Tim Keller wins reelection as mayor of Albuquerque

Tim Keller wins reelection as mayor of Albuquerque
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller discusses the city's efforts to end a backlog for testing rape evidence kits during a news conference in Albuquerque, N.M. on April 30, 2021. AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan
  • Democrat Tim Keller won a 2nd term as Mayor of Albuquerque, which is New Mexico's largest city.
  • He faced conservative Democratic Sheriff Manny Gonzales and Republican radio host Eddy Aragon.

What's at stake:

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, a generally liberal Democrat, won a second term in office after winning a runoff election in 2017 with 62% of the vote. His tenure has been marked by an ongoing crime crisis upon which his opponents sought to capitalize.

Keller - the undisputed frontrunner in the race - was able to surpass 50% of the vote and avoid a runoff election. One recent poll registered 53% support for Keller, while another found him with just 41%.

Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales - another Democrat who ran as a "tough on crime" sheriff and referred to himself as a "fiscal conservative" - was Keller's chief opponent. New Mexico in Depth reported in July that Gonzales was working closely with prominent Republican consultants in the state, and that much of the sheriff's base of support came from traditionally Republican areas of the city.

Gonzales was accused of committing fraud during his donation-drive for $660k in public financing, a weeks-long drama that has consumed much of his campaign. At a recent debate, the sheriff baselessly accused Keller of having an extramarital affair.

Gonzales had 20-22% support among Albuquerque voters, according to recent polling.


Also in the race is Eddy Aragon, a conservative radio host who made the issue of both crime and vaccine mandates central to his campaign. Aragon jumped into the race late, rapidly garnering the necessary signatures to qualify as a candidate just days before the August deadline. Recent polls indicated that 13-18% of Albuquerque voters supported him.

If Keller had won less than 50% of the vote, a runoff election would have been held on December 7th, and either Gonzales or Aragon would have sought to defeat the incumbent mayor by consolidating an "anti-Keller" bloc.

For his part, Keller has won the endorsement of the Albuquerque Journal - the usually-conservative editorial board of the city's flagship paper - which said Keller was the "most qualified candidate for the job" even as it criticized him for overseeing a major crime crisis.

The incumbent mayor had also tried to boost his candidacy by putting a new proposal to build a $50 million stadium on the ballot with him, though a recent poll found that 55% of Albuquerque votes were opposed to the idea.