In one of the most contentious runoff elections in recent memory, voters in Nob Hill and the International District go back to the polls on Tuesday, December 12, for the Albuquerque City Council District 6 Runoff Election between two Progressive Democrats. While the City Council Districts 2, 4 and 8 races were decided on November 6, District 6 was forced into a runoff because neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote during the Regular Local Election in November. Candidates Jeff Hoehn, the executive director of nonprofit Cuidando Los Niños, and Nichole Rogers, a former city employee and business consultant, face off against each other in Tuesday’s runoff election to replace City Councilor Pat Davis who chose not to run for a third term.
District 6 spans the central corridor from Interstate 25 to the east. It also covers the University of New Mexico and Mesa del Sol. The district has been represented by City Councilor Pat Davis for the last 8 years but he decided not the seek a third term.
According to the city clerks office just 8% of the more than 30,000 voters in the district have cast their votes. In the November 7 general local election, 22% of District 6 voters turned out which was greater than the total voter turnout for Albuquerque.
The runoff election campaign has been as contentious as it gets, as Measure Finance Committees have been on the attack pushing for their particular candidates. Rogers is supported by the Real New Mexican Leadership measured finance committee, headed up by Mayor Tim Keller’s confidant and handler Neri Holguin, which funded a misleading or false mailer that cited reports of sexual harassment and racial discrimination by the National Association of Realtors, one of Hoehn’s donors, and that essentially accused Hoehn of the same conduct using a guilt by association tactic. Rogers never disavowed the mailer.
HelpABQ, the measured finance committee supporting Hoehn, in turn, labeled Rogers “unserious, inexperienced,” and “wrong for ABQ,” and in the ad saying she is endorsed by the “most extreme groups.” Hoehn disavowed the “negative messaging” which he said occurred without his authorization. Hoehn wrote in a letter to voters:
“I reject HelpABQ’s message that organizations like Planned Parenthood or the Sierra Club are extremist groups.”
Hoehn is privately financed. Rogers is publicly financed. Hoehn has raised $43,075 and spent $37,870. Rogers has a spending limit of $40,000, plus a $20,000 bonus for the runoff. She’s spent $41,034.
Voting convenience centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The address of the convenience centers are:
- Central Mercado – 301 San Pedro Dr. SE, Suites B, C, D & E, 87108
- Clerk’s Annex – 1500 Lomas Blvd NW, Suite A, 87104
- Daskalos Center – 5339 Menaul Blvd NE, 87110
- Four Hills Shopping Center – 13140 Central Ave SE, Suite 1420, 87123
- University of New Mexico– Student Union Building, Louie’s Lounge, 87131
- Bandelier Elementary School – 3309 Pershing Ave SE, 87106
- Highland High School – 4700 Coal Ave SE, 87108
- Jefferson Middle School – 712 Girard Blvd NE, 87106
- La Mesa Elementary School – 7500 Copper Ave NE, 87108
- Van Buren Middle School – 700 Louisiana Blvd SE, 87108
ALLEGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT
Nichole Rogers campaign took more than a few hits when allegations of her impropriety were revealed during the run off in 4 major areas. Those 4 areas are:
- WELSTAND FOUNDATION
Welstand Foundation is a one-person organization that was started by Nichole Rogers in 2019 and whose federal tax exempt status was revoked in 2022. Nichole Rogers failed to file required documents with the Internal Revenue Service, the New Mexico Attorney General and the New Mexico Secretary of State regarding her nonprofit Westland Foundation that she created and now manages. Rogers continued to fund raise while her nonprofit was not in “good standing” with the state and the corporation had lost its federal status as a 501 C 3 charitable organization. It was also reported that she failed to report income and account for monies she raised, including $15,000 in city funding she secured for her foundation and how the funding was spent. How much money the nonprofit received and where it went since its inception is impossible to know based on the non-existent tax filings.
2. HISTORY OF CIVIL LITIGATION AND MISDEAMEANOR CHARGES
An extensive review of public records and court dockets revealed a disturbing history of civil litigation over debts and money due, failure to pay rent, evictions and property liens. The total amount of judgments for debts and property liens filed were at least $25,726.47. It was also revealed misdemeanor traffic offense convictions by Nicole L. Rogers with times when bench warrants were issued for her arrest for failures to appear. She did not disclose to the Albuquerque Journal her misdemeanor convictions in its candidate questionnaire.
A review of court dockets was conducted to determine the extent of litigation Nichole Rogers has been involved with over the years. A listing of 7 specific civil court and 4 metro court misdemeanor cases was compiled which are believed to be cases Rogers has been named the defendant. When confronted with the cases, Rogers declined to admit or deny if the cases were in fact her as a named defendant. She said NO in her Albuquerque Journal candidate questionnaire if she had ever been convicted of a misdemeanor which is false.
3. RESIDENCY CHALLENGED
Confidential sources alleged that Nichole Rogers has not lived in District 6 for the 6 years she has claimed and as she told the Albuquerque Journal in its candidate questionnaire. She has said at forums she has lived in the district for 6 years which is false and she has raised her two children at the address she claims to be her home. The home in District 6 is a rental she owns and has rented to others as she lived with her children. It has been determined she has lived on the Westside in an apartment with others and is now using a District 6 residence that she owns but has rented to others in order to run for city council.
