Both Mayor Keller And Sheriff Gonzales Make Ballot; Keller Qualifies For Public Finance; Gonzales On Cusp Of Qualifying For Public Finance; Two Person Slug Fest Anticipated Unless Privately Finance Candidate Emerges

From April 17 to June 19, 2021, publicly financed candidates for Mayor must gather both 3,000 signatures from registered voters within the City and 3,779 qualifying donations of $5.00 to secure $661,309.25 in public financing.

From June 8 to August 10, 2021, privately financed candidates for Mayor must gather more than 3, 000 nominating petition signatures from registered voters within the City


As of Friday June 11, following are the updated City Clerk numbers for Processed Petition Signatures starting with the candidate with the most and ending with the least collected:


Required Petition Signatures: 3,000
Verified Petition Signatures: 4,112
Rejected Petition Signatures: 597
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: – 0 –
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 100%


Required Petition Signatures: 3,000
Verified Petition Signatures: 3,437
Rejected Petition Signatures: 656
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: – 0 –
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 93%


Required Petition Signatures: 3,000
Verified Petition Signatures: 730
Rejected Petition Signatures: 572
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 2, 270
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 24%


Nicholas Bevins has announced his withdrawal from the race and is no longer listed on the City Clerk’s tally.


As of Friday, June11, following are the City Clerk numbers for the $5.00 qualifying donations:


Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 3,779
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 3,945
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: – 0 –
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 76
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 100%


Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 3,779
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 3,488
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 426
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 291
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 92%


Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 3,779
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 3
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 1
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 3,776
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 0%

The link to the city clerks June 11 report is here


It’s official! Both incumbent Mayor Tim Keller and Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales will be on the November 2 City of Albuquerque ballot for Mayor. Congratulations to both!

What is also official is Mayor Tim Keller has successfully collected more than the required 3,779 qualifying $5.00 donations collecting 3,945 and his campaign will now be given $661,309.25 in public financing.

What is very impressive is that Sheriff Manny Gonzales spiked in the collection of the $5.00 qualifying donations and has gone from collecting 67% to now collecting 92% of the qualifying donations all within a 4 day period since last reported on June 7.

It has been reported that the Gonzales campaign relied upon and paid for a California canvassing company to get the job done. Republican operative and political consult Jay Mc Clesky is managing the Gonzales campaign and no doubt had a part in calling in the California company and for that reason it’s probably a Republican or conservative canvassing company. Gonzales needs to collect 291 more $5.00 qualifying donations which is highly doable within the 8 days remaining, especially when paid canvassers and not volunteers are used.


The rivalry between Mayor Tim Keller and Sheriff Manny Gonzales began to heat up even before both made the ballot, signaling a real slug fest between the two and a likely nasty campaign season.

On June 1, candidate for Mayor Manny Gonzales held a campaign event at Revel Entertainment Center in Northeast Albuquerque. About 70 people, including children, had gathered to hear him speak. Before the event was over, a drone with a dildo dangling beneath it flew next to the stage. A man was arrested and booked into jail on charges of petty misdemeanor battery and misdemeanor resisting, evading or obstructing an officer. Gonzales was quick to charge that the Keller campaign had something to do with the incident which the Keller campaign denied. Keller’s campaign manager Neri Olguin went so far as to say that Gallegos was desperate.

Gonzales suggested that the stunt with the drone may have been sent by the rival campaign of Mayor Tim Keller. The Keller’s campaign condemned the stunt as “disruptive, rude and immature” and denied any involvement, but took a swipe at Gonzales when Keller campaign manager Neri Holguin said:

“To suggest we were behind it is pathetic and the kind of desperation that has marked Manny’s troubled campaign.”

On June 6, it was reported that Mayor Tim Keller’s reelection campaign filed an ethics complaint against Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales alleging Gonzales personally told a voter that he did not have to pay a $5 contribution and that he would cover the $5.00 qualifying donation.

The Keller complaint accuses Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales of widespread fraud. According to the affidavit filed, Gonzales and accompanying Sheriff Deputies attended a Salvation Army Advisory Board at their invitation, asked the board members to sign a document saying they had provided a $5 “qualifying contribution” that would allow Gonzales to qualify for public financing. The ethics complaint alleges the Gonzales’ campaign submitted the contribution receipt to the City Clerk’s Office on June 1.

