Petition filed to remove mayoral candidate Eddy Aragon from the ballot
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There is more legal drama in the already dramatic race for Albuquerque mayor, with a new push to disqualify one of the candidates.
A petition filed in District Court on Tuesday is asking a judge to make Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover remove Eddy Aragon from the ballot. It all centers around his current living situation.
Last week, KOB 4 Investigator Chris Ramirez revealed Eddy Aragon currently lives at his radio station in southeast Albuquerque, during an interview after Aragon announced his run for mayor.
“I’m here most of the time,” said Aragon. “I got rid of my house last May once I got a divorce, my rental that i was in, and I don’t know if you know how difficult it is to buy a house right now and how saturated the market is full of buyers.”
Now, Aragon’s living arrangements have sparked a petition to remove him from the ballot, alleging he doesn’t meet the residency requirement.
"I think it’s undisputed that Mr. Aragon does not satisfy that residency requirement because he doesn’t live in a residence as defined by the city code,” said attorney Thomas Grover. “He lives in an office, in a non-residential building, in a non-residentially zoned area and as such he doesn’t satisfy that component."
Grover is representing Esther Rivera, an Albuquerque voter, who filed the petition.
"Ms. Rivera’s posture is: Look, this is hotly contested mayoral race. Everything’s being scrutinized to individual signature levels. Why should Eddy get a pass when other people aren’t? Where she is politically – is she’s waiting and seeing — but I think you can count on the fact that Ms. Rivera is not going to be voting for Eddy Aragon if he remains on the ballot."
But Aragon calls the petition politically motivated.
"Given the plaintiff I’m not surprised,” said Aragon. “The woman who did it has a long history of going after me and hating me on Facebook, social media, etc."
Aragon says the office building is within the city of Albuquerque and he is allowed to live there under the zoning codes since it’s a mixed-use office.
"One dwelling per premise for watchman. I mean, the landlords who I actually work for as a commercial real estate broker have referred to me several times as the watchman here. They’re finding it kind of comical, to be quite honest, because I’m here all the time," Aragon said. He plans to file a dismissal.
KOB 4 reached out to Stover for a comment. She hasn’t responded.