Longtime city Councilor Carmichael Dominguez may very well get another four years to represent the poorest and fastest developing area in Santa Fe.
But as he pursues a third term on the governing body he's spawned a fiery challenger in Angelo Jaramillo, a 37-year-old activist, state employee and writer who dismisses Dominguez' style of leadership as nothing more than the "patrón model"—the act of promising constituents one thing but only delivering when in need of something else.
Dominguez, for his part, cites his success in organizing Southside residents in community listening sessions, helping establish a 90-acre park and successfully pushing a new overlay zoning ordinance that promotes walkability and restricts certain alcohol sales on and around Airport Road.
"I'm proud of the work that the community has accomplished and my ability to help them get some of those things accomplished," Dominguez tells SFR. "And there's a lot that still needs to be done."
But Jaramillo, an unconventional candidate who sports a tattoo of Nicaraguan revolutionary Carlos Fonseca and has published short stories with edgy titles like "Imperial Road Kill" and "The Violent Ménage A Trois," paints the incumbent councilor as out of touch.
"It's typical old school politics," Jaramillo says of Dominguez. "Most recently...they're building trees in the medians or they're repairing certain sidewalks and stuff like that. Well, I only saw some of those construction initiatives go up in the past four or five months, and that's because it's re-election time."
Jaramillo might be new to running his own campaign, but he's familiar with politics. He's the son of Debbie Jaramillo, a city councilor who went on to be elected mayor 20 years ago on a populist platform that sought to appease the city's most disenfranchised residents.
Jaramillo says he can provide the right leadership to organize and teach Southside residents to effectively work with City Hall.
A third candidate, Marie Campos, is running on a platform focused on rising property crimes. Campos is president of the Native Hispanic Institute and also works as a bookkeeper at Garner Law Firm. She ran unsuccessfully for a City Council seat in the same district two years ago.
She contends that the high amount of property crime in the district is caused by teens and young adults. One way to tackle the problem, she says, is to establish job training and apprenticeship programs for teenagers that take them off the streets.
"I think there's a comprehensive approach that needs to be taken," she says about the issue, citing her work in the nonprofit world as helping her find a solution.