On August 29, Dr. Joseph Pitluck Aguirre announced by a press release his withdrawal from the Albuquerque City Council District 6 race. He further announced that he and his family will be relocating to the Kansas City metro area to practice dentistry where he will provide quality dental care to underserved communities. Pitluck Aguirre acknowledged that his decision may come as a surprise to some but he appreciates the understanding of the Albuquerque community during this transition. August 29 was the day privately financed candidates had to file Declaration of Candidacy with the City Clerk.
District 6 is the South East Heights City Council District now represented by City councilor Pat Davis who decided no to run for a third term. Dr. Pitluck Aguirre is a registered Independent, a dentist and software development company owner and he was privately financed candidate. Dr. Pitluck Aguirre’s campaign for City Council focused on combating crime, assisting the unhoused, supporting small businesses, and expanding access to healthcare and STEM opportunities. Dr. Pitluck Aguirre sees his move to the Kansas City metro area as an extension of these efforts. He said this in explaining his decision:
“I am deeply thankful for the opportunity to engage with the Albuquerque community during my campaign. The support I received has been profoundly moving. While I am relocating, Albuquerque will always hold a special place in my heart. I remain committed to this wonderful community and intend to maintain strong ties.”
“I am confident that this move will enable me to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. I look forward to maintaining strong ties with the Albuquerque community and continuing to support initiatives that foster prosperity, safety, and well-being.”
“In recent years, several states, including Missouri, have made significant strides in improving their dental Medicaid reimbursement rates. These improvements not only counter the effects of inflation but also create an environment that allows dental health professionals to serve their communities more effectively. I see this move as an opportunity to continue my mission of providing quality dental care, especially to those who need it most.”
“My dental practice will directly contribute to improving healthcare access in underserved communities. I also remain committed to advocating for policies that support small businesses and increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for dental health providers, wherever I am. ”
Dr. Pitluck Aguirre expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Sandia National Laboratories for their invaluable support to his software company over the years and he said this:
“Their technical guidance through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program, and the opportunity to serve as a contractor, has been a privilege. It allowed us to support, in our own small way, their crucial mission of national security. I am profoundly grateful for the chance to contribute to such a significant cause. ”
For more information, you can contact Dr. Joe Pitluck Aguirre at email@example.com.
OTHER COUNCIL RACES AND CANDIDATES
The regular 2023 municipal election to elect City Councilors for City Council Districts 2, 4, 6, and 8 will be held on November 7, 2023 along with $200 Million in bonds to be approved by city voters. The remaining District 6 candidates are:
Abel Otero, a Progressive Democrat, a barber and community activist. (Publicly financed candidate.)
Kristin Green, Progressive Democrat and community activist. (Publicly financed candidate.)
Jeff Hoehn, Democrat, a nonprofit executive director. (Privately financed candidate.)
Nichole Rogers, Democrat, business consultant with background in health care, education and government. (Publicly financed candidate.)
The candidates in the other 3 City Council races are:
DISTRICT 2 (DOWNTOWN, OLD TOWN, NORTH VALLEY)
Joaquin Baca, Democrat, a hydrologist. (Publicly financed candidate.)
Loretta Naranjo Lopez, Democrat, a retired city planner. (Publicly financed candidate.)
Moises A. Gonzalez, unable to identify, community activist. (Privately financed candidate.)
DISTRICT 4 (NORTHEAST HEIGHTS)
Brook Bassan, Republican Incumbent, a stay-at-home mom. (Publicly financed candidate.)
Abby Foster, Progressive Democrat, and private attorney. (Privately financed candidate.)
DISTRICT 8 (NORTHEAST HEIGHTS AND FOOTHILLS)
Dan Champine, Republican, a retired police officer and current mortgage lender. (Publicly financed candidate.)
Idalia Lechuga-Tena, Democrat, a consultant and former state representative, (Publicly financed candidate.)
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
The District 6 Albuquerque City Council race is the most contentious of the 4 City Council races with 4 remaining candidates all who are Democrats. The November 7 municipal election could shift city council majority control from the current 5 Democrats to a Republican control or perhaps a conservative shift to challenge Mayor Keller’s progressive agenda.
After the 2021 municipal election, the city council went from a 6-3 Democrat Majority with the loss of a west side Democrat incumbent to a Republican and it became a 5-4 Democrat majority, but the ideology split is 5 conservatives to 3 progressives and 1 moderate.
Informed sources have confirmed Mayor Tim Keller has met with or spoken to at least 3 progressive democrats running and pledging his support to them. This is a clear indication that Keller is fully aware the stakes are high in the upcoming 2023 municipal election. Keller intends to take an active roll in electing city councilors who will support his progressive agenda during the final 2 years of his second term thereby setting himself up to run for a third term in 2025.
District 6 is the most progressive district in the city. Because there are 4 democrats running it is more likely than not a run off will happen between the two top vote getters if one of the 4 does not secure 50% plus one of the November 7, 2023.
Best wishes to Dr. Joseph Pitluck Aguirre and his family as they embark on relocating to Kansas City and thank you for your willingness to run for public office.