The public campaign financing system, intended to minimize private donors’ ability to choose candidates with their checkbooks, requires candidates to accrue 150 donations of $5 or more from registered voters within their districts by July 22 to qualify. Once they do, they receive $15,000 for their campaigns from a fund set up by the city.
The same rule changes that precipitated the municipal Election Day move from the spring of 2020 to Nov. 5 of this year are responsible for the more recent changes to municipal elections.
The next deadlines for candidates is July 22, when nominating petitions are due to the city. Employees in the clerk’s office will review and verify whether candidates have collected enough signatures from qualifying voters. Then, once the requests for public financing are approved, the city clerk will deliver the petitions for candidacy and public financing to the county. On Aug. 27, candidates who are not seeking public financing or fail to qualify for it will still have a chance file their formal declaration of candidacy with the county clerk.
Albuquerque’s City Council elections also use public financing, and the Albuquerque city clerk announced Tuesday the certification of 10 of the 13 candidates for to receive city money for their campaigns.
In the City Different, far fewer candidates have emerged. The two incumbents running for reelection, Renee Villarreal and Chris Rivera, in Districts 1 and 3, respectively, are currently unopposed, while only one candidate, Michael J Garcia, has emerged to run for the seat Councilor Peter Ives is vacating in District 2. Two candidates are facing off running for a second open seat in District 4, currently held by Councilor Mike Harris. Harris announced in April that he would not seek reelection due to plans to move onto a property he owns with his wife in another city district.