Add Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales to the list of Democrats who say they’re considering running for governor in 2018.
“I’m getting calls of encouragement to give it a serious look, and I’m reflecting on that with family and my friends and the people of Santa Fe,” Gonzales said in a prepared statement.
The mayor joins several other Democrats who say they’re thinking about running for governor. The race is wide open after Tom Udall, D-N.M., decided this week to stay in the U.S. Senate rather than running for governor.
Among the Democrats who say they’re considering the race are U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, N.M. Attorney General Hector Balderas, state Rep. Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces, and Alan Webber — who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2014 and today runs the think tank One New Mexico.
And now Gonzales, who’s been in the national spotlight recently for defending Santa Fe’s status as a sanctuary city that will defend immigrants without legal status from the coming Trump Administration in Washington.
“My passion as mayor has been to reinvigorate our economy and build the kind of opportunities that will keep our best and brightest here, especially our youth,” Gonzales said in his statement. “I believe we’ve also shown that an inclusive city is key to that.”
But, he said, the fates of Santa Fe and New Mexico “are tied together.”
“Our state’s failure to invest in education, to put our confidence behind our people, sends the wrong message — it says we don’t believe in ourselves,” he said. “We need leadership that brings us together, that builds collaboration that will move us forward.”
Gonzales is a former Santa Fe County commissioner and chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.
On the Republican side, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez and Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry are mentioned as possible 2018 candidates for governor.