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Dems take aim at candidate’s ‘shootout’ event

Metro BeatAlbuquerque’s Oct. 3 municipal election is nonpartisan, but that’s not stopping the state Democratic Party from taking aim at Republican mayoral candidate Dan Lewis over a “shootout” fundraiser for his campaign.

The “Sporting Clays Shootout” is slated to take place on Aug. 26.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico issued a news release on Saturday blasting Lewis for his “shocking lack of sensitivity for Albuquerque’s crime crisis,” noting the city’s high murder rate.

“When crime is on everyone’s mind in Albuquerque, it’s sickening to know that Dan Lewis would host a ‘shoot out,'” state Democratic Party chairman Richard Ellenberg said in the release. “Dan Lewis’ lack of consideration for families who have lost a loved one to gun violence or to folks who don’t feel safe in their communities demonstrates how unprepared he is to tackle the challenges facing New Mexico’s largest city.”

“Democrat Party leaders can’t even tell the difference between lawful rifle owners competing in a clay target shoot and the cop killers and murderers who plague our city,” Lewis said Sunday.”I know the difference, and as mayor we will get violent, career criminals off our streets without disarming our citizens.”

As a refresher, the fact that city races are nonpartisan merely means that party affiliations will not appear on the ballot.

Speaking of outrage, mayoral candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes boycotted a forum held by the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce in late July.

“The leadership of the Chamber of Commerce is out of touch with the citizens of Albuquerque,” Garcia Holmes said during a Facebook speech recorded outside of the chamber’s Downtown offices. “The GACC Forum today is a closed board meeting where only the board members and mayoral candidates are invited, and I watched every one of the candidates walking in today and I am the only candidate who is not there today.”

The chamber tweeted the forum.

Garcia Holmes, a former chief of staff for the state Attorney General’s Office and retired Albuquerque police detective, criticized the chamber in a written statement, distributed to media for the “fake” Excellence in Public Safety award it gave to Mayor Richard Berry in June. She called on the chamber board to bring in new leadership.

Chamber CEO Terri Cole has said Berry was honored for several initiatives he launched to help fight crime.

Berry, meanwhile, has been heavily criticized by mayoral candidates for the way he has run the city.

But WalletHub released a study last month on the best- and worst-run cities in America, and Albuquerque ranked as the third best-run city with a population over 500,000. The study focused on each city’s operating efficiency, essentially comparing the quality of services residents receive against the city’s budget.

Martin Salazar: