Aragon formally declares mayoral candidacy »Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque radio owner Eddy Aragon officially declared his candidacy for mayor on Tuesday. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis / magazine)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

After dipping his toes in the local political pool for years, Eddy Aragon is now collapsing.

The conservative radio host and station owner officially declared his candidacy in the running for Albuquerque Mayor in 2021 on Tuesday, adding his name to a lineup that includes incumbent Tim Keller and Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales.

Aragon, 46, is a newcomer to both this race – having just started his qualifying spurt last month – and the general election. While he was registering as a candidate in the mayoral election campaign in 2017, he was eliminated before the election. Earlier this year, he moved for the Republican Party’s nomination in a special election to designate the Albuquerque area representative in the US House of Representatives, but the party’s central membership chose to put Mark Moores on the map instead.

The race for Mayor 2021 marks the first appearance of Aragon on a ballot paper.

“I am absolutely ready for this endeavor,” said Aragon, citing his business experience as a radio station and his daily communication with the public as a radio host. “I’ve been preparing for it every day for the past six years without knowing it.”

During a press conference on Tuesday, Aragon gave an insight into its platform.

Aragon said he opposes the Albuquerque City Council-approved Sanctuary City policy and several other pre-existing policies and programs, the hiring bonuses the city offers new hires for certain hard-to-fill local government positions, and the incentives for those economic development being offered to companies like Netflix on the $ 133 million Albuquerque Rapid Transit project, which it said it would evaluate and dismantle if cost-effective.

Aragon questioned the wisdom of opening the Gateway Center Protection and Service Center in the old Lovelace Hospital on Gibson and other government investments in homeless services. He said he wanted to “recriminalize” homelessness so that the city’s approach would include “punishment in addition to aid” for people living on the streets.

“I think the solutions we have proposed so far have not reduced the level of homelessness,” said Aragon, who found that his own grandmother was homeless.

He said he would do everything in his power to tackle potential future pandemic business freezes – which are usually the purview of state health officials – and he will oppose a vaccine mandate for the city’s workforce.

However, Aragon would not oppose the reforms ordered by the US Department of Justice within the Albuquerque Police Department, as the city should accelerate compliance in an attempt to break the oversight involved.

“It’s something we have to do and we should shut up,” he said.

City races are officially impartial, but Aragon is the only Republican to qualify for mayoral election.

Only 27% of Albuquerque voters are registered Republicans, according to figures the Bernalillo County’s office told the Journal on Tuesday. A majority of city voters – 47.3% – are registered Democrats. Keller and Gonzales are Democrats.

Still valuing its chances, Aragon says it could appeal to the city’s significant independent electorate and maybe attract some Democrats as well.

“I started out as a Democrat; I know the Democratic Party pretty well. I think I have crossover appeal, ”he said. “I’m Hispanic, and I think that’s sometimes much more important than partying.”

While Keller has already received over $ 600,000 in public campaign funding and Gonzales remains embroiled in a lawsuit over whether he was wrongly denied public campaign funding, Aragon will run his campaign with private donations. Although he’s just started fundraising, he said being a radio personality should help.

“I plan to use and use my media (and) my level of awareness,” he said.

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