Good government is essential for the well-being of our city, county, state and nation. But it doesn’t happen without citizen participation through voting or running for office.

In the 2021 city election, all races except for council District 2 are contested. In District 1, four people are running. Three candidates are vying to be mayor. In Districts 3 and 4, voters have a choice between two prospective councilors.

To all who have stepped forward, we say thank you.

Because early voting already is underway and expanded early voting begins Saturday, The New Mexican is endorsing well before the Nov. 2 Election Day. We fully understand the endorsement that matters is the one that takes place when people show up and make their choices known.

Your vote is your voice. Use it.

Below are our endorsements:

District 1

This is a strong field, with three candidates seeking to unseat incumbent Signe Lindell, a fiscally prudent city councilor known for excellent constituent service, a fondness for bow ties and fierce love of animals. District 1 is the only race with enough candidates to put ranked-choice voting into play. But as we did in 2018, we are giving our first choice only, and that’s Sig Lindell, seeking her third term against Roger Carson, Brian Patrick Gutierrez and Joe Hoback. With so many challenges facing Santa Fe, now is not the time to lose a hardworking, experienced councilor.

Lindell is known not for pontificating but for using government to improve the city, acting quickly in the moment. She helped rewrite the ordinance on vehicle vendors to expand the food truck economy and worked to increase outdoor seating for restaurants during the pandemic. Both efforts meant jobs added and preserved. After years of discussion, Lindell helped deliver public downtown bathrooms, being built right now.

Her efforts are both tailored to the individual and to the city at large. Trouble with potholes? Call Sig. Concerned about the future of the midtown campus? Let her know what you think, because she’ll take it into account. And just because she represents District 1, residents of other parts of the city know that calling her will get answers and likely a solution. That’s service.

For City Council, District 1, The New Mexican endorses Signe Lindell.

District 2

Carol Romero-Wirth is running for a second term with no opponent. The councilor made her mark in her first term. She has been a strong voice for sustainability.

Her issues in a second term include finding sustainable funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, developing the midtown campus and strengthening the city’s water supply by developing a 40-year and 80-year water plan to evaluate the water demand and sources.

For District 2, Carol Romero-Wirth.

District 3

Incumbent Roman “Tiger” Abeyta faces a solid challenger, someone with ties to the community and small-business experience. Lee Garcia is making his first run for political office, and we hope it won’t be his last. Still, Abeyta is an asset the City Council needs, with experience as Santa Fe County manager and running the Santa Fe Boys and Girls Club.

He understands the nuts and bolts of how government works from having run the county. His work at the club means he is in the heart of south Santa Fe, talking to kids and parents about their concerns. The long-awaited Southside Teen Center is on the way, and Abeyta wants to see a senior center in his part of town. He also has a vision for the midtown campus that is worth exploring, developing a city government center closer to where people live, while building up the area around the campus to become a vibrant community center.

For District 3, Roman Abeyta.

District 4

This race features two capable candidates — Amanda Chavez and Rebecca A. Romero — who want to represent the neighborhood where they grew up. Both have much to offer. Chavez is a former elementary school principal and current Santa Fe Public Schools administrator working in special education. She brings an ability to analyze data, bring differing viewpoints together and emerge with a solution — just think of a principal experienced at dealing with playground battles and imagine her taking those skills to helping settle down a council full of smart people who all think they know best.

Chavez also has served on the Planning Commission, giving her practical experience into the ins and outs of how city government works. She wants to focus on improving the police recruitment process, increasing maintenance of city parks, fully funding the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and advocating for young people. Increasing mental health services and acknowledging the challenges people face in these tumultuous times would be another focus for Chavez.

For District 4, Amanda Chavez.

(9) comments

Christina Gill

Sig is the hardest working councilor on the team, she is the only councilor that has always responded to all her constituents, if your e-mails were returned to you unread, it is because you were using the wrong email or your domain was rejected. I have no idea how one could determine that an email was returned unread, unless it was rejected as a wrong address or blocked by the domain.

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Stefanie Beninato

I do remember the scandal at the county, Dave. I always thought that was the reason Tiger moved over to the Boys and Girls Club. We now know that it is Abeyta calling for Midtown to be a governmental center--even though it was ranked 34th in importance by those who participated in the community input sessions. I think it will be hard to defeat Sig because of the number of candidates running against her--that said, I have gotten emails I sent to Sig returned unread...so much for helping. And over two months ago, I asked Romero Wirth to look into the fact that the fiber optics were going down 10 ft wide alleys when a resolution (I believe sponsored by her) required them to be on streets over 50 ft wide. No response on a solution to the wrongful placement. It looks like a low hanging top of a cell phone tower.

A Ortega

Not surprising, The three councilors have been in webbers back pocket since the start of his term. There are also responsible for the sad state our city is in. They have stood by him and have done everything he says. It's time for a change.

MP Paul

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MP Paul

This is a very disappointing and safe endorsement by the New Mexican. It’s hard to imagine, by any standard of measurement, that Santa Fe has been well managed during Webber’s administration. Most of the New Mexican’s endorsements for councilors support Webber without question and deserve to share responsibility for the poor state of our city services, racial divisiveness that has festered into hatred for the current administration, and the inability for Webber to create consensus in a participatory government that's accountable to our people.

The Santa Fe New Mexican is failing our community by playing it safe and ignoring the significant fallout our community is facing from Alan Webber’s administration, and endorsing councilors that simply “flow with the river” in his failed administration.

A Ortega

Well said !!!!

Judy Klinger

RE: "With so many challenges facing Santa Fe, now is not the time to lose a hardworking, experienced councilor." I agree about Lindell. Now let's see the editorial board apply that to their mayoral endorsement.

Mike Johnson

No surprise here, all loyal minions of Webber and his left wing, incompetent administration. Wake up voters, these kind of people need to go from any involvement in government meant for the people, as these kind only care about themselves.

Andrew Lucero

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