Tim Keller (politician)

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Tim Keller
Timothy M Keller.jpg
30th Mayor of Albuquerque
Assumed office
December 1, 2017
Preceded byRichard J. Berry
26th Auditor of New Mexico
In office
January 5, 2015 – November 30, 2017
GovernorSusana Martinez
Preceded byHector Balderas
Succeeded byWayne Johnson
Member of the New Mexico Senate
from the 17th district
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 5, 2015
Preceded byShannon Robinson
Succeeded byMimi Stewart
Personal details
Born (1977-11-22) November 22, 1977 (age 43)
Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Kistin
EducationUniversity of Notre Dame (BA)
Harvard University (MBA)
WebsiteGovernment website

Timothy M. Keller (born November 22, 1977)[1] is an American businessman and politician serving as the 30th mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as New Mexico State Auditor before resigning to become mayor on December 1, 2017. He is also a former member of the New Mexico Senate, representing Senate District 17.

Early life and education[edit]

Keller was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His father was a founder of Union Savings Bank and his mother was a public school teacher and homemaker. He was raised as a Roman Catholic and following his graduation from Saint Pius X High School, he attended the University of Notre Dame.[2] Growing up, Keller struggled with dyslexia, though he was not diagnosed until graduate school.

Keller earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.


Early career[edit]

Keller is the founder of Digital Divide Data (DDD), which employs and trains disadvantaged persons in Cambodia.[3] DDD is now also present in Laos and Kenya, and has more than 1000 employees. The organization was ranked by Fast Company magazine as a global Top Innovator and by The Global Journal as one of the Top 100 NGOs worldwide.[4]

After graduating from business school, Keller returned to New Mexico where he worked in the community, volunteering for groups that foster economic opportunities in Albuquerque's International District. Keller has served on the boards of the Open Hands Foundation, the Asian American Association, and Albuquerque Southeast Team for Entrepreneur Development. Additionally, Keller spent fifteen years in the private sector, initially in strategic planning for fortune 500 companies and most recently helping Native American governmental financial operations.[citation needed]

New Mexico Senate[edit]

Keller was elected in 2008 to represent the people of New Mexico Senate District 17, otherwise known as the International District.[2][3] In the 49th Legislative Session, Keller introduced 30 pieces of legislation passing 8; 4 of which were signed into law by Governor Bill Richardson.[4]

In the 2011–12 50th Legislative Session, Keller introduced 55 pieces of legislation,[5] passed 14 pieces of legislation, and 5 were signed into law by Governor Susana Martinez including reforming the In-State Business Preference that gives local businesses bidding preference on state government procurement. In December 2012, Keller was elected to the New Mexico State Senate leadership as Majority Whip and served two years until resigning after his election to State Auditor.[6]

New Mexico Auditor[edit]

2013 election[edit]

Keller announced in spring 2013 that he would seek the office of New Mexico State Auditor.[7][8] During the election, Keller released a TV commercial that received national attention for being one of the most innovative and entertaining political ads of this cycle.[9] On November 4, 2014 Keller was elected State Auditor, defeating Robert Aragon, 54%-46%.[10]


Keller served as New Mexico's elected State Auditor from January 2015 through November 2017 when he resigned to assume his role as Mayor of Albuquerque. As Auditor, he primarily focused on helping government work better by providing transparency and accountability for government spending; informing policy choices; and tackling fraud, waste and abuse.[14]

These initiatives included:

  • A special audit of New Mexico's backlog of untested Sexual Assault Evidence Kits, commonly known as “rape kits” [15]
  • Investigating a lack of oversight, doctored receipts at La Promesa Charter School [17]
  • Discovering preferential tax treatment and abuse of power which ultimately led to the resignation and potential prosecution of State Tax and Revenue Secretary [11]
  • Money on the Sidelines: Report on Unspent Fund Balances. [29]
  • Discovering financial mismanagement at the University of New Mexico Athletics Department, costing the institution hundreds of thousands of dollars.[12]
  • A financial audit of the New Mexico Office of the Superintendent of Insurance that rendered 31 findings that ultimately led to a better run agency.[13]

2017 Albuquerque mayoral campaign[edit]

In January 2017, Keller announced his intention to run in that year's Albuquerque mayoral election to fight for a safe, inclusive and innovative city. He stated that he would pursue public financing for his campaign by initially raising thousands of five-dollar donations, and pledged to expand the city's Police Department from around 850 officers to 1,200 if elected.[14] Of the final eight candidates to make the Mayoral ballot, Keller was the only one to receive public financing, collecting nearly 6,000 five-dollar donations from the community, an impressive organizing feat. Keller would receive roughly $380,000 from the city to run his campaign, while his opponents would have no cap to the amount of money they could raise.[15]

In spite of his monetary disadvantage, Keller still maintained his position as the clear front-runner in the race.[16]

