City Councilor Dan Lewis’ first ad of the mayoral runoff election attacks state Auditor Tim Keller’s record on public safety, but the Keller campaign is hitting back, accusing Lewis of reaching “into the dirty tricks playbook to falsify Keller’s record and distort the truth.”
The runoff election will be on Nov. 14.
Lewis’ 30-second television ad features a woman walking to her car at night as a hooded man appears to follow her.
“Tim Keller says he’ll keep us safe, but his record tells a different story,” a male voice says. “Keller voted to abolish the death penalty for child killers and rapists. Keller said no to laws that keep convicted sexual predators from living near their victims, and Keller won’t call out catch-and-release judges who dump violent criminals back on the street. Now, does Tim Keller make you feel safe?”
Lewis’ campaign issued a news release highlighting the ad over the weekend.
“There is a bright line of distinction between our records on crime,” Lewis said. “My plan puts the criminals and catch-and-release judges on notice. Tim’s strategy is hug-a-thug nonsense. As mayor, I will always put our law-abiding citizens before criminals in this city.”
The Keller campaign fired back on Monday.
“Dan Lewis is the only hope that right-wing extremists have of keeping City Hall. While he gives lip service about change, his election would signal four more years of the exact same do-nothing approach that he’s taken for the last eight years,” Keller said in a news release. “With the vast majority of voters rejecting his failed rhetoric, Lewis has resorted to the same bag of dirty tricks we’ve seen time and time again. The choice is clear – I will stand up and own our challenges and refuse to pass the buck to judges or anyone else when it comes to the solutions for attacking crime.”
His campaign noted that a coalition that included more than 140 grassroots organizations, whose members include family members of murder victims, supported repeal of the death penalty. And, the release said, Keller fought for the nation’s strongest sex offender laws.
New calls for probe: The state Republican Party, meanwhile, is also jumping into the fray, renewing its calls for an investigation into accusations that Keller circumvented the city’s public financing system by accepting checks made out to Rio Strategies, the firm running his campaign, and reporting them as in-kind contributions.
In a letter dated Oct. 17 and copied to the Journal, Republican Party attorney A. Blair Dunn asks State Police Chief Pete Kassetas to investigate the “potential illegal campaign practices” by Keller and City Council candidate Cynthia Borrego. Keller and Borrego are both Democrats running against Republican opponents, although city races are nonpartisan, which means that political affiliation won’t appear on the ballot.
Colón backs Keller: Brian Colón, one of the mayoral candidates who didn’t make the runoff election, has endorsed Keller.
“From the beginning of the campaign, it was clear Tim and I shared far more in our vision for this city than we differed on,” Colón said in a news release issued by the Keller campaign on Wednesday. “That is why I am endorsing his campaign today. Tim is from Albuquerque and is raising his young family here – just like I did. He is committed to helping not just the privileged few, but every single one of us who believe that Albuquerque has the potential to be a safe and smart city. We need a leader like Tim who will move past hateful rhetoric and focus on the things that bring us together and make us stronger.”
Martin Salazar: firstname.lastname@example.org