Many NMPolitics.net readers who live outside Albuquerque were disappointed to learn that State Auditor Tim Keller will resign from that job if he’s elected mayor of New Mexico’s largest city. Meanwhile, some readers who live in Albuquerque praised Keller’s decision to run for mayor.
Keller would resign from his job as state auditor around the time he’s sworn in as mayor in December — 13 months before his four-year term as auditor ends.
Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, would get to appoint someone to finish the auditor term voters gave to Keller, a Democrat.
“Thanks for nothing Tim Keller,” wrote Carol Miller of Ojo Sarco, a former Green Party candidate for Congress. “What’s your record as state auditor? Your press releases to the public keep saying you are conducting important investigations. How important can they be if you just walk away and let the [governor] by herself choose your replacement for a statewide office?”
Mike Johnson of Santa Fe, a Democrat, wrote that he was “really surprised” and “always liked” Keller.
“But his job now is much more important,” Johnson wrote. “I guess the pay is better as mayor?”
Claudia Anderson, a Democrat from Farmington, also had questions.
“What is he thinking?” she asked. “Strikes me as a step backwards in terms of a career path.”
Keller was quoted by The Santa Fe New Mexican as pointing out that Albuquerque is his hometown and where he’s raising his family.
“It would be an honor to serve out my term as state auditor, but I’m compelled to step up and offer my vision on how to improve this city,” Keller was quoted as saying. “… It’s so important I’m willing to give up a great position to try to run for mayor.”
Some Albuquerque residents applauded Keller’s decision.
“As a taxpayer, I for one am excited to see someone who really knows what they are doing come in and clean things up,” wrote Esteban A. Aguilar Jr. “Yes, he was elected as auditor, but we really need his talent and leadership in Albuquerque. It’s just too important.”
“We need a good mayor, if he has to give up auditor… I’m great with that,” wrote Amber Diaz.
Diana Delgado wrote that Keller’s commitment to Albuquerque “is inspiring.”
“It is so nice to finally have a politician that recognizes the importance of artists in our community,” Delgado wrote. “Let’s keep our beautiful city growing strong by nurturing it from the inside!”
But the outside-Albuquerque crowd included a number of Democrats who aren’t pleased. Among them was Stephanie L. DoBois, who has run for several offices in Otero County as a Democrat. She wrote that she wishes Keller well.
“I do not understand jumping from one elected position to another, never attaining seniority in any,” DuBois wrote. “Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy but guess I don’t understand what his final goal is.”
Republicans, meanwhile, criticized Keller.
“Mr. Keller ran for a state office and won,” wrote Edwina Hewett of Mountainair. “Why would he disrespect the voters that seated him by doing this? Color me confused.”
And in a news release, state Republican Party spokesman Tucker Keene said he was disappointed because he “lost the office pool on which political position Keller would decide best advances his ambitions.”
“The voters of Albuquerque deserve a mayor that views the office as an opportunity to make a positive impact upon the city, not as another step towards higher office,” Keene said.