Sheriff Gonzales supporters make claims against Mayor Keller, but hold off on providing evidence
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Supporters of Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales, who is running to be Albuquerque’s next mayor, are taking aim at current mayor, Tim Keller.
Members of the Save Our City political action committee voiced their concerns about the mayoral race after the city clerk denied Gonzales access to public financing.
The decision was based on evidence provided to the city clerk that call into question more than 140 signatures collected by the Gonzales campaign to secure the public financing.
"We feel that this is a total abuse of power," Sam Vigil said. "The city clerk was appointed by the mayor, and that to me is a conflict of interest. That should have never happened."
The group is calling for an investigation into campaign documents involving the Keller campaign.
"We had an elections expert already identify over 40 very concerning contribution forms and also petition signatures," said James Hallinan, spokesperson for Save Our City.
The group is holding off on providing evidence.
"We won’t say exactly what until we file in court," said Karen Montoya.
The group spent Monday reviewing campaign records from the Keller campaign.
"We have been looking into signatures and $5 contributions for the Keller campaign," Montoya said.
Their mission comes as supporters for Gonzales continue their push to reverse the city clerk’s decision to block public financing for the Gonzales campaign.
"We’re going to continue to do our best to make sure that Manny gets that public financing," Vigil said.
The Keller campaign issued the following comment in response to allegations being made by the Save Our City political action committee:
We provided the Board of Ethics with 150 examples of forged signatures, committed by Manny Gonzales’ campaign and work staff. Another forty individuals signed statements attesting to the forgeries. The fact that the Save our City PAC refuses to provide evidence of their allegations is pathetic. They need to produce the evidence to back up their baseless claims or immediately withdraw their allegation. Or better yet, why don’t they just acknowledge that Sheriff Gonzales’ campaign committed fraud and forgery in an attempt to gain over $660,000 in taxpayer dollars?