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Several hopefuls eye city elections

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Over 20 people on Tuesday expressed interest in competing in Santa Fe’s 2014 municipal election by picking up candidate packets on the first day the city made them available.

The biggest race, for mayor, attracted seven candidates who have previously declared their intention to run: former state Democratic Party chair Javier Gonzales and City Councilors Bill Dimas, Patti Bushee, Chris Rivera and Rebecca Wurzburger, as well as former Santa Fe County Manager Roman Abeyta and native Santa Fean Margaret Josina Campos. Michael D’Anna, who said he works as night auditor at a local Motel 6 and is an independent record producer, also expressed interest in running for mayor but still needs to complete some legal requirements before getting a packet, according to City Clerk Yolanda Vigil. D’Anna said he ran for president in 2008 and made the ballot in Florida as an independent.

Current Mayor David Coss has said he will not seek re-election.

In addition to a new mayor, voters in the municipal election will also choose four city councilors, one in each of Santa Fe’s four districts. Altogether, eleven people picked up council candidate packets on Tuesday or expressed interest in running for office, including three incumbents.

In District 1, sitting Councilor Chris Calvert, Planning Commissioner Signe Lindell, former Santa Fe County Democratic Party treasurer Michael J. Segura and Houston J. Johansen, who ran for the District 1 seat in 2012, picked up packets.

Prospective candidates in District 2 include Joe Maestas, the former mayor of Española; gallery owner Mary Bonney; Don Gaspar Neighborhood Association president Peter Komis; and Joe H. Arellano. Another interested candidate, Jeff Green, needs to complete some paperwork before receiving his packet, Vigil said.

There’s no incumbent in the District 2 race because Wurzburger is giving up the seat to run for mayor.

The only people to pick up packets for Districts 3 and 4 were the seats’ respective incumbents, Councilors Carmichael Dominguez and Ron Trujillo.

Vigil said no political action committees have registered yet with the city.

Santa Fe’s candidate packets include nominating petition forms and information on public financing. People interested in running for office can pick up a packet anytime over the next couple months.

However, candidates must collect enough qualifying signatures to run for office by Nov. 2. For those running for mayor, that’s half of 1 percent of registered city voters – about 250 names – and for council candidates, that’s half of 1 percent of voters in their district. Candidates have until Nov. 7 to turn those signatures into the clerk’s office and must file a declaration of candidacy on Dec. 3.

Candidates who choose to participate in Santa Fe’s public campaign finance system have until Nov. 18 to collect enough qualifying contributions – 600 donations of $5 each for mayoral candidates and 150 contributions of $5 each for council candidates. Qualifying mayoral candidates will get $60,000 in city funds while those running for council will get $15,000.

Mayoral candidates who choose to use private funding must limit individual contributions to no more than $2,500. Council candidates are limited to donations of $1,000.

It’s also likely the City Council will call a concurrent “special election” dealing with possible amendments to the city’s charter. The council is about to begin the process of deciding which, if any, amendment proposals to put on the ballot.

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