Controversy surrounds ABQ Mayor Tim Keller’s alleged political assistance in the District 6 race; Candidate Nichole Rogers under scrutiny


Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and District 6 candidate Nichole Rogers. | Wikimedia Commons; Gage Skidmore / Rogers campaign

By Special to the New Mexico Sun

In the run-up to the Dec. 12 runoff election for District 6, Mayor Tim Keller is facing allegations of backing specific candidates through his political apparatus and influencing city employees to support his chosen contenders.

While Keller is accused of supporting several candidates behind the scenes, the focus has intensified on the District 6 race, where progressive Democrat Pat Davis is stepping down.

Sources reveal that Keller has been actively involved in the campaign of Nichole Rogers since its inception, with suggestions that his support may extend into the runoff.

Rumors have been circulating that Rogers has privately informed progressive Democrats in District 6 that she is Keller’s chosen candidate to succeed Pat Davis, who is known to be an ally of the mayor.

The alleged interference in the race has raised concerns about the impartiality of the electoral process and the extent of Keller’s influence over the candidate selection.

Sources confirmed that Keller’s team reached out to candidate Jeff Hoehn even before he officially announced his candidacy. Hoehn was reportedly informed unequivocally that he could not win and should refrain from running, as he would not receive the support of Keller.

Confidential sources have identified Joaquin Baca, Abby Foster, and Rogers as Mayor Keller’s favored candidates for Districts 2, 4, and 6, respectively.

Keller’s campaign did not respond to an interview request from the New Mexico Sun.

Early voting began on Nov. 21 and will continue until Dec. 9, with Election Day on Dec. 12. Voters can utilize either option.

Rogers’ background has received extra attention from blogger Pete Dinelli.

In a post, Dinelli dug into the background of Rogers revealing a history of civil litigation involving debt collections, evictions, and property liens.

Dinelli also highlighted undisclosed misdemeanor convictions, failure to file required documentation for her nonprofit, and questions about Rogers’ residency in District 6.

Dinelli uncovered misdemeanor traffic offense convictions that Rogers did not disclose in her candidate questionnaire to the Albuquerque Journal, and questions have been raised about her residency in District 6, suggesting she may have lived on the Westside while using a property she owns in District 6 for candidacy purposes.

Dinelli’s review of court docket records shows 7 civil litigation cases involving nonpayment of rent, judgments, and garnishments linked to a person believed to be Rogers.

Despite being provided with the list of cases, Rogers declined to verify her involvement in them in a November 24 email.

A review of Bernalillo County Clerk records reveals that two liens were filed on a residence owned by Rogers, the address she provided as her residence for City Clerk records.

The liens, filed by the City of Albuquerque for delinquent water, sewer, and solid waste charges, totaled $591.75 and $1,457.52, respectively, with the latter lien released on Aug. 11, 2022.

Rogers’ claim of residing in District 6 for six years, a requirement for candidates, was also challenged by Dinelli as county records show she purchased the home in question five years ago in 2018.

Confidential sources and neighbors suggest that the property may have been rented out, and concerns are raised about Rogers’ actual occupancy due to reports of disrepair, neglect, and the recent cleaning up of the front yard.

Rogers faced scrutiny from the Albuquerque Journal over her nonprofit, Welstand Foundation, which has raised funds despite being delinquent in paperwork with the AG’s Office, Secretary of State, and the IRS.

Rogers, who says the foundation effectively disbanded in 2021, acknowledged oversights and is working to get paperwork up to date, including IRS and AG submissions.

The foundation’s solicitation of donations has raised concerns, prompting the AG’s office to look into the matter, while Rogers views the situation as a learning experience.

The New Mexico Sun also touched on the issue noting IRS revoked the foundation’s tax-exempt status in May 2022, while the Secretary of State listed it as “active” but “not in good standing” and that Rogers faces questions about the foundation’s operations and fundraising activities while not in compliance with state and IRS requirements.