Throughout the course of the Election, Keller took part in multitudes of debates and forums, ranging from the standard televised debates for local channels, KRQE [17] and KOB,[18] as well as community based such as MIABQ's Forum for Young People, Young Professionals and Young Families,[19] Dukes Up #RealTalk Forum [20] and the Weekly Alibi's candidate Q&A.[21]

On October 3, Keller topped the ballot with 39 percent of the vote, 16 percentage points ahead of the second-placed candidate, Republican Albuquerque City Councilman Dan Lewis, whom Keller would face in a runoff election in November.[22]

Run-off Election: Seen as the front-runner,[23] Keller continued to garner broad support from across the city, including endorsements from the Fraternal Order of Police,[24] recognition for his bipartisan work as Auditor and Senator,[25] and his pragmatic vision for the city's future.[26]

In the Albuquerque mayoral runoff election on November 14, 2017, Keller defeated Lewis with 62% of the vote.[27] Keller resigned from his position as State Auditor on November 30, 2017.

Mayor of Albuquerque[edit]


After his election, Keller outlined the trajectory of his administration. With just an 8-day transition, the Keller Administration quickly[28] named his Executive Team, including the first female Chief Administrative Officer, Sarita Nair.[29]

Public Safety: To restore the faith of both the officers and the community in the Department, a day-one priority for Mayor Keller was to appoint new leadership at the Albuquerque Police Department. On November 28, 2017, Mayor Keller announced he would be naming Michael Geier as interim Chief-of-Police. In addition, Harold Medina, Rogelio "Roger" Banez, and Eric Garcia were named deputy chiefs.[30]


On December 1, 2017 Tim Keller was sworn in as the 30th mayor of Albuquerque.[31]

First term[edit]

Keller in June 2019

Keller has worked to proactively address the issues:

  • Joining the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda [32]

Convening the first of its kind Transition event, turning government 'inside out' to get the input of hundreds of community members[33]

  • Continuing his work on clearing Albuquerque's backlog of sexual assault evidence kit backlog [34]
  • Hiring a new chief and deputy chiefs to strengthen APD and steer them towards community policing [35]
  • Clean up the Animal Welfare Department to prioritize reducing euthanasia, increasing spay and neuter programs and improve field services response to animal abuse.[36]
  • Revitalization and remediation of the Rail Yards[37]
  • Bringing Netflix to Albuquerque with a one billion dollar and one thousand job investment into the community.[38]
  • The creation of both the first Office of Equity and Inclusion [39] and Office of Civil Rights [40]
  • Pushed for reunification of immigrant families in Tornillo, Texas[41]
  • Decrease of crime[42]
  • Civic investment in local business[43]
  • Received a positive compliance progress report from the US Department of Justice including the approval of a “Main Use-of Force Policy."[44]
  • Continuing to address the difficulties of the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (A.R.T.) project[45]

Personal life[edit]

An avid football player, Keller played quarterback for Albuquerque's professional indoor football team, the Duke City Gladiators, for their 2018 season opener.[46][47] Keller is also an advocate for Dyslexia awareness after being diagnosed and re-learning various reading and processing skills as an adult.[48]

Electoral history[edit]

New Mexico State Senate 17th District Democratic Primary Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tim Keller 1,614 66
Democratic Shannon Robinson 832 34
New Mexico State Senate 17th District Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tim Keller 9,275 100
New Mexico State Senate 17th District Democratic Primary Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tim Keller (inc.) 7,481 65
Republican Shannon Robinson 4,057 35
New Mexico Auditor Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tim Keller 270,386 54
Republican Robert Aragon 228,019 46
Mayor of Albuquerque 2017 Election Results
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democrat Tim Keller 38,156 39%
Republican Dan Lewis 22,238 23%
Democrat Brian Colon 15,884 16%
Republican Wayne Johnson 9,342 10%
Democrat Augustus "Gus" Pedrotty 6,638 7%
Independent Michelle Garcia Holmes 3,748 4%
Independent Susan Wheeler-Deichsel 490 1%
Republican Ricardo Chavez 475 0%
Total Votes 96,971 100%
Albuquerque Mayoral Runoff Election, 2017
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tim Keller 60,219 62
Republican Dan Lewis 36,594 38

