NM State Auditor Brian Colón Announces For NM Attorney General

On May 13, Democrat New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colón announced his candidacy for the office New Mexico State Attorney General ending months of speculation. The 51-year-old Democrat is the first announced candidate for the job which will be on the June, 2022 primary election ballot.

Colón is from Los Lunas, New Mexico, is married, his wife’ name is Aleli and the couple have 1 adult child, Rafael who recently graduated from college. Mr. Colón attended the University of New Mexico Law school from 1998 to 2001 earning his Juris Doctorate. He attended New Mexico State University from 1988-1998 and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration majoring in Finance

State Auditor Colón is serving his first term as State Auditor having been elected to a 4 year term in 2018. He could have run for one more term as State Auditor, but has opted to run for Attorney General. Attorney General Hector Balderas is term limited and can not run for a third term. Prior to being elected Attorney General, Balderas served two terms as State Auditor. Colon will be essentially following the same path from State Auditor to Attorney General as Hector Balderas.

In making his announcement, Colón sees the office of Attorney General as the logical opportunity to “take the next step” to deal with crime in the state. As State Auditor, Colón has emphasized protecting taxpayer dollars from “waste, fraud and abuse”. Not at all surprising is that Colón said that crime will be his No. 1 priority as attorney general. He said he wants the office to take on tough cases local prosecutors shy away from, including prosecutions of bad cops or corrupt politicians. Crimes against children, sex crimes and gun crimes would also be priority. Colón had this to say:

“[New Mexico] can’t have prosperous communities until we have safe communities. … What motivates me is to fight for New Mexico’s families. … It’s what I’ve done my whole life.”

According to Colón, his motivation is rooted in his experience growing up in New Mexico and his desire to serve his community. He has often recalled during past campaigns the struggle of being poor and having to take on the role of caring for his mother and siblings when his father died at a young age.

Prior to becoming State Auditor, Colón he served as the Chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. In 2010, he ran for and lost his bid for Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico and in 2017, he ran for Mayor of Albuquerque. Colón is very well known within political circles for never ending positive campaigning, his fund-raising prowess not only as a candidate for office but for the numerous charitable organizations where he is a member. Colón reported last month that he has $367.000 in cash in his campaign account. In 2017 when he ran for Mayor of Albuquerque, Colón raised well over $800,000, is expected to raise even more for a statewide race and he has a very dedicated and loyal following.

State Auditor Colón has served on upwards of 40 community and charitable organizations including:

Serving as a trustee for the Albuquerque Community Foundation
Serving as a mentor of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico
A member Hispanic Heritage Committee
A member of the Hispanic Philanthropic Society
United Way of Central New Mexico (President/Vice President/Member)
Member Spanish Colonial Arts Society
Member of the Southern Poverty Law Center
Member University of New Mexico Foundation Board

State Auditor Colón begins the race as the clear front runner from those Democrats who are hinting at running for Attorney General, including Democrat Bernalillo District Attorney Raul Torres, former United State Attorney for New Mexico Damon Martinez and State Senator Jacob Candelaria. Who ever wins the Democratic Primary in June, 2022 will likely become the next Attorney General. The last time New Mexico elected a Republican Attorney General was 34 years ago when Republican Hal Stratton was elected Attorney General of New Mexico and served from 1987–1990.

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.