The Albuquerque Journal did an excellent front page profile of Mayor Tim Keller on New Year’s Eve 2017 that went into great detail on his background, his family and hopes and aspirations for the new year and for Albuquerque.
The fact the article was written by Senior Editor Kent Walz says a lot.
(December 31, 2017 Albuquerque Journal, page A1, “FACE TO FACE WITH TIM KELLER”, “TAKING THE REINS”, “Dyslexia, football and a love of politics shape new mayor”)
The one quote that stuck out to me in the profile of Mayor Keller was his final comment “When I decided to run, I realized it might be the last job I ever get politically, so I’m ready for that. I think the key is to go through that and leave it all on the field in the sense you try to do everything you wanted to do. And then if it doesn’t work out, you gave it your best.”
This comment reflects a dramatic political maturity from 20 months ago when I asked him why he was running for Mayor and he said “because I think it would be really neat to be Mayor of my home town and I have done good at all the jobs I have ever held”. Frankly, I was somewhat taken aback by his initial naivete based on what he told me 20 months ago.
Hard fought campaigns are an education of candidates, not only on the issues, but also an education of learning a lot about yourself.
Mayor Keller won by a landslide with 62% of the vote in a runoff.
Keller now has a mandate for change and he needs to take advantage of that early on, especially when it comes to the Albuquerque Police Department, our economy, cleaning up the mess he was left and taxes.
Winning by such a historical margin the first time around just may mean his popularity has in fact “peaked” given the challenges we face as a community.
Mayor Keller’s popularity will take a hit once he starts making the hard decisions.
Most assuredly, Mayor Keller will be tested in a crisis as is are all Mayors.
We should all do what we can to support his efforts but nonetheless hold him accountable for his actions.
Frankly, I have no doubt now that Tim Keller is up to the challenge and he will be a good Mayor.
Only time will tell if he will serve multiple terms or goes onto higher office or for that matter nowhere at all as all other Mayors.
As the old Chinese curse goes “May you live in interesting times”.