Albuquerque Firefighters Union Rejects Keller and Manny

The Albuquerque Area Firefighters’ Union is running from Mayor Tim Keller for the exact same reason Eddy Aragon is running to replace him: he’s done a terrible job.

Unions are generally Democrat political havens. In 2017 Albuquerque residents couldn’t drive 50 feet down any street in the city without seeing a yellow and black IAFF sign endorsing Keller for mayor. They spent tens of thousands in messaging and billboards. 

Four years later, crime is so out of control that not only IAFF but APOA—the two biggest public safety unions in Albuquerque—are holding their nose this time around. 

This is a major blow not only to Tim Keller but to fellow Democrat Manny Gonzales.

The union didn’t pull a Manny by “unendorsing” Keller, like Gonzales did when he decided to run for mayor and felt that his backing of Keller and Michelle Lujan Grisham would hurt him politically. The IAFF decided to sit out entirely. Not only did the union NOT endorse Keller, but it didn’t even back Gonzales, the Bernalillo County sheriff.

That didn’t stop union leadership from recommending Keller for the coveted endorsement.

According to ABQ RAW, the union convened a meeting last week to pick a candidate to endorse and the executive board recommended Keller, but the recommendation has to go to a vote of all union members, where it failed with an overwhelming majority. 

“It was the rank and file firefighters—those on the front lines of public safety on a daily basis in this city—who slipped the rug out from under Keller, signaling to the public that they do not have the confidence in his leadership”, according to ABQ RAW.

This proves what Eddy Aragon has been saying about the Albuquerque mayoral race: the top leadership position at City Hall is NOT FOR SALE.

It’s not for sale to someone who commits voter fraud during the qualifying phase of the election. And it’s not for sale to someone whose policies and failed leadership are burying our city.

For a Democrat not to win the endorsement of the city’s two biggest public safety unions is damning, and it signals a tough few weeks for Keller and Manny.

Eddy Aragon didn’t expect the union’s endorsement and didn’t ask for it, which is why his name wasn’t even considered. According to ABQ RAW, candidates have to ask the union for an endorsement. They won’t pick the most qualified candidate based on merit; they have to be wooed. 

Eddy doesn't play that game. 

He’s running a campaign on the issues that matter to residents of this city. He’s advocating for new ideas and tough-on-crime policies to staff public safety, end COVID restrictions, open up our economy, and clean up our streets. There’s no time for political pandering, whether to BLM activists or corrupt union leaders.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the support of the union members themselves. 

Dozens of firefighters have contacted the campaign in their unofficial capacity to not only pledge their support, but to pick up yard signs and campaign material. 

That’s the grassroots approach that wins elections. It’s the individual voters that matter, not the political power players. It’s the everyday folks who don’t benefit from the political deal-making that Eddy represents. And on that front he’s winning.

That’s not to say he might not have earned the official union endorsement. According to ABQ RAW, Aragon wasn’t even considered for an endorsement because of a Facebook post from last year that made disparaging comments about firefighters.

It’s spilt milk at this point, but probably a lot of firefighters represented by the union would have appreciated knowing that the Facebook page in question is run by a Manny supporter. Eddy Aragon isn’t on social media, not now and not a year ago, which the union president very easily could have learned if he’d bothered to ask.

That’s politics, but within the muck of partisan maneuvering is a clear signal that Keller and Manny can’t ignore: they’ve lost the support of the men and women in public safety, and they've lost the trust of the citizens who elected them to oversee these agencies.

No matter how much money they have and how much party support they’re given, they can’t buy enough TV ads to cover up the disgrace that they have created over the last four years (or seven for Manny). 

People see what’s happening to this city every time they wake up in the morning to go to work. They see it on the streets and in the news. They read about our crime and homelessness and closing businesses due to overly strict COVID policies. They hear about how we’re first in unemployment and last in education. 

And THAT is why Eddy Aragon is running for mayor. THAT is why he has vowed to seek re-election in 2025 ONLY on the condition that he fulfills his campaign promises of cutting homicides in half and homelessness by 75%. 

He’s the only candidate who’s not playing politics, because as every resident of this great city knows, politics is what got us here.

It’s time for something new.

It’s time to elect someone who will Fight For 505.