October 18, 2017

Colón endorses Keller in ABQ mayoral race

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Andy Lyman

Brian Colón

The third place candidate in this month’s mayoral election officially announced Wednesday his support of State Auditor Tim Keller in next month’s runoff election.

Albuquerque attorney Brian Colón, who received 16 percent of the votes last month announced his endorsement of Keller.

While the race is non-partisan, both are Democrats.

Meanwhile, a candidate that received under five percent of the vote endorsed Keller’s opponent, Dan Lewis.

Michelle Garcia Holmes, a former Albuquerque Police Department detective, endorsed Lewis.

“We need a leader like Tim who will move past hateful rhetoric and focus on the things that bring us together and make us stronger,” Colón said in a press release.

Keller said Colón’s support is “humbling” and that the two will work together to address public safety and crime.

Keller secured almost 40 percent of the votes with Lewis picking up 23 percent. Depending on turnout, Colón’s supporters could make a significant impact in the runoff election next month.

“I have had the opportunity to listen to both Dan and his runoff opponent at every forum,” Garcia Holmes said. “Clearly Dan Lewis has the heart and experience to lead our city as Albuquerque’s new Mayor.”

Colón and Keller did not engage in negative attack ads against each other during the past several months, but since the the election Keller’s opponent Dan Lewis has released at least one TV ad against Keller.

The ad focuses on two votes from Keller while he was in the New Mexico State Senate.

“Tim Keller says he’ll keep us safe,” a voice in the ad says. “But his record tells a different story.”

In 2009 Keller, along with 23 other Senators, voted to abolish the death penalty. Gov. Bill Richardson signed the bill into law and Republicans have since attempted multiple times to re-establish the death penalty. Most recently, Gov. Susana Martinez encouraged lawmakers to reinstate it during a special session, an effort which never got off the ground.

The ad against Keller claims he voted for a bill that would ease restrictions on where convicted sex offenders can live. In 2011, Keller voted to restrict municipalities to create their own living restrictions on top of already-established state restrictions.

The ad was paid for directly by Lewis’ campaign, but the talking points are very similar to those from group campaigning against Keller.

Make Albuquerque Safe, an independent expenditure group, spent almost all of the $60,000 it raised from a land development company involved in the controversial Santolina development and a New Mexico oil executive on negative ads highlighting Keller’s previous voting record.

Update: Added Michelle Garcia Holmes information to this story.

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