SANTA FE, N.M. — The chairman of the Democratic Party of Santa Fe County says that the list used for a mass email sent Tuesday by Javier Gonzales’ campaign for Santa Fe mayor did not come from the party.
Rather, Gonzales’s campaign picked the name itself, “Santa Fe Dems,” for its own email list used to solicit donations and keep supporters informed. The name resulted in confusion over the origin of the list, said Richard Ellenberg, the Democratic Party’s local chairman.
“Santa Fe Dems” is also the name of the Santa Fe County Democratic Party’s Twitter account.
Mayoral races are nonpartisan. Most, if not all, of the candidates expected to be on the ballot in the March municipal elections are Democrats. So any help by the party for one candidate over another would raise issues about the party choosing sides.
“The (Gonzales) list has nothing to do with ours,” Ellenberg wrote in an email that went out to everyone on its list on Wednesday, after a Journal reporter called him about use of the “Santa Fe Dems” name on Gonzales’ campaign message.
“Just an unfortunate confusing choice of names, which we have asked them to change,” Ellenberg added.
On Tuesday, Frances Rios, the treasurer for Gonazales’ campaign, sent a mass email soliciting $5 donations. She explained that Gonzales needs 600 Santa Feans to donate that amount in order for him to qualify for public financing in his quest to become mayor.
However, anyone trying to unsubscribe from the list is routed to a webpage that is titled “Santa Fe Dems.”
When contacted by the Journal reporter, Ellenberg initially said he had “not a clue” why that would be.
“We don’t provide email lists to anyone,” he said.
After investigating the issue, Ellenberg called back to say he learned that the problem was the result of the Gonzales campaign naming its list the way it did.
Ellenberg added that the Gonzales campaign uses a different email vendor and system than the party does.
Gonzales, a former chairman of the state’s Democratic Party, said the list used to sent out Tuesday’s mailing was one he put together himself over the years.
“Honestly, I’ve been accumulating lists since I was on the (Santa Fe County Commission),” he said. “It’s an accumulation of emails I was able to refine to limit to people within the city.”