An Albuquerque resident has filed a petition with New Mexico’s Second Judicial District Court to remove Republican candidate Eddy Aragon from the November 2021 mayoral ballot.
Petitioner Esther Rivera is alleging that Aragon “does not satisfy the candidacy requirements to be a candidate” because the residence Aragon listed when filing his candidacy for mayor is a commercial building where he operates his radio business.
One of the “factual allegations” states, “Upon information and belief, Aragon does not reside at the 2309 Renard Place SE address” and as such “is not permitted to use the property…as a residence or dwelling.”
The petition doesn’t cite evidence that Aragon doesn’t live at the address, and according to Aragon, 2309 Renard Place is his home.
“I listed it because I’m residing here,” he said — and he has been since May 2020.
“They’re not saying I don’t live in Albuquerque, they’re just saying I don’t live here (at the studio). They’re trying to kick me out of my home.”— Eddy Aragon, Republican candidate for Albuquerque mayor
“The person who’s filing the petition has a long history of hate toward me,” Aragon told a local TV news station Wednesday.
He named the petitioner (Rivera), as well as associates Roger Rael, Janice Arnold-Jones, and several others as part of what he called a “controlled opposition” within the New Mexico GOP that has for years sought to create “chaos” within the party, weaken it, and wrestle power for themselves — often to the benefit of Democrats.
“I was expecting exactly this,” Aragon said of the petition.
He said these agitators have opposed his brand of Conservatism for years. He referred to a video he posted at www.IHateEddyAragon.com where he details the relationship between Rivera, Rael, and Arnold-Jones and the efforts to push Democrat Manny Gonzales into the mayoral race as part of the explanation for the recent petition.
In the video, Aragon shares Facebook posts, fake Twitter accounts, and videos of their efforts to drive a wedge in the party.
Even the attorney representing Rivera seems to have a stake in the outcome of the mayoral race.
Based on his social media activity, Thomas Grover of Grover Law, LLC, appears a staunch critic of incumbent Mayor Tim Keller, posting almost exclusively about (and directly at) Keller on everything from drugs and violence in the city to police investigations and pedestrian deaths.
Grover also appears to be a fan of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, sharing posts praising BCSO and recently defending Sheriff Gonzales in his ongoing battle to secure public campaign financing.
(According to OpenSecrets.org, Grover has made only two political campaign donations, totaling $145, to Democrat Cara Valente-Compton, who ran in the 2012 Democratic primary against recently disgraced NM House Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton.)
Rivera’s petition is claiming the commercial building is not zoned for commercial use and that Aragon filed his candidacy at the studio before he allegedly told KOB News he sold his house.
“What they’re actually looking at here is nothing but overlays,” Aragon told Stephanie Muñiz of KOAT7 News. “Their argument here is easily defeated. We look forward to seeing them in court.”
While a judge has been assigned, a hearing date has not been scheduled. According to Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover, “we have no reason to disqualify him.
“He’s registered and he lives within the city of Albuquerque, until a judge tells me otherwise.”— Linda Stover, via ABQJournal.com.
Categories: 2021 ABQ Mayoral Race