City Boss Fight 2009
By Carolyn Carlson
It has been a surprising week with Councilors Debbie O’Malley and Michael Cadigan dropping out of the mayoral race. Both said it would be impossible to collect the more than 3,280 petition signatures and $5 donations required by the end of the month to qualify for public election financing. Those who qualify will get about $328,000 to run their campaigns.
Still hanging in there and attempting to run with public funds are: state Rep. Richard Berry; incumbent Mayor Martin Chavez (who, by the way, turned in about 5,000 signatures and donations on March 6, well before deadline); former state Senate President Pro Tem Richard Romero; community youth activist Donna Rowe; and businessman James Thomas. Both Berry and Romero have said they are making good progress and feel confident they will qualify. Only developer Rob Dickson and retired veteran Rudy Serrano have said they intend to use private money to run their campaigns.
Both said it would be impossible to collect the more than 3,280 petition signatures and $5 donations required by the end of the month to qualify for public election financing.
Some have wondered how Chavez was able to get the required signatures and donations so quickly. Mark Fleischer, Chavez’ campaign guru, said anyone with concerns is welcome to check that all of the donations and signatures were gathered according to the rules. Chavez campaign workers say Mayor Marty has a large base of supporters that is organized and above board.
Dan Lewis threw his name into the District 5 City Council ring. So far, he and Jeremy Toulouse will vie for the seat held by Cadigan, who said he'll finish his term but won't seek another. O'Malley's seat is not up for grabs this election cycle.
But four other spots are. Councilors Ken Sanchez, Isaac Benton, Sally Mayer and Don Harris have reached the end of their terms. There's no official word on possible candidates for these.
Council candidates have to wait until May 1 to start collecting signatures and donations in order to qualify for public financing. Those who qualify will get between $35,000 and $45,000 on June 3 depending on the number of registered voters in their districts.
The nonpartisan election is Oct. 6. The next mayor must get 40 percent of the vote or there will be a runoff between the top two candidates in November.
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