SANTA FE – He's been talking about it for years. But Santa Fe City Councilor Ron Trujillo will formally announce his candidacy for mayor at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Ragle Park. Barring any surprise announcements from others, he will be the first to throw his hat into the ring for the election on March 6, 2018.
“I've been on the council for 11 years; after this year it'll be 12. So I think I understand how the city works, and I have a vision for the city,” he said.
That vision involves putting the focus on locals.
“Those are the people who make Santa Fe,” he said. “Those are the people who are here 24-7. Everything I've ever done has been about making lives better for the people who have a stake in the community 24-7.”
Married with two children, Trujillo has often said there isn't enough for children to do in the city. He was the principal sponsor of legislation that created the annual Children's Fishing Derby and went to bat to bring the Santa Fe Fuego semi-pro baseball team to town.
Trujillo set himself apart from other possible mayoral candidates last week when he cast the lone vote against holding a special election to decide whether to impose a 2-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to fund early childhood education programs in the city. The City Council and Mayor Javier Gonzales voted 8-1 to call the election for May 2.
“Nobody is against pre-K, but can't we come up with a better funding source?” he asked. “And it's about the people it will hurt. You have families who have worked here for years and years, and it's putting people's jobs in jeopardy.” Trujillo says funding for education has never been the city's responsibility. He says the city should be focused on providing core services, like public safety, parks and recreation and roads.
A Santa Fe native, Trujillo, 48, has worked for the New Mexico Department of Transportation for 19 years. He said he would quit his state job if he were elected mayor. Santa Fe voters in 2014 elected to make the city's mayor a full-time position.
City councilors Carmichael Dominguez, Peter Ives, Joseph Maestas, and Chris Rivera have previously said they would consider running for mayor in 2018, though some said it might depend on whether Gonzales is a mayoral candidate. Gonzales is said to be considering a run for governor in 2018.