatory" form of government against Hispanic residents.

Raton Mayor Charles Starkovich said in a letter Wednesday that he was resigning as mayor and city commissioner in protest to Raton's at-large voting system.

Starkovich said the system violates the federal Voting Rights Act and that he plans to file a formal complaint with the U.S. Justice Department.

City Manager Pete Kampfer says he was disappointed in Starkovich's resignation but agreed that Raton's system discriminates against the city's Hispanic residents.

Kampfer says all three city commissioner live within blocks of each other in the same districts.

The city has five districts and is around 60 percent Latino. The city has one Hispanic city commissioner.

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