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Lewis, Keller face off in #ABQ4ward Mayoral Debate

Chris Ramirez
November 10, 2017 08:26 PM

WATCH THE NOV. 7 #ABQ4WARD MAYORAL DEBATE IN FULL

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- With one week to go before the runoff election, Tim Keller and Dan Lewis met in the KOB-TV studios Tuesday night to debate the issues in their pursuit to lead New Mexico's largest city.

As expected, the candidates threw some verbal punches, landed some blows, and both promised to be the mayor who moves Albuquerque forward.

KOB launched the series #abq4ward with the intent of starting the conversation to make Albuquerque safer. With that in mind, the candidates fielded questions offering solutions.

Tessa Mentus and Chris Ramirez moderated the event, and Steve Soliz presented questions from Albuquerque residents who participated in the ABQ4ward Town Hall on Sept. 15.

"Well, the Legislature needs to do the three-strikes law and make sure repeat offenders have tougher penalties and keep people in jail that need to be in jail -- violent offenders who should be in our streets that need to be in jail," Lewis said. "The state legislature needs to tack on a 10-year sentence to crimes that are felonies."

"We have to be honest about where funding is at for the DAs and the courts," Keller said. "At the end of the day, our governor has stared our court system and our DA. We don't have enough judges. We don't have any prosecutors. We don't have enough support for the judges."

Keller and Lewis offered ideas on how to help those with behavioral health or addiction issues, along with helping the homeless.

"I believe in a housing-first model, and this is a powerful model because it's based on the notion that you have to stabilize the individual first and then you get them the help that they need," Keller said. "Once you get them shelter, you figure out what's needed. Is it addiction?  Is it mental health?  Is it job training that is needed?"

"We passed a great bill last night to strengthen our panhandling ordinance in Albuquerque," Lewis said. "It's a bill that we can enforce and as mayor, I'll enforce that. Furthermore, we'll have the care for the homeless who are down and out."

KOB made both of them answer up to their controversy. One endorsement from a local pastor claims Lewis would never support the homosexual agenda.

When pressed about, Lewis said, "I support the civil rights of everybody. I will be a mayor for everyone in our city."

Keller's campaign has been dogged by accusations that he illegally took cash donations.

"Where this is coming from at the end of the day is a former mayoral opponent of ours," Keller said. "This was never an issue until right before the election, and then here come a litany of ethics complaints all coming from one person: a disgraced lawyer, a partisan operative who was literally kicked out of their law firm for sexist emails. That's where all of this is coming from."

The choice now falls on Albuquerque voters. Early voting ends on Nov. 10. Election day for the runoff is Nov. 14.

There is also a runoff election between Robert Aragon and Cynthia Borrego for the District Five City Council seat.

Credits

Chris Ramirez

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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