Posted at: 08/20/2013 6:15 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
The first ads of the campaign are expected to hit the TV airwaves this week in the race for mayor of Albuquerque. A race that has been simmering for months but now appears to be coming to a boil.
The first one out of the chute is negative. It’s from a police and firefighters political committee, and it slams Mayor Richard Berry for not spending enough on public safety. In the last three years the city police force has shrunk by 15 percent.
Professor Tim Krebs of the UNM Political Science Department is a specialist in municipal elections and politics.
"The ad we’ve seen thus far suggests that there’s been a failure in terms of actual public safety, and in terms of actual crime rates and so forth," Krebs said. "Really what the ad is talking more about is issues in police administration as opposed to crime fighting."
Berry’s first ad hasn’t aired yet, but KOB Eyewitness News 4 has seen it. It’s a positive piece about managing the city through tough recessionary times, without tax increases or layoffs of city workers. The theme is “steady, responsible leadership”.
"It fits in, not only with his interpretation of his record, but it also fits in with his persona as mayor and the kind of leadership style he’s projected over the last four years," Krebs said.
We will undoubtedly see ads from challenger Pete Dinelli soon, but the third candidate in the race, retired APD officer Paul Heh, hasn’t raised enough money to get on the airwaves with paid political messages.
Heh has raised a mere $5,867 compared to $588,963 for Berry, and $383,973 in public financing for Dinelli. Heh did not qualify for public financing, but he did earn a place on the ballot for the October election.