ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Wednesday is the first day of early voting for Albuquerque’s next mayor and the attack ads aren’t cooling down.
The gloves are off in the final two weeks of the mayoral race between State Auditor Tim Keller and City Councilor Dan Lewis.
“Lewis is essentially down at least 10 points in every poll that I’ve seen so he’s essentially got to pull out all the stops, and usually what folks do in that situation is hit back and be negative,” said UNM Political Science Professor Gabriel Sanchez.
How these mayoral candidates will handle Albuquerque’s crime is top of mind for voters, and it’s also the center of attack ads with just a couple of weeks left before more people head to the polls.
Lewis’ newest ad features a victim of crime, a Circle K store clerk who shot at an attempted robber.
“It makes me furious that Tim Keller says we cannot be harsh on catch-and-release judges,” she is heard saying in the ad.
“Tim has repeated that over and over,” Lewis said. “He’s said that really he’s not going to take responsibility for the decisions that judges are making.”
“Dan continues to make things up in many of his TV ads,” Keller said. “Catch-and-release is sort of the key. We were trying to figure out – I don’t think I’ve ever said that except when I was fishing.”
Sanchez said the attack ad likely won’t cut into Keller’s lead.
“If anything, putting out these ads may decrease his turnout among some of the folks who are not already on Keller’s bandwagon, but I don’t think it’s going to win a lot of new support,” he said.
Sanchez projects less than 20 percent of eligible voters will turn out to the polls because the sick leave ordinance isn’t on the ballot this time around.