Deanna Archuleta drops out of ABQ mayoral race

The number of Albuquerque mayoral candidates dwindled by one person Friday afternoon. Former Bernalillo County Commissioner Deanna Archuleta ended her run in a press conference, citing her 86-year-old father’s health. “I have made the difficult decision to step out of the Albuquerque Mayor’s race,” Archuleta wrote in a press release. “My heart is heavy. I love this city and I love the people of Albuquerque.”

Archuleta is caretaking for her father while he recovers from surgery.

WATCH: Dukes Up RealTalk Mayoral Forum

The first Albuquerque mayoral forum will take place tonight at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. The event sold out, but we will be livestreaming it below for all those who cannot attend. DukesUp.org is sponsoring the event and it will be moderated by Carolyn Carlson of the Weekly Alibi and NM Political Report’s own Laura Paskus. The event starts at 5:30 p.m.

Six candidates confirmed they will attend the forum:

Deanna Archuleta
Brian S. Colón
Susan Wheeler-Deischel
Timothy Keller
Dan Lewis
Augustus “Gus” Pedrotty

The candidates qualified by answering a question about local enforcement of national immigration policies. The question and their answers are available here.

ABQ mayoral candidates qualify for forum

NM Political Report along with the Weekly Alibi and the community group DukesUp.org will host a mayoral forum on May 23. Tickets for the event are free at the Alibi website. Update: Tickets are sold out. Candidates who accepted the invitation were asked to submit their answers to the following question. What costs and/or benefits do you associate with allowing the Albuquerque Police Department to assist in enforcing federal immigration law in Albuquerque?

Monday news wrapup

A few things happened on the news front over the weekend that we’re deciding to wrap up the relevant details in quick summaries below:

—It looks like the controversial Albuquerque Rapid Transit project will likely get some federal cash after all. In Washington D.C., Congress has agreed on a spending plan to avoid a government shutdown that includes $50 million for ART. That’s $19 million short from what the city asked for, Dennis Domrzalski at ABQ Free Press reports. —As of Friday, nine mayoral candidates qualified for the Albuquerque ballot. One more candidate, Stella Padilla, is roughly 500 valid signatures away from getting on the ballot.

Long list of potential ABQ mayoral candidates as signature deadline approaches

In a mostly empty building in downtown Albuquerque last week, 80-year-old mayoral candidate Ricardo Chaves said on his first day in office he would pull out all of the city’s parking meters. Chaves also takes issue with the city charging a “hidden tax” for airport parking. It makes sense that parking is on his mind considering Chavez has been in the parking industry since 1963. Now,  60 of his family members own private parking lots around the U.S., Chaves said. Chaves added his name to the already long list of mayoral candidates about 15 days before he and other hopefuls must turn in 3,000 petition signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot.

Where mayoral candidates got campaign cash and how they spent it

Candidates for the Albuquerque mayoral election filed their campaign finance reports over the weekend. The financial reports shed some light on which privately-financed candidates have raised the most money and from whom they’re getting their contributions. Right now, 16 official candidates are running for the city’s top office, but only four have raised significantly large amounts of money. Brian Colón
Former Democratic Party of New Mexico Chairman and one-time candidate for lieutenant governor Brian Colón leads the pack in fundraising. Most of his $350,000 haul came in large donations from business owners and executives.

Two big-name Dems say no to public financing in ABQ mayoral race

Albuquerque mayoral candidates have about a week to file their next campaign finance reports. For most, it will be their first reports filed this election. While many of the candidates speak highly of public financing, only one has qualified for it. New Mexico Democrats, for example, have pushed for more publicly financed races and campaigns since at least 2008, when the party added language to their state platform that says“all political campaigns should be publicly financed.”

The Albuquerque mayoral race is nonpartisan, so none of the candidates will be identified with any specific political party on the ballot. Related: Privately-funded ABQ mayoral candidates ready for first reporting deadline

Mayoral candidates Deanna Archuleta and Brian Colón are both prominent Democrats running for mayor who both opted to use private funds for their campaigns.

Privately-funded ABQ mayoral candidates ready for first reporting deadline

As the Albuquerque mayoral race rolls on, more than half of the 14 candidates currently in the race have decided to raise their own money instead of using public campaign funding

Most of the nine privately-funded candidates won’t say  how much money they’ve collected with the first filing deadline a little more than a week away. In addition to raising money to operate, campaigns must collect the signatures of 3,000 registered Albuquerque voters before the end of April to qualify for the ballot. Because he is already an Albuquerque City Councilor, Dan Lewis was the first privately-financed candidate to fully report his campaign finances. Lewis’ campaign finance report filed in January shows he raised more than $108,000 in monetary and in-kind contributions from business owners, state lawmakers and other individuals. Some of the businesses include insurance and real estate agents, construction companies, a local ambulance company and a private motor vehicle registration company.

Citing trouble collecting money, some mayoral candidates abandon public financing

Albuquerque mayoral candidates seeking public campaign money have less than a week left to qualify. While the filing deadline may lead to a reduced list of candidates, it’s likely candidates who fail to qualify for public financing will stay in the race and instead fund their campaigns through private donations. The Albuquerque city clerk’s website listed seven candidates as seeking public financing as of Monday night, but two candidates on that list told NM Political Report they will forgo public money and fund their campaigns from regular donations. Those who are still trying to qualify for public money will need to submit almost 4,000 contributions of $5 each by Saturday to qualify. The collected contributions will be deposited into a city account and then divided amongst the qualified candidates.

Official photo of State Auditor Tim Keller

Keller officially announces run for ABQ mayor

New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller officially announced his run for Albuquerque mayor Wednesday. Keller issued a statement in the morning saying he would focus on the city’s economy and reforming the Albuquerque Police Department. “Albuquerque is my home – I was born and raised here – and this is where my wife and I are raising our family,” Keller said in a press release. “I’m running for mayor because I believe, together, we can meet these challenges head on and build a safe, inclusive and innovative city that works for all of us.”

If elected mayor, Keller would leave an open spot in the auditor’s office, which would be filled by appointment from Gov. Susana Martinez. Later in the day, Keller told NM Political Report he is not concerned about leaving his current position if elected mayor.