Former Albuquerque city councilor Pete Dinelli announced a bid for mayor of Albuquerque on Sunday.
Dinelli, an attorney from Albuquerque, also served as Chief Public Safety Officer, Deputy City Attorney and Director of the Safe City Strike Force under former mayor Martin Chavez.
Dinelli’s apparent campaign website says a november organizational meeting had 100 supporters. Dinelli had an election calendar outlining his plans even before announcing his candidacy.
The Albuquerque Journal’s Dan McKay said that Dinelli sounded like the former prosecutor that he is when he made the announcement.
Dinelli said he would restore confidence in the Albuquerque Police Department, which is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice; work to boost Albuquerque’s sluggish economy; and end “outrageous” out-of-court settlements paid by City Hall.
Dinelli is a Democrat — although this technically does not matter in a race that is non-partisan.
Dinelli is the first candidate to announce his candidacy in the race this October.
He surely won’t be the last. Incumbent mayor Richard Berry is widely expected to run for a second term in the position.
Among the most high profile names are former Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, city councilor Ken Sanchez and pastor Steve Smothermon.
It could be a crowded ballot which could result in a runoff election — current law says that if no candidate reaches 40 percent, the top two candidates will go to a separate runoff election.
There is an upcoming vote on whether to change it to 50 percent — which many believe will aid more liberal candidates. Many Democrats feel that Berry, who has high approval ratings, would not have prevailed if facing just one Democratic candidate. Instead, Berry faced Martin Chavez and Richard Romero.
Berry finished with 43.82 percent of the vote.
Peter St. Cyr has video. I’ve embedded the video below.
Photo from Dinelli’s website.