January 11, 2017

Keller officially announces run for ABQ mayor

Official photo of State Auditor Tim Keller

Official photo of State Auditor Tim Keller

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.

“We have great team in place and no matter what happens, there’s going to be a lot of good work that is going to continue,” Keller said.

The next mayor of Albuquerque will take office this December. Keller’s term as state auditor doesn’t end until December 2018.

Keller, a Democrat, is one of five candidates who have officially announced a run for mayor. He is seeking to finance his campaign publicly in the race.

The city allows mayoral and city council candidates to get public money for campaigns on the condition that certain rules are followed. Publicly financed candidates are limited in what type of outside contributions they can accept, for example.

In his announcement Keller said he is committed to “getting big money out of politics.”

Keller said public financing demonstrates a “community driven process.”

“How we get there matters,” Keller said of the race for mayor.

The Albuquerque City Council tried to get a public finance increase question on the ballot last November, but the issue stalled when the Bernalillo County Commission blocked it.

City Councilor Dan Lewis, a Republican who announced his candidacy for mayor over the weekend, told NM Political Report he is in favor of public financing for mayoral candidates, but that the current amount, roughly $1 per voter, “makes it difficult for a candidate to compete with other candidates with resources.”According to the City of Albuquerque’s website, four other mayoral candidates have officially filed with the city clerk’s office seeking public financing.

Below is a breakdown of registration information from the City of Albuquerque.

  • Stella Padilla – seeking public financing
  • Eddy Aragon – seeking public financing
  • Michelle Garcia Holmes – seeking public financing
  • Scott Madison – seeking public financing
  • Tim Keller – seeking public financing
  • Brian Colon – private financing
  • Dan Lewis – private financing

Candidates who are seeking public financing have until April to submit petition signatures from roughly 3,000 registered voters and $5 from each person who signed.