It's sad, but we understand. There's a fairly good chance you're unaware that Oct. 2 is Election Day. Even if you are aware, you may not be planning on voting. It's just a municipal election, right? Four Council seats are up for grabs along with a recall for one district and a number of bonds and propositions. No big deal. You don't really need to go; you'll just take a long lunch instead. But it's precisely that mentality that leads to such small turnouts at municipal elections, making it even more critical that you show up. Your voice matters, and in citywide elections, it matters even more.
Albuquerque's City Charter has the same relationship to the city that the Constitution has to the federal government—that is, it defines how the city operates as well as the rights and responsibilities of its elected officials and its citizens. One of the perks of living in Albuquerque is that voters regularly get to vote on propositions to amend the charter. This year, voters have five propositions to consider.
It’s no secret that Council President Debbie O’Malley has a contentious relationship with Mayor Martin Chavez. That reality has, unfortunately, fueled the District 2 race, leading constituents to choose their vote based on who they side with rather than on which of the two actual candidates—O’Malley and challenger Katherine Martinez—would be better for their district. We’ll ask you right now to put all that aside.
Can’t remember who or what to vote for? Clip out this voting guide and take it with you. Disagree with our endorsements? Scratch them out and write in your favorite—it’s all in your hands.
The District 4 contest has turned into a real cringer. It was bad enough that the race turned negative so quickly, with incumbent Brad Winter and challenger Paulette de'Pascal trading nasty barbs in the press. Then an errant e-mail revealed that Albuquerque Transit Director and former city councilor Greg Payne was working on de'Pascal's campaign, a major ethics violation if he was doing so on the city's dime.
District 6 is lucky. It has a track record of excellent councilors. Hess Yntema, one of Albuquerque’s all-time favorites, filled the seat for more than a decade. When he left four years ago, the position was filled by “movie star Martin” Heinrich, who has come to be another city favorite. Heinrich has garnered such a large fan base in his district and in Albuquerque that he’s decided to pull a “Heinrich maneuver” (you have no idea how long we’ve been waiting to use that term) and run for Congressional District One against incumbent Heather Wilson. That little move leaves his Council seat wide open, and now several outstanding candidates have entered the ring to take his place.
What's up with District 8? Do people living in this far Northeast Heights portion of the city just not give a damn about the direction of our city?
The Alibi didn't endorse lawyer Don Harris during his run for City Council two years ago, but we haven't been nearly as annoyed with him as we thought we'd be. As Alibi Council reporter Laura Sanchez says, “Don Harris hasn't been as bad as I expected. He's certainly worked harder for his district than the appalling Tina Cummins [Harris' predecessor] and has been more independent than expected.”