The Mayor Of Q-Ville

Carolyn Carlson
2 min read
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Competitors stand elbow to elbow on the crowded field of applicants for Burque’s top job.

Developer Rob Dickson, city resident Rudolph Serrano and businessman James Thomas picked up mayoral candidate packets from the City Clerk’s Office, a pretty sure sign they’re at least thinking about running.

These additions bring the total number of interested candidates in the race to nine—if you count Mayor Martin Chavez. He turned in the required number of $5 contributions to qualify for public financing on Friday, March 6, making him the first “candidate” to do so. He still hasn’t made an announcement about whether he intends to run for office.

The other contenders so far: state Rep. Richard Berry, City Councilors Michael Cadigan and Debbie O’Malley, former state Senate President Pro Tem Richard Romero, and community youth activist Donna Rowe. Those wanting to tap into public election financing are collecting signatures and $5 contributions. To qualify, they must turn in about 3,280 contributions of $5 each by the end of the month.

There may not be enough public financing available, depending on how many candidates manage to meet the quota. Only Dickson and Serrano intend to use private money to fuel their runs.

About $328,000 would theoretically be deposited directly into each campaign account in one lump sum on April 3. As of Thursday, March 5, there was around $1.5 million in the fund, according to City Clerk Randy Autio. Public financing for both mayoral candidates and City Council candidates will be drawn from that fund.

Candidates for City Council should be coming out of the woodwork over the next couple of weeks. Jeremy Toulouse announced his plans to run for the seat held by Cadigan. Council candidates can begin collecting signatures and contributions on May 1 in order to qualify for public financing. Their public financing sums are dependent on how many voters are in their districts. Publicly financed Council candidates should receive $1 per registered voter, which comes to between $35,000 and $45,000. Their funds should be dispersed on June 3.
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