Local firefighter wins House District 15 primary race
Posted at: 06/06/2012 6:27 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Emily Kane narrowly won her primary race Tuesday night for House District 15, taking 45 percent of the vote.
While she may be one step closer to winning a seat in the State House of Representatives, Kane may also be one step closer to losing her job as a city firefighter.
"I was shocked, awed and felt very humbled," Kane said in an interview on Wednesday after winning her primary race. "My main concern right now is to run a good race, and be there for the voters in November and hopefully get the seat."
But there is one problem. The city is trying to keep that from happening if Kane still wants to keep her full-time job as a fire captain.
"The personnel rules that everybody agrees to when you become a city employee says, that you cannot be a candidate for office... the charter says you cannot hold office. She had to review these personnel rules; she agreed with them and today she doesn't," said City Attorney David Tourek.
A 10-day restraining order allowed Kane to keep her job through the primary election but now, as her campaign goes into high gear for the general election, the city is moving forward with legal action.
"Our belief is our rules should be followed and she doesn't agree with that," Tourek said.
Kane, who feels she has a strong case, said she wants to bring a working-class perspective to the legislature. "City employees are working class people, the idea that the city would want to prohibit their employees from serving in state office or other offices that have nothing to do with city government, is something I really don't understand."
Theoretically, Tourek said, the city could fire Kane as soon as next Tuesday, but added that the city will not do anything until a full hearing takes place in district court.
"I won't say that I'm not worried…I am, but I think I'm able to manage it," Kane said. "I'll worry when it's time."
Ideally, Kane said, she would like to continue working for the city of Albuquerque. She added if she does keep her job and also wins the November election, she plans to take unpaid leave during the legislative session.
A hearing date has not yet been scheduled.