Senate Majority Whip Tim Keller, an Albuquerque Democrat, has decided to run for state auditor next year instead of seeking his party’s gubernatorial nomination.
Keller, 35, said the decision was based largely on timing, as he and his wife are expecting their first child this summer.
However, he also said serving as state auditor would be a “good fit.” Keller has sponsored several bills aimed at boosting government scrutiny of tax breaks during his legislative tenure.
“I do think this is the best extension of what I’ve been doing in the Legislature,” he said in a phone interview.
Keller’s decision leaves Attorney General Gary King and Sen. Linda Lopez of Albuquerque as the two Democrats who have thus far announced 2014 gubernatorial campaigns.
The decision to run for auditor will also allow Keller to keep his Senate seat through the election cycle.
The only previous announced candidate for auditor is Santa Fe County Assessor Domingo Martinez, a fellow Democrat. Martinez served as state auditor from 1998 to 2006.
State Auditor Hector Balderas is currently serving his second four-year term and is barred from seeking re-election.
Check tomorrow’s Journal for more information.