The ethics complaint was accompanied by an affidavit from Dean Zantow, a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, who stated Gonzales attended a May 27 board meeting as an invited guest. After speaking to the board, Gonzales and two Deputy Sheriff’s asked board members to sign nominating petition to place Gonzales on the November 2 ballot as a candidate for mayor. Then they were asked to sign donations receipts.

Zantow in his sworn affidavit said he agreed to fill out a receipt showing that he had provided a $5 qualifying contribution, then asked Sheriff Gonzales “Am I supposed to give you $5?” According to the affidavit, Gonzales allegedly stated, “No, that’s OK, we’ll cover that.” Attached to the ethics complaint is a copy of a $5 contribution receipt, dated May 27, signed by both Zantow and Gonzales.

It turns out that Zantow later made a $5 contribution to the Keller campaign when he informed a Keller campaign worker that Gonzales had not required him to pay $5. The campaign worker then alerted the Keller campaign.


Unless a privately finance candidate announces, the Mayor’s race is a two person race between Keller and Gonzales, which is a damn shame. Four years ago, there were 8 candidates for Mayor and there was also a run off with a healthy debate of the issues.

So far, no privately financed candidates have emerged. Privately Finance Candidates for Mayor must also gather 3,000 signatures from registered voters within the City. The time for privately financed candidates for Mayor to collect signatures is from June 8 to August 10, 2021.

Anyone one interested in running for Mayor and who has a real love for this city and is concerned about what is happening is encouraged to contact the City Clerk’s office.

The link to the city web site for candidates is here:


Tim Keller has been Mayor for 4 years of the 5 years where the city has ranked in the top 100 most violent cities. Sherriff Gonzales has been in office for 6 years, the entire time the city’s crime rates have spiked. The homicide statistics and accompanying headlines are the very type of headlines and statistics that should give both Mayor Tim Keller and Sheriff Manny Gonzales nightmares as they run against each other for Mayor. The statistics should mark the end of both of their political careers, but they don’t.

In 2017, Candidate Tim Keller campaigned to get elected Mayor on the platform of implementing the Department of Justice (DOJ) mandated reforms, increasing the size of APD, returning to community-based policing and promising to bring down skyrocketing crime rates. Mayor Tim Keller has tried repeatedly to take credit for crime rates being on the decline in all categories other than violent crime offenses.

Mayor Tim Keller repeatedly proclaims that the city’s violent crime rates are in fact a national trend, that his programs to fight violent crime are working, yet the city’s crimes rates have increased each year during his term. This coming from a mayor who campaigned and got elected on the platform to bring down the city’s crime rates.

Gonzales proclaims he can do a better job than Keller and with his tough on crime policies will turn things around. Gonzales also is now making the City’s Homeless crisis a priority, yet he has done absolutely nothing for 6 years to address the homeless crisis other than having his deputies break up homeless encampments.

Gonzales forgets he has been Sheriff longer than Keller has been Mayor and the County’s crime rates are just as bad. For 5 years, Sheriff Gonzales did next to nothing in helping APD bring down violent crime rates saying crime in the city was not in his jurisdiction as a Bernalillo County Sheriff, that is until he decided to run for Mayor. Gonzales proclaimed that businesses and residents in the South East Heights, which has often been referred to as the War Zone, contacted Gonzales and he decided to do law enforcement sweeps in the are and hold press conferences about his success no doubt to garner favor with voters and make Keller and the APD Chief look bad. It’s called political opportunism at its worst.


The city is facing any number of problems that are bringing it to its knees. Those problems include the coronavirus pandemic, business closures, high unemployment rates, exceptionally high violent crime and murder rates, continuing mismanagement of the Albuquerque Police Department, failed implementation of the Department of Justice reforms after a full six years and millions spent, declining revenues and gross receipts tax, high unemployment rates, increasing homeless numbers, lack of mental health programs and little economic development.

The city cannot afford another mayor who makes promises and offers only eternal hope for better times that result in broken campaign promises. What is needed is a mayor who actually knows what they are doing, who will make the hard decisions without an eye on the next election, not make decisions only to placate their base and please only those who voted for them. What’s needed is a healthy debate on solutions and new ideas to solve our mutual problems, a debate that can happen only with a contested election. A highly contested race for mayor will reveal solutions to our problems.

With Keller and Gonzales, we are faced with voting for the lesser of two evils, or just not voting. Hope springs eternal that more will run for Mayor to give voters a better choice..

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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.