Louis Carlos is In

Former police officer running for City Council in District 3

News (Courtesy Louis Carlos)

Louis Carlos, a longtime law enforcement officer turned private investigator, announced Friday he is running for City Council in District 3 in the Nov. 7 contest.

The announcement comes a few weeks after District 3 Councilor Chris Rivera said he will not seek another term on Santa Fe’s governing body, throwing the race wide open to represent the southwest corner of the city.

At least one other candidate, Miguel Acosta, is also vying for the November ballot.

Carlos, 52, worked for the Santa Fe Police Department for years until his retirement in 2015 and later worked briefly as chief of the Española Police Department before leaving amid a complaint, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported. He also ran unsuccessfully for the board of Santa Fe Public Schools in 2013 and has been active in the Hometown Heroes program, which butted heads with city officials over plans to install banners honoring local veterans on major thoroughfares.

As a private investigator, Carlos sued the city, accusing it in April of illegally withholding police records. The case is ongoing.

Carlos has also served on the Santa Fe DWI Planning Council, Santa Fe County Health and Policy Planning Commission and the Santa Fe Public Schools safety committee.

His newly launched website highlights a few priorities, such as an “aggressive approach to criminal activity,” “fiscal responsibility and accountability from city government” and “real solutions to the growing homeless situation.”

Eli Bransford, a regular critic of the Webber administration, heads Carlos’ campaign team.

“I am going to be critical of our government, not just the mayor, the entire body,” Carlos tells SFR. “I want to be able to have conversations and work with our elected officials and make collective decisions of what’s best for our constituents.”

If elected, the former law enforcement officer would be one of two councilors representing District 3, which takes in the southwest end of the city, including most neighborhoods west of Cerrillos Road and Lopez Lane and south of Agua Fría Street. The district is also represented by Lee Garcia, the only Republican sitting on the officially nonpartisan council. Carlos is a Democrat. He says his “dream” is the chair the city’s Public Safety Committee.

“A lot of times, these first responders are told what to do and they go get it done because they are foot soldiers,” he says. “We need to start enticing these first responders, the unions, the leaders, the men and women in the trenches, to give us some feedback on what’s working what’s not. What I’m bringing to the table is, I was the guy that was told what to do by people that didn’t know how to do it.”

Both Carlos and Acosta are registered with the city clerk as candidates who are seeking public campaign financing. They are collecting $5 contributions from voters in the district in order to qualify for an infusion of public cash and must qualify by July 24.

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