Mayoral candidate Gregg Hull moved from West Side Albuquerque to Rio Rancho just weeks before publicly announcing his intention to run for the elected position.
The Cabezon resident said he didn’t make the move just to run for office, and stressed that his loyalty has always been to the city where he attends church and volunteers his time.
“We’ve been involved in the community for 20 years,” Hull said in an interview this week, adding “before we even considered running, we checked all campaign laws to make sure were following the rules.”
Hull bought his Rio Rancho home in mid-July and announced his intention to run for mayor on Aug. 27.
During a candidate forum organized by the Rio Rancho Observer and Albuquerque Journal last week, Hull mentioned he hadn’t voted in the Aug. 20, 2013, special election on the higher education tax issue because of a “voter registration issue.”
Hull said he closed on his Cabezon home on July 17 last year and filled out paperwork to transfer his voter registration at an MVD Express office at the same time he applied to change his driver’s license information.
Somehow the paperwork “didn’t make it” to the Sandoval County clerk, he said. He discovered he wasn’t registered to vote in Rio Rancho on Aug. 2 when he went to vote early for the special election.
Sandoval County’s Bureau of Elections records show Hull applied to transfer his registration from Albuquerque on Aug. 2, 2013. Bureau staff said the transfer occurred on Aug. 23.
Before moving to Cabezon, Hull was living in Ventana Ranch West, just south of the Rio Rancho city limits.
While registered to vote in Bernalillo County, Hull voted in the Albuquerque municipal elections in 2005, 2009 and 2011, and a special election in 2013, according to the New Mexico Secretary of State’s website. The website also shows Hull cast a ballot in the 2004 election where Bernalillo County voters decided to let Sandoval County annex the southern portion of Corrales.
Hull said this week he had previously lived in Rio Rancho neighborhoods, such as Enchanted Hills and Rivers Edge III. He was planning to build a home in Loma Colorado when it launched in 2007, but was offered a good deal in Ventana Ranch.
“It was close to Rio Rancho and we didn’t have to change our lifestyle or church. Our lives are truly in Rio Rancho,” Hull said.
He has for many years been a member of Mesa Baptist Church, and its pastor Jeff Carr publicly endorsed his candidacy in November.
Until recently, the Rio Rancho Tea Party used to hold its meetings at the church. Hull said he has never been a member of the Rio Rancho Tea Party and denied that he had been asked to run for mayor by any political group. He said he began to explore the idea in January last year after several people whom he helped with business regulatory and permitting matters suggested the city needed a person with his experience in the mayor’s job.