4. POLITICAL HIT PIECE FROM MAYOR KELLER’S HANDLER
Confidential sources have confirmed that Mayor Tim Keller was involved with Nichole Rogers candidacy from the get go. Jeff Hoehn was told in no uncertain terms by Mayor Keller’s political confidant and campaign manager Neri Holguin he should not run, he was told he could not win and that the Mayor would not support him and that the Mayor wanted another person.
Mayor Keller’s political confidant and handler Neri Holguin inserted herself into the City Council District 6 run off race. On December 5 a “politcal hit piece” mailer was sent to all District 6 registered voters. The flyer was from Real New Mexico Leadership, the measured finance committee supporting Nichole Rogers and that Neri Holguin solicited $12,000 in donations to produce and distribute.
The politcal hit piece says in part “Jeff Hoehns biggest backer has the kind of record we don’t need in Albuquerque. … With friends like these, we can’t count on Jeff Hoehn to stand with us.” The politcal hit piece then goes on to make the inflammatory accusations of “Sexual harassment reports by multiple woman”, “Discrimination against people of Color trying to buy homes”, “Paid $1.8 Billion jury veredict for inflating the price of home sales commissions.”
The politcal hit piece uses a unflattering photo of Jeff Hoehn positioned next to the accusations ostensibly to imply that Hoehn condoned the conduct or was guilty of the same conduct. The very, very fine print that strains they eye to read at the bottom offers as a Fact Checker and identifies the National Association of Realtors who was accused of the conduct. The measured finance committee, or Political Action Committee, “Help ABQ and National Association of Realtors” is the real subject of the hit piece. Looking at the hit piece at a glance you would think it was Jeff Hoehn who was accused of sexual harassment and discrimination.
Progressive Democrat Nichole Rogers has never denounced the flyer nor distance herself from the Real New Mexico Leadership measured finance committee thereby giving her tacit approval of the hit piece and reflects she will do anything to win an election.
PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT JEFF HOEHN
Progressive Democrat Jeff Hoehn has a Master of Public Administration from the University of New Mexico, he is married to Charlotte Itoh and the couple have one child. He has lived in the district 21 years. He is the executive director of Cuidando Los Niños, a shelter and school for homeless children. He has identified crime and homelessness as his top concerns for District 6.
Hoehn’s approach to the homeless would differ significantly from Mayor Keller’s large shelters at the Gateway Center and Westside Emergency Housing Center. To combat homelessness and the housing crisis in the city, he would fund smaller, population-specific shelters that are attractive and safe for those who want help. He agrees that the Albuquerque Community Safety Department should be a proactive force that is on the streets every day, all day actively encountering individuals who are homeless so that they accept help or choose to relocate.
Hoehn advocates short-term mobile APD command units in high crime areas. He advocates for a dedicated team of police officers that can embed with the community, build trust and make the area unfriendly to criminal activity. His crime proposals lean heavily on police and policing technology to get that done. Hoehn told the League of Woman Voters this:
“I advocate instituting short-term APD mobile command units in high crime areas. … We must be strategic so that officers can spend their time preventing and addressing crime. Technology such as speed cameras has a role to play also.”
PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT NICHOLE ROGERS
Progressive Democrat Nichole Rogers is a certified Emergency Medical Technician (Basic) and has an Associate of Arts and Sciences in Integrated studies from Central NM Community College (2012). She lists her occupation as a business consultant and financial adviser, She has 2 children, aged 15 and 6 years old and had lived in District 6 for six years.
Progressive Democrat Nichole Rogers identifies herself as a Black and Hispanic single mother and survivor of abuse. She has worked for the Mayor Tim Keller Administration as a policy advocate and community organizer. Progressive Democrat Nichole Rogers cited poverty as her top priority if she is elected seeing it as an underlying cause of crime and homelessness.
Rogers says too many families do not have what they need to survive much less thrive. Rogers says short-term solutions include getting the Gateway Homeless shelter open and functioning and the long-term solution is addressing poverty.
She vows to work to implement a Universal Income pilot that will provide families with the financial boost they need. To combat homelessness and the housing crisis in the city, Rogers wants to increase the number of shelter beds as a short-term solution and from there increase “wrap-around services” to get the unhoused in permanent supportive services that will help them stay housed.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
The city is facing any number of problems that are bringing it to its knees. Those problems include exceptionally high violent crime and murder rates, the city’s increasing homeless numbers, lack of mental health care programs and little to no economic development. It is City Council District 6 that has suffered the brunt of all the city’s ills with the highest violent crime and property crime rates, increased homelessness and the highest poverty rates in the city with no economic development, all issues Jeff Hoehn knows about, has dealt with and knows what to do about.
The city and District 6 cannot afford any longer city councilors who makes promises and who offers only eternal hope for better times that result in broken campaign promises. What is needed are city elected officials who actually know what they are doing, who will make the hard decisions without an eye on their next election, not make decisions only to placate their base and please only those who voted for them or Mayor Tim Mayor.
District 6 is entitled to a City Councilor who is ethical, who is above reproach, who knows how to manage finances both privately and in their private business dealings, who actually knows the problems of the district by actually living in the district for more than a few years.
Elect Jeff Hoehn City Councilor in District 6 on December 12.