Over the weekend, Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales, one of the two Democrats running for the Albuquerque mayorship received a slew of Republican endorsements from high-profile current and former public officials.
Albuquerque City Councilor Trudy Jones, a Republican, was the first of the slew of endorsements, writing, “Sheriff Manny Gonzales is a strong fiscal conservative who will help us rein in wasteful government spending and ensure we focus government spending on basic services. Sheriff Gonzales will make fighting crime and homelessness a top priority. I enthusiastically endorse Manny Gonzales for Mayor.”
Jones has been known to be one of the most conservative members of the Albuquerque City Council and her endorsement of the Sheriff may add more credibility to the Democrat’s race.
Former state Auditor Wayne Johnson, who served in the position following Tim Keller’s abdication of the role to successfully run for Albuquerque mayor in 2017, also endorsed Gonzales. He wrote, “Sheriff Gonzales has spent his career keeping residents of Bernalillo County safe, even as crime in Albuquerque spiraled out of control. He’s a strong leader who works with everyone who wants to make their community better and safer. I worked with Manny as a Bernalillo County Commissioner and am proud to endorse him for mayor.”
Another Republican, former Secretary of State Brad Winter wrote, “Sheriff Manny Gonzales has earned a reputation as being an honest, tough-on-crime lawman. He’s born and raised in Albuquerque and honorably served in the Marine Corps. For Manny, it has always been about serving his fellow citizens. Manny is exactly the type of leader we need right now in Albuquerque and I’m proud to endorse him for Mayor.”
Gonzales, who is the only law enforcer and the only military veteran in the race, has fought a toxic campaign between the three major candidates in the running, with his unsuccessful battle to receive public financing after a strung-out lawsuit filed by Keller.
After the slew of losses in court, Gonzales has turned to fundraising, saying on September 17 that his campaign had already raised $100,000 in 72 hours. Gonzales formerly endorsed Keller in his race for mayor in 2017 and endorsed Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for governor in 2018. However, he claims he made a mistake with the endorsement. He did, however, partner with the Trump administration to fight crime in Albuquerque.
Gonzales faces Keller and one Republican opponent, Eddy Aragon, a radio show host. Aragon has made note that he is the only Republican running in the race, and his campaign has even pressured other Republican public officials, some of whom do not even live in the Albuquerque area, to endorse him via his surrogates on Twitter. Aragon has also been critical of Gonzales’ campaign manager, who appears to be a far-leftist. He is running on a “five C’s” platform of “Corruption, Commerce, City, Covid, and Crime.” Retired Brigadier General Greg Zanetti, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, has endorsed Aragon in the race.
Keller is in stark contrast to both Aragon and Gonzales, running on a hard-left ticket. His record includes defunding the police and replacing some outgoing 911 calls with social workers, spending $30,000 on a rainbow crosswalk, achieving the most annual homicides in Albuqurque in history, and championing abortion up-to-birth and infanticide. Keller is endorsed by the Planned Parenthood abortion business.