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Colón jumps into state auditor race

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Former Democratic Party Chairman Brian Colón jumped into the race for state auditor on Sunday, challenging state Rep. Bill McCamley for the Democratic nomination.

Brian Colon

Colón, an Albuquerque lawyer who has run previously for lieutenant governor and mayor, said his background in finance and law would be an asset in the state office that examines whether government agencies are complying with legal and financial requirements.

“I’m passionate about holding the powerful in New Mexico accountable for the tax dollars they get the privilege of using,” Colón said in an interview.

He joins three-term state Rep. McCamley of Las Cruces in the auditor’s race. The primary election is June 5.

Democrats have traditionally dominated the office, but it’s now held by Republican Wayne Johnson, who was appointed by Gov. Susana Martinez to take over in December. He succeeded Democrat Tim Keller, who stepped down as auditor after winning the race for Albuquerque mayor.

Johnson became the first Republican to hold the office since 1970. Colón and Johnson each ran for mayor last year, too, but neither made it into the November runoff election with the top two candidates.

Colón finished third in the initial round of voting, with 16 percent in an eight-person race, while Johnson finished fourth with about 10 percent.

He was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2010, when the Republican ticket, headed by Martinez, won the governor’s office.

Colón, who’s 47, served as chairman of the state Democratic Party from 2007-09.

He has proven to be a successful fundraiser, not only in his political races but also for nonprofit groups. He grew up in Valencia County, later moved to Las Cruces and now lives in Albuquerque.

Johnson, the incumbent auditor, has said he is strongly considering a run to keep the office, though he hasn’t made an announcement yet. He is a Bernalillo County commissioner and owns a media production company.

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