Radio host Eddy Aragon is officially on the ballot for the Albuquerque mayoral race.
According to the Albuquerque City Clerk’s Office, Aragon exceeded the 3,000 minimum required signatures to make the November ballot, and he did it in record time (14 days), with zero signatures rejected.
“We’re official, folks. We’re in the race and on the board,” Aragon said on his show Wednesday.
While the mayor’s race is technically non-partisan, Aragon is the only Republican candidate. He’s running against incumbent Mayor Tim Keller and Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales, both Democrats.
In an interview with The Conservative New Mexican Monday, Aragon expressed his reluctance to enter the race. He said he tried helping Patrick Ben Sais meet the signature threshold and even worked to convince other Republicans in the city to run, but they refused. “They thought it was hopeless, that New Mexico is New Mexico — that nothing is ever going to change,” he said.
So he decided to run himself.
“I’m tired of people dogging our city and our state, and believing that nothing can ever get better.” He said being mayor is a “dead-end job,” politically speaking — Albuquerque mayors don’t climb the political ladder to party leadership positions or higher elected office after their mayoral tenure — and that’s fine with Aragon. “I have no political ambitions, personally,” he said.
“My campaign isn’t about Eddy Aragon. It’s about the 505,” he said. It’s about the people.”
As mayor, Aragon will focus on what he calls the Five C’s to take Albuquerque “from failure to first”: Commerce, COVID, City, Crime, Corruption.
“Job №1” is to stop crime, but doing so requires improving the morale of Albuquerque Police Officers. To accomplish his vow to “reduce every category of crime” from car theft to murder, Aragon wants to increase officer salaries , cut overtime (saving millions), and hire more officers.
Aragon wants to give officers take-home cars, block the state’s recent abolishment of qualified immunity, and implement a no-settlement policy with city attorneys in order to support the city’s police.
He says he will re-criminalize homelessness, better utilize existing resources fo the homeless (such as the “tiny house” community that sits mostly empty), and end the city’s interference and competition with non-profits who are trying to improve the homeless situation.
Aragon is proposing increased detainment of drivers with THC in their system, working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to quell illegal immigration, and forcing longer detainment of criminals in order to keep repeat offenders off the streets, saving time and resources for officers who have to re-arrest the same criminals.
He is vehemently opposed to any future spending on Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) and has vowed to study the project’s future effects on businesses before determining whether or not to tear it out. He opposes the publicly funded soccer stadium Keller has pushed onto the November ballot, and he will fight the “sweetheart film deals” that offer companies up to 30% reimbursements.
There are two ways to look at Aragon’s list of priorities. On the one hand, it sounds too good to be true. On the other, it sounds exactly like the complaints that residents of Albuquerque have been making for years, regardless of political affiliation.
Which raises the question, can the unapologetically Trumpian “shock jock” appeal to Democrats?
“I was one,” Aragon told The Conservative New Mexican. “Nobody knows Democrats better than me.”
Aragon’s Democratic credentials date back generations. Not only was he raised in a union family, but he personally worked as the youngest member of the State Central Committee for the Democratic Party, campaigned for Democrat House Speaker Raymond Sanchez and Tom Udall, and interned for Jeff Bingaman in Washington, DC.
With the election just over two months away, there’s not a lot of time for Aragon to build a coalition big enough to topple an incumbent. But with Keller’s record and Aragon already proving that he can whip up support in a hurry, he’s confident about his odds.
“Why did I get in the race? Because I knew I could win.”
Aragon’s campaign will be privately funded. The election is November 2, 2021. To donate, volunteer, pick up a sign or bumper sticker, or talk to Aragon, call or text him at 505–550–5500 or visit his website, FightFor505.com.