The struggle for the city’s top job looks like it will narrow down to a three-way bout between Democrats Mayor Martin Chavez and former state Sen. Richard Romero and Republican businessman Rep. Richard Berry. The candidates have until April 28 to submit more than 6,500 ballot petition signatures in order to qualify. These camps say they have more than enough.
But the race isn’t a done deal. There are five more candidates who did not get a wad of public financing (as the top contenders did) but who continue to collect signatures. Those include youth activist Donna Rowe; businessman James Thomas; developer Rob Dickson; activist Rudy Serrano; and newcomer Timothy Krenik.
Speculation abounds as to how Mayor Marty got so many donations and signatures so quickly. Were city employees working on his behalf on city time to get the job done? Marjorie Childress at the New Mexico Independent found that city employees collected a little more than half of the 5,000 donations. Though most wouldn’t speak on the matter, a couple of volunteers said they did it willingly and when they were off the clock.
Over at the City Council table, Councilors Michael Cadigan, Ken Sanchez, Isaac Benton, Sally Mayer and Don Harris are up for re-election. Bernalillo County Commissioner Alan Armijo is planning to run for Benton’s spot, and East Side County Commissioner Michael Brasher is expected to announce a bid for the seat held by Harris. Mayer, a Republican, will face fellow Republican challenger Mike Cook, who has served on the city’s Police Oversight Commission.