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10 City Council candidates to get public funding —

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

Ten candidates now have access to taxpayer dollars as they campaign for spots on the Albuquerque City Council.

The City Clerk’s office has certified that 10 of 13 who applied for public financing for this year’s election have qualified. Each will get between $31,000 and $42,000, depending on the population of their district. The money comes from the Open and Ethical Elections Fund, which gets it from the city’s general fund and individual contributors.

Four of nine City Council seats are in play for the Nov. 5 local election. The races are nonpartisan.

Three feature incumbents: Isaac Benton, Pat Davis and Trudy Jones. Benton and Davis now have public financing, while Jones will run a privately funded campaign.

The fourth race will not feature an incumbent. Brad Winter, the sitting representative for District 4, is not seeking re-election.

The candidates who qualified for public financing are:

District 2

• Isaac Benton, 68, current city councilor, Democrat

• Joseph Griego, 29, set medic in the film industry and small-business owner, Democrat

• Robert Blanquera Nelson, 39, program manager with The Grants Collective, Democrat

• Zack Quintero, 28, legal analyst for Roybal-Mack & Cordova law firm, Democrat

District 4

• Brook Bassan, 39, self-described “Household CEO,” Republican

• Ane Romero, 38, deputy legislative director in the office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Democrat

• Hailey Josselyn Roy, 40, film union worker for IATSE 480, Democrat

District 6

• Pat Davis, 40, current city councilor and consultant, Democrat

• Gina Naomi Dennis, 40, licensed attorney currently campaigning full-time, Democrat

District 8

• Maurreen Skowran, who has not responded to Journal messages

To qualify for public financing, a candidate must accrue hundreds of $5 contributions from voters in his or her district.

This year marked the first time voters could make contributions electronically through a City Clerk’s Office pilot website. Almost 1,000 donations came through the site, the office said in a news release.

The three candidates who attempted but did not amass enough donations told the clerk’s office they will continue to run with private funding.

All candidates need at least 500 petition signatures for their names to appear on the ballot. They have until June 28 to collect those signatures.