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Santa Fe mayor noncommittal about running again

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Mayor Alan Webber

SANTA FE – Alan Webber is keeping any reelection plans he might have to himself – at least for now.

November 2021 will see a slew of municipal elections in Santa Fe, including half of the eight-person City Council. But all eyes appear to be fixed on the mayoral race and whether incumbent Mayor Alan Webber will seek a second term.

Webber told reporters Monday he has not yet reached a decision and is not sure when he’ll decide.

“I don’t have a timetable for announcing a decision,” he said, adding the duties of mayor had been keeping him busy. “But I’m not unmindful of the fact that I do owe the voters and people of Santa Fe an answer.”

Voters first elected Webber in 2017, when he ran as a progressive Democrat that could use his experience as an entrepreneur in the position.

But Webber’s time in office has not been without controversy.

More recently, Webber has been blamed for the destruction of the “Soldiers’ Monument” at the hands of protesters in October. He also faced criticism for lack of transparency on the Midtown campus development, which now faces an uncertain future after the master developer backed out of the agreement.

City employees have also expressed dissatisfaction with the mayor since the onset of COVID-19. The union representing workers voted “no confidence” in Webber in August, citing rounds of furloughs and a restructuring of city departments implemented by the mayor.

But Webber, should he choose to run again, would still likely be tough to beat. He raised more than $300,000 in his past campaign – far surpassing his opponents – with a large portion coming via out-of-state donors. That ability would likely pare down the number of candidates willing to run against another Webber campaign.

Kate Noble and Ron Trujillo, Webber’s top opponents last election, have both said they won’t run for the seat again.

Only Councilor JoAnne Vigil Coppler, Webber’s most vocal critic on the City Council, has publicly expressed interest in running. She told the Journal she’s “seriously considering the race,” but that it’s too early to make an announcement.

Former district attorney Marco Serna told the Journal he’s been approached by multiple people about running for mayor, but that he’s leaning against a possible run.

“I’m inclined to say no, but you never know,” Serna said.

Should Webber not seek reelection, many agree the field of candidates will explode.

“I think it (would) open up a bunch,” Noble said. “I think there are a number of people thinking about it, even if he does run.”

It’s unclear what date prospective candidates must file paperwork by. City Clerk Kristine Mihelcic said election information would be released “in the next few weeks.”

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