While there are still eight candidates running for mayor, only three qualified for public financing. City Clerk Randy Autio said Richard "R.J." Berry, Mayor Martin Chavez and Richard Romero received their cash last week. Berry took in $319,000, Romero pocketed $297,000 and Mayor Martin Chavez qualified for more than $328,000 to spend on his as-yet-unannounced campaign. Autio explained the amount varies because seed money and in-kind contributions are subtracted from what candidates pull from city coffers.
Mayor Martin Chavez qualified for more than $328,000 to spend on his as-yet-unannounced campaign.
Those who chose not to take public election money but who are still in the race include: community and youth activist Donna Rowe; businessman James Thomas; developer Rob Dickson; activist Rudy Serrano and newcomer Timothy Krenik.
All candidates have until April 28 to gather more than 6,500 petition signatures that will put their names on the ballot. Rumor has it Chavez gathered about twice as many as he needs and Romero and Berry will easily get the required numbers. The other candidates said they are working hard to garner enough support to be on the nonpartisan October ballot. The next mayor must take 40 percent of the vote or there will be a runoff between the top two candidates in November.
Councilors Michael Cadigan, Ken Sanchez, Isaac Benton, Sally Mayer and Don Harris have reached the end of their terms.
City Council candidates have to wait until May 1 to collect public financing signatures and donations. Those who qualify will receive between $35,000 and $45,000 on June 3 depending on the number of registered voters in their districts. Dan Lewis and Jeremy Toulouse have thrown their hats into the District 5 City Council ring to replace Cadigan. Bernalillo County Commissioner Alan Armijo said he plans to bid for Benton’s seat, and fellow Commissioner Michael Brasher is making noises indicating he intends to run for the seat held by Harris.