Mayoral campaigns launch with petitions


We now know at least five people working to get their names on the ballot for this year's mayoral election in Albuquerque, including incumbent Mayor R.J. Berry—who has finally officially declared his bid for re-election.

These five petitioners need 3,000 signatures by the end of April to officially be in the running for mayor on October 8.

Saturday, Albuquerque mayor hopefuls started going door to door, trying to get enough signatures to put their names on the ballot.

The five candidates vying for the city's highest office include former city councilor  Pete Dinelli ; retired APD sergeant  Paul Heh ; Albuquerque resident Jay Flowers; one of Albuquerque's former first ladies, Margaret Arag n de Chavez, who is also a realtor and former teacher; and incumbent  Mayor Richard J. Berry .

“We will talk about the accomplishments in the first term. We'll talk about public safety and fiscal responsibility, social initiatives with the homeless and educational initiatives,” Berry says.

But there were also controversial issues Berry faced, including ordering pay cuts for some city employees to balance the budget and lawsuits against the city for accusations of police brutality.

“End the outrageous settlements and the millions and millions of dollars that is being paid out in frivolous lawsuits,” Dinelli says.

Other opponents say the lagging economy will still be a hot topic for the next mayor

“I believe our city is facing a crisis economically,” Arag n de Chavez says. “We're in a dead end. Businesses are leaving.”

“To bring careers into this city so that we can get our citizens working and have a job, have a way to support their families, we have to stop the bleeding of business leaving Albuquerque,” Heh says.

Arag n de Chavez, Dinelli and Heh are all trying to get public financing.  To do that they need more than 3,600 individual contributions of $5 by the end of next month.



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