This story is a staff report from The Paper.


Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales made it official last week. One of Donald Trump’s favorite Democrats is running for mayor of Albuquerque.

Gonzales’ intent to run for mayor is not much of a surprise. He spent the past two years teasing that he would. Last month, The Paper. looked back at Gonzales’ tenure as sheriff and the issues most likely to be at the forefront of the campaign.

Also filing to run last week was Nicholas Bevins, a 20-something Bernie organizer, according to a Democratic Party profile posted online. He did not list a campaign website or social media profiles. While Keller has not technically filed for re-election, sources close to the mayor confirm that he is organizing his campaign and intends to announce within the next few days.

While city elections are technically non-partisan, all three men filing for office are registered Democrats and all three are expected to seek public financing. Keller will appeal to the progressive wing of the party where his record on sustainability, equity and inclusion will find a warm reception.


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Not surprisingly, Gonzales will lean into his experience as the county’s top-cop. Gonzales’ supporters argue that Mayor Tim Keller has not done enough to tackle the city’s high crime rates. Crime reports released last month by the city show that while gun crimes and violent crimes remain frustratingly high, property crimes are down under Keller.

But Gonzales will have a hard time convincing many residents that he can do better. Gonzales fought against red flag laws sought by domestic violence advocates and refused to require officers to wear cameras. He also defended deputies accused of excessive uses of force, even when they cost millions of dollars in settlements for victims. In one case, deputies unleased police dogs and rubber bullets on an octogenarian who had just lost his wife. He later died from complications developed from the encounter. Medical examiners labeled the death a homicide. Sheriff Gonzales gave the deputies involved commendations.

Keller’s supporters, of course, will continue to remind voters that Gonzales cozied up to Donald Trump time and time again. Attorney General Barr appeared alongside Gonzales in multiple press conferences and press releases from the Trump administration.


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Keller’s team is also anxious to draw the comparison between Keller and Gonzales on Covid-19. Keller has generally received high marks for his leadership of the state’s largest city. Gonzales, however, went on YouTube to proclaim that his deputies would not help enforce health orders from Governor Lujan Grisham.

Term limits will force Manuel Gonzales, III out of office as sheriff in 2022 but Albuquerque’s municipal elections occur in November of 2021 along with elections for school board. Gonzales’ treasurer was listed as Dolores Gonzales-Limon who had served as treasurer for his previous campaign for sheriff.