2 more can­di­dates plunge into ABQ mayor’s race

Re­tired po­lice de­tec­tive and city councilor an­nounce bids on Sunday


Two new can­di­dates — City Councilor Dan Lewis and re­tired po­lice de­tec­tive Michelle Gar­cia Holmes — plunged into the race to suc­ceed Mayor Richard Berry with sep­a­rate an­nounce­ments on Sunday in front of fam­ily, friends and sup­port­ers.

Lewis is the first Repub­li­can in the race. Gar­cia Holmes is an in­de­pen­dent.

They join Democrats Deanna Archuleta, a for­mer Ber­nalillo County com­mis­sioner and first can­di­date to en­ter the race, and Stella Padilla, a re­tired Old Town res­i­dent.

More can­di­dates are ex­pected to an­nounce their cam­paigns later this month, and other can­di­dates could emerge through­out the spring. Elec­tion Day is Oct. 3.

Lewis, a two-term city councilor from the West Side, ad­dressed an au­di­ence of about 200 peo­ple on

Sunday, gath­ered at Fat Pipe ABQ, an in­cu­ba­tor for technology busi­nesses in the old Al­bu­querque High School. His cam­paign said he has al­ready raised over $100,000.

The city po­lice depart­ment needs new lead­er­ship, Lewis said, and it should be com­bined with other public­safety agen­cies that work in Ber­nalillo County to im­prove re­sponse times. Al­bu­querque’s po­lice force, he said, should be ex­panded to 1,200 of­fi­cers, an in­crease of 42 per­cent over the roughly 850 of­fi­cers now on staff.

“Al­bu­querque is fac­ing some of its most try­ing times,” Lewis said. “We have a cri­sis in pub­lic safety, high­crime rates, low eco­nomic growth, fail­ing schools and a cri­sis of con­fi­dence in elected of­fi­cials. It’s time to ad­dress these changes with bold so­lu­tions.”

Steve Smoth­er­mon, se­nior pas­tor at Legacy Church, led the open­ing prayer at Lewis’ an­nounce­ment, and an­other speaker high­lighted Lewis’ own work as a pas­tor and as founder of Soul Rio Church.

Gar­cia Holmes, who served as chief of staff to for­mer At­tor­ney Gen­eral Gary King, a Demo­crat, told about 60 sup­port­ers gath­ered at the Al­bu­querque Coun­try Club that she has ded­i­cated much of her life to pub­lic safety, start­ing as an APD of­fi­cer pa­trolling the streets at age 22.

She high­lighted her own back­ground as par­tic­u­larly well-suited to Al­bu­querque’s non­par­ti­san sys­tem of gov­ern­ment: she’s not reg­is­tered with a po­lit­i­cal party.

“I will be the lead­er­ship that rises above par­ti­san pol­i­tics,” Gar­cia Holmes said. “To face our chal­lenges, we must all work to­gether.”

She said she sup­ports build­ing a mul­ti­pur­pose arena in Al­bu­querque and a shel­ter for young peo­ple fac­ing home­less­ness.

Gar­cia Holmes had asked sup­port­ers to bring canned food to her an­nounce­ment for do­na­tion to the home­less. Jeremy Rey­nalds, founder of the Joy Junc­tion min­istry and home­less shel­ter, opened the event with a prayer, and Gar­cia Holmes later thanked her com­mu­nity at Cal­vary Church.

Wide field tak­ing shape

This year’s race is the first may­oral cam­paign in 20 years with­out an in­cum­bent on the bal­lot. Berry, a Repub­li­can, has said re­peat­edly that he won’t seek re-elec­tion to a third term.

The race is non­par­ti­san, mean­ing party af­fil­i­a­tion won’t ap­pear on the bal­lot and there will be no pri­mary elec­tion to nar­row the field. If no can­di­date gets 50 per­cent of the vote in Oc­to­ber, a runoff elec­tion will be held in Novem­ber with the top two vote-get­ters.

Plenty of can­di­dates are con­sid­er­ing a run or are al­ready in.

Archuleta, the for­mer county com­mis­sioner, an­nounced her cam­paign in May, vow­ing to make eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and busi­ness growth a cen­ter­piece of her cam­paign.

At­tor­ney Brian Colón, a for­mer chair­man of the state Demo­cratic Party, and State Au­di­tor Tim Keller, also a Demo­crat, plan to an­nounce cam­paigns this month.

City Councilor Ken Sanchez, a Demo­crat, is con­sid­er­ing a run.

Pete Dinelli, also a Demo­crat, says he is likely to run again, fol­low­ing un­suc­cess­ful may­oral cam­paigns in 1989 and 2013. He’s a for­mer chief pub­lic safety of­fi­cer at City Hall and a for­mer city councilor.

Repub­li­can Wayne Johnson, a mem­ber of the County Com­mis­sion, and Su­san Wheeler-De­ich­sel, an in­de­pen­dent and co-founder of the civic group Ur­ban ABQ, are plan­ning an­nounce­ments.

Michelle Gar­cia Holmes

Dan Lewis


City Councilor Dan Lewis an­nounces his cam­paign for mayor dur­ing an event inside the old Al­bu­querque High School on Sunday.

Michelle Gar­cia Holmes, a re­tired po­lice de­tec­tive, an­nounces her run for mayor Sunday in front of sup­port­ers at the Al­bu­querque Coun­try Club.

Deanna Archuleta

Stella Padilla

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