ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Now that State Auditor Tim Keller has been elected mayor, KRQE News 13 wanted to know how this could not only affect issues the city is facing, but also the race for governor.
The city’s crime problem, Albuquerque Police Department reform, and the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project were hot-button issues for both candidates this election.
Those are the issues that KRQE political analyst Gabe Sanchez say he sees Tim Keller making changes to right away.
“Number one, he’s going to aggressively reform APD and that doesn’t just mean a policy shift, but also changes in higher level leadership,” said Sanchez.
In fact, Sanchez says we’ve already seen some of those changes after APD Chief Gordon Eden announced his retirement less than two weeks ago.
Sanchez says he thinks that was a direct response from the recognition that Keller was the front-runner and is planning on making changes to the top. He says the question now is how deep will those changes go, and how many people will be replaced?
Sanchez says Keller being elected mayor could even possibly affect the statewide governor’s race.
He believes that, coupled with the recent elections in Las Cruces going Democratic, that this could mean big things for progressive candidates like Keller.
“I think it does have implications for what we think about in the governor’s race. It probably sends a clear signal that it’s really a Democratic wave and consequently you probably see Michelle Lujan Grisham seeing a really strong potential for her to be able to win,” said Sanchez.
As for the ART project, Sanchez believes we could see the bus system expanded while Keller is in office, by connecting it to the rest of the city’s bus lines to include malls and the airport.