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Metro Beat: ‘Catch n release’ quote stirs up mayor’s race

City Councilor and mayoral candidate Dan Lewis is taking heat for attributing a quote to opponent Tim Keller, despite the fact that Keller never said it.

Candidates Tim Keller and Dan Lewis

Lewis’ latest television ad features Jennifer Wertz, a former Circle K clerk who shot a man who was allegedly trying to rob the store. Part of the ad shows video of Keller and the words, “Keller: We can’t blame catch n release judges.”

KOB called Lewis out on the misquote during its Tuesday night broadcast, asking him if it’s responsible to make it look like Keller used those exact words, when he hadn’t.

“That’s for you to decide,” Lewis responded.

Keller said he never used the words attributed to him, although he has discouraged blaming judges for the city’s crime problem.

“What’s clear is that Dan Lewis has a problem with the truth,” Keller campaign spokeswoman Jessie Hunt said in a news release on Wednesday. “This is now a deliberate pattern of false claims about Tim’s record on public safety to distort the truth.”

Lewis issued a statement of his own on Wednesday.

“Tim Keller is upset that we are calling the criminal court judges he is defending for what they are — CATCH AND RELEASE,” he said. “These are the same judges Tim Keller has repeatedly said we should not blame for their role in Albuquerque’s crime wave.”

The runoff is Nov. 14.

Debates scheduled

If you haven’t quite made up your mind about which mayoral candidate you’ll be voting for, here is a list of debates, forums and other events that might help you decide.

— The Albuquerque Press Club Fireside Chat with the mayoral candidates will be at 6 p.m. tonight at the Press Club, 201 Highland Park Circle SE. The mixer is sponsored by the Weekly Alibi and the Press Club and is open to those 21 and older.

— KOAT 7 and the Journal are holding a televised debate at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

— KKOB 770 is planning a radio debate on Nov. 6. that is tentatively set for 5 p.m.

— KOB 4 is doing a televised debate at 6 p.m. on Nov. 7.

— The Hispano Chamber of Commerce is hosting a debate at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 8 at the South Broadway Cultural Center, 1025 Broadway Blvd SE. Tickets are available on the organization’s website — ahcnm.org — under the events tab.

— The New Mexico Business Coalition is hosting a Job Interview Bash with the two mayoral candidates and Robert Aragon and Cynthia Borrego, the two District 5 council candidates, beginning at 5 p.m. on Nov. 9 at the MCM Elegante Hotel, 2020 Menaul NE. Seating is limited, and there is a charge to attend to cover the cost of refreshments. Advance tickets are available on the coalition’s website — nmbizcoalition.org — for $10, or at the door for $15. A fee of up to $1.82 will also be charged

— And KRQE 13 is doing a televised debate at 7 pm. on Nov. 11.

Martin Salazar: msalazar@abqjournal.com

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