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9 of 16 mayoral candidates qualify for ballot

Nine of 16 candidates seeking to be Albuquerque’s next mayor have qualified to get their names on the Oct. 3 ballot.

And a 10th candidate, retired Old Town resident Stella Padilla, was close to securing a spot with 2,523 verified signatures as of 5 p.m. Friday and additional signatures still needing verification.

“Oh, my God, it’s a screaming nightmare,” Padilla said, referring to the task of collecting the required signatures from registered city voters.

Mayoral candidates who have qualified are:

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• Former Bernalillo County Commissioner Deanna Archuleta, a Democrat.

• Former state Democratic Party Chairman Brian Colón.

• Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson, a Republican.

• Ricardo Chaves, a Republican and founder of Parking Company of America.

• University of New Mexico undergraduate Augustus “Gus” Pedrotty.

• Susan Wheeler-Deichsel, an independent and founder of the civic group Urban ABQ.

• City Councilor Dan Lewis, a Republican.

• State Auditor Tim Keller, a Democrat.

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• Independent Michelle Garcia Holmes, former chief of staff for the state Attorney General’s Office and a retired Albuquerque police detective.

Lamont Davis, Rachel Golden and Scott Madison each had fewer than 114 verified signatures as of 5 p.m. Friday, according to the city clerk’s website. The three remaining candidates – Ian Page, Jacob Shull and Elan Colello – have quit the race.

To qualify to get their names on the ballot, mayoral candidates were required to submit 3,000 signatures from registered city voters by 5 p.m. Friday. City Clerk Natalie Howard and her staff have been verifying each of those signatures.

She said her office would likely finish going through all the remaining signatures that have been submitted by early next week.

Although most mayoral candidates have been gathering signatures for more than two months, Chaves jumped into the mayor’s race late and began collecting signatures only about two weeks ago.

“We had 15 days. It took us all of 10 days to do it,” Chaves said. “I’m happy that it happened. I’ve never been in a campaign before. I’m glad I got in.”

Padilla said she’s “pretty sure” that she has enough signatures to get on the ballot, although she acknowledged that she will be on pins and needles waiting to hear from the clerk’s office.

“I put it in God’s hands,” she said.

She said more than a third of the signatures she submitted were rejected, and she said she has asked the clerk’s office to take another look at those signatures.

Golden, the youngest candidate in the race, still had petitions to drop off at the clerk’s office at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

“I’m not quite sure it’s going to be enough,” she said. Golden said collecting the signatures was difficult, particularly because she didn’t have much money.

If no candidate gets at least 50 percent of the vote Oct. 3, the top two vote-getters will face off in a November runoff election.

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