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Twitter". Mobile.twitter.com. November 22, 2017. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  2. ^ "404" (PDF). Sos.state.nm.us. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  3. ^ Romo, Rene (June 4, 2008). "ABQjournal Elex: Several Longtime Lawmakers Unseated". Abqjournal.com. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  4. ^ "Error - New Mexico Legislature". Nmlegis.gov. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  5. ^ "Error - New Mexico Legislature". nmlegis.gov. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  6. ^ "Dems Elect New Leaders". Abqjournal.com. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  7. ^ "Sen. Tim Keller to run for state auditor, pass on 2014 gov's race | Albuquerque Journal". Abqjournal.com. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  8. ^ "Why I'm Running". timkellerfornewmexico. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  9. ^ ""Breaking Bad"-Themed Political Ad Might Be Best Political Ad Ever". Buzzfeed.com. October 15, 2014. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  10. ^ "2016 New Mexico Election Results". KOB. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  11. ^ Chief, Dan Boyd | Journal Capitol Bureau. "Padilla corruption case moves forward". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  12. ^ Writers, Jessica Dyer and Geoff Grammer | Journal Staff. "Athletics audit slams UNM's financial structure". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  13. ^ Writer, Rick Nathanson | Journal Staff. "Audit finds 31 issues at state insurance office". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  14. ^ "State auditor announces bid for ABQ mayor » Albuquerque Journal". Abqjournal.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  15. ^ "Keller qualifies for public funding » Albuquerque Journal". Abqjournal.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  16. ^ KRQE Media (October 3, 2017). "Tim Keller to face Dan Lewis in runoff election for mayor". Krqe.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  17. ^ KRQE Media (September 11, 2017). "2017 Albuquerque Mayoral Debate". Krqe.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  18. ^ "REPLAY: The #ABQ4ward Mayoral Debate in full | KOB 4". Kob.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  19. ^ "2017 MiABQ Mayoral Forum". YouTube. August 30, 2017. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  20. ^ "2017 Albuquerque Mayoral #RealTalk Forum (HQ repost)". YouTube. May 20, 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  21. ^ "Candidate Q&A: Tim Keller's Alibi interview [Video]". Alibi.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  22. ^ Oxford, Andrew (October 7, 2017). "Albuquerque election hints at what's ahead | Local News". santafenewmexican.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  23. ^ "Keller, Lewis headed for mayoral runoff » Albuquerque Journal". Abqjournal.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  24. ^ "Albuquerque police union endorses Keller » Albuquerque Journal". Abqjournal.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  25. ^ "In Senate, Keller 'stood up to overreach of power by governors' » Albuquerque Journal". Abqjournal.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  26. ^ "Editorial: Keller's leadership, experience needed » Albuquerque Journal". Abqjournal.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  27. ^ "Tim Keller wins Albuquerque's mayoral race". Kob.com. November 14, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  28. ^ "Mayor-elect Tim Keller planning transition into new office | KOB 4". Kob.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  29. ^ "Mayor-elect names four key appointments » Albuquerque Journal". Abqjournal.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  30. ^ "Keller's pick for APD interim chief draws praise » Albuquerque Journal". Abqjournal.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  31. ^ "WATCH: Mayor Tim Keller's official inauguration ceremony". Koat.com. December 1, 2017. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  32. ^ "Keller signs onto Mayors National Climate Action Agenda » Albuquerque Journal". Abqjournal.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  33. ^ "Mayor Tim Keller Convenes First of its Kind Transition Capstone Event".
  34. ^ "End the Backlog: Tackling Albuquerque's Untested Rape Kits". Nbcnews.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  35. ^ "Interim APD chief discusses plans to fight crime | KOB 4". Kob.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  36. ^ KRQE Media (February 22, 2018). "Mayor Keller announces changes to Animal Welfare Department". Krqe.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  37. ^ Writer, Katy Barnitz | Journal Staff. "City takes control of the Rail Yards". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  38. ^ "https://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2018/10/08/netflix-to-invest-1-billion-in-new-mexico-plans-to.html". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved November 25, 2018. External link in |title= (help)
  39. ^ Writer, Maddy Hayden | Journal Staff. "Melendez to lead Office of Equity and Inclusion". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  40. ^ Media, KRQE (October 27, 2018). "City's new Office of Civil Rights aims to protect against discrimination". KRQE. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  41. ^ Writer, Steve Knight | Journal Staff. "Keller calls for immediate reunification of families". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  42. ^ Writer, Ryan Boetel | Journal Staff. "City closer to getting gun intelligence lab". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  43. ^ Writer, Marie C. Baca | Journal Staff. "A fresh direction: Inside ABQ's economic development plan". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  44. ^ Chavez, Stephanie (November 5, 2018). "Recent progress report positive for APD". KRQE. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  45. ^ Writer, Steve Knight | Journal Staff. "Mayor pulls the plug on electric bus deal". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  46. ^ "Mayor Tim Keller Quarterbacks the Duke City Gladiators - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  47. ^ Writer, Bob Christ | Journal Staff. "From mayor to quarterback: Keller to play for Gladiators in exhibition". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  48. ^ Editor, Kent Walz | Journal Senior. "Tim Keller, Albuquerque's new mayor, takes the reins". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved December 16, 2020.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Hector Balderas
Auditor of New Mexico
Succeeded by
Wayne Johnson
Preceded by
Richard J. Berry
Mayor of Albuquerque