When I began studying journalism, I wanted to cover something completely different from what I have covered before. From state politics to competitive video games, the University of New Mexico expanded my mind and broaden my interests.

An internship with KNME permitted me the opportunity to eat, sleep and breathe local politics. The competitive nature of two candidates locked into deep debate became something I craved — something I wanted to watch.

The 2017 mayoral election was something I quickly wanted to participate in, something I wanted to remember. I swiftly learned as an observer that I more importantly must become a contributor. My credibility and confidence would only grow, because how I participate in the community as a photographer matters.

The photos in this collection are a glance at Tim Keller’s incremental journey to represent the city of Albuquerque as mayor. The essay is a culmination of coverage, beginning from the early days of his campaign, before earning placement on the ballot with eight other candidates. All the way to the traditional transition lunch between the mayor incumbent.

The race for mayor is an exercise of persistence and tactile positioning: something I tried to emulate from the viewfinder of a camera.

Kevin Maestas is a staff photographer at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at photo@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @chunkfu_kevin.