Judge allows Aragon to remain on mayoral ballot

A judge ruled Friday that radio station owner Eddy Aragon can remain on the city’s mayoral ballot. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

A state district judge tossed a petition Friday that sought to disqualify Eddy Aragon as an Albuquerque mayoral candidate, alleging that he improperly listed a commercial address as his residence.

Second Judicial District Judge Joshua Allison dismissed the petition, finding that Aragon’s residence in a commercial office building doesn’t disqualify him under the city’s election code.

Allison found that Aragon lives in the city, and that the address on his voter registration corresponds with that listed on his declaration of candidacy – the two key requirements in the city’s election code.

A conservative radio host and station owner, Aragon acknowledged he lives in the commercial building where he operates his radio station in the 2300 block of Renard SE.

He declared his candidacy Aug. 24, joining incumbent Tim Keller and Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Whether Aragon is legally allowed to live in a commercial building is outside the scope of the case, Allison said.

“This is a case where we have a person living in a place where he may not legally be permitted to live” under city zoning codes, Allison said at the close of a three-hour hearing. “I’m not going to wade into those waters.”

The petition was filed Aug. 31 by Esther Rivera, a registered city voter, asking the judge to direct Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover to disqualify Aragon and remove his name from the ballot.

The petition alleged that Aragon’s listed address is in an area zoned “NR-BP” – nonresidential/business park – which allows office and commercial uses, but not residential.

Stover said her office doesn’t investigate the zoning designation of a candidate’s address.

“We wait for a judge to tell us how this is handled,” Stover said.

Also on Friday, a Santa Fe judge scheduled an emergency hearing Tuesday for Gonzales in his lawsuit against Albuquerque City Clerk Ethan Watson.

The suit alleges Watson showed bias in denying Gonzales more than $600,000 in public financing.

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