Fmr. BernCo sheriff walks away from Dem Party, likely to challenge Heinrich

Retired Democrat Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales has changed his party affiliation to Republican, according to a voter registration card provided exclusively to the Piñon Post.

Gonzales, who served two terms as sheriff for the state’s largest county, is considering a run for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich, who has his eyes set on the New Mexico governorship once far-left incumbent Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham finishes her second and final term, a source close to Gonzales has shared exclusively with the Post.

Born and raised in the heart of New Mexico, Gonzales developed a strong commitment to public service from an early age. He began his law enforcement career with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, steadily rising through the ranks due to his dedication, leadership, and commitment to community safety.

During his time as sheriff, Gonzales implemented several innovative initiatives aimed at enhancing public safety and building trust between law enforcement and the community. 

His focus on community-oriented policing strategies garnered praise for fostering positive relationships between officers and residents. Under his leadership, the Sheriff’s Office worked collaboratively with local organizations, schools, and businesses to address crime prevention and engage in community outreach programs.

Sheriff Gonzales demonstrated a keen understanding of the challenges facing law enforcement in the modern era. His efforts included implementing technology upgrades to enhance crime-fighting capabilities, advocating for officer training programs, and championing initiatives to address the root causes of criminal behavior. Gonzales’s commitment to transparency and accountability within the Sheriff’s Office contributed to increased public trust in law enforcement.

During Lujan Grisham’s brutal COVID-19 lockdowns, which resulted in 40% of New Mexico small businesses closing up shop, Gonzales refused to enforce her edicts, saying in 2020 that they were “turning everyday citizens into villains.”

“It is my opinion that the resources of the sheriff’s office should be focused on making our communities safe and more prosperous for everyday citizens,” he said, adding, “For that reason, we will not follow along with any orders that subvert your Constitutional rights. Therefore, my agency’s focus will continue to be public safety, apprehending actual criminals, and not harassing everyday citizens attempting to make a life for themselves and their families in Bernalillo County.”

The then-sheriff was honored at the White House by President Donald Trump in 2020 for his work on “Operation Legend,” which was a coordinated approach between law enforcement departments to aggressively investigate the most violent crimes. 

In 2021, Gonzlaes ran for Albuquerque mayor, coming up short of incumbent far-left Democrat Mayor Tim Keller. 

Now, with a potential U.S. Senate race on the horizon in 2024, the former sheriff could give Heinrich a run for his money if he decides to run. Republican Ben Luna of Otero County has already announced a run for the seat, a story broken exclusively by the Post in September. ​


20 thoughts on “Fmr. BernCo sheriff walks away from Dem Party, likely to challenge Heinrich”

    1. Uh – no they aren’t! They used to be until that last creep in the White House sent his flying monkey army to our Capitol to steal the election that he kept, and still keep saying he won when he did not! And Manny? Did you see the debates televised on TV? He couldn’t string 2 sentences together. And the article doesn’t mention his being involved in ordering weapons as sheriff for his department to sell to those who aren’t supposed to have them. Doesn’t sound like law and order to me! Besides – Heinrich is one of the few senators who does a good job and doesn’t pose for the cameras like most of them! Seriously – get a clue!

    1. About time Manny changed affiliation to Republican. I was a volunteer during the 2020 election season-not for his campaign or any mayoral campaign- and changing affiliation would have saved a lot of pain and aggravation across the board. We wouldn’t have had a third candidate come in and split the vote between him and Keller-Manny could have won that election and the life in Abq would be more positive today. We wouldn’t have had idiot R “leaders” create PACs and brag about trying to elect a Democrat and cause strife, division and conflict within the party.

      Oh well. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Better late than never.

  1. According to the indictment, Gonzales and Mora, who was Gonzales’ under-sheriff before becoming chief of Laguna police, signed documents indicating the machine guns would be used for law enforcement demonstrations but they “had no expectation or understanding that such weapons would ever be demonstrated to their …Oct 30, 2023

  2. I hope that you kick butt aginst that traitor scum, Gun grabbing, carpetbagger Hindlick. I knew that Hindlick r was going to run for governor! All this sob has done is vote party line oh and introduced a large antigun bill!
    What a POS, he will bring the same stupid socialist Washington nonsense to New Mexico, Just like the Mighty Midget infested NM.

  3. I am glad to see good people run for office but until the criminally corrupt SOS, to loose Oliver, is removed nothing is going to change. She controls all votes. So who do you think will win? Sorry to be negative but the last three elections have been so obviously corrupt. When you have a county with a 125 percent voter turnout something is very wrong.

  4. I’m voting for Manny. I hope and pray the voters will see Manny’s dedication to making New Mexico a great and honorable place we can be proud of.

  5. Don’t trust him one bit ! Changing parties so he can get in and push the democrat agenda! Don’t be fooled once a democrat probably always a democrat! He can kiss my arse!

    1. Gunhild Elizabeth Vetter

      Not true, I was a democrat back in the JFK days but left the party in early 70s when I saw how the socialists were slowly taking over the democrat party. I consider myself an Independent but registered Republican so I can vote in Primaries. NM does not allow Independents to vote in primaries. I don’t understand how people cannot see how the socialists are taking control of our country under what they call the democrat party. But than what do we expect when we have allowed the socialists to take over our education system and brainwash our youth with lies about our history.

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