Albuquerque mayoral candidate Eddy Aragon visited the University of New Mexico at the invitation of the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico on Wednesday for a “Coffee with the Candidates” event. After arriving half an hour late, the session began sparsely attended but addressed the main conservative stances that Aragon’s platform supports.

Aragon is CEO of “The Rock of Talk,” a conservative radio station that broadcasts out of Albuquerque, and he also hosts the eponymous prime-time show. While the mayoral race is officially nonpartisan, Aragon is the only registered Republican running against two registered Democrats, a contrast he has sought to emphasize. 



At the event, Aragon said he opposes COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates unequivocally. Aragon has also historically supported former President Donald Trump.

Aragon said that he wants to get rid of the Office of Equity and Inclusion and the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, although he did acknowledge that there is very little funding going to those departments now. Aragon said that funding he is able to come up with through cuts or other means — except raising taxes — would be used to put more police on the streets of Albuquerque.

“These are not departments that have been useful,” Aragon said. “My job is not to dictate any sort of social policy.”

Aragon maintained that underrepresented groups have formed communities without the assistance of local government, pointing to the LGBTQ-friendly Melrose District in Phoenix, Arizona.

“It’s hard to legislate equity,” Aragon said. “We have to provide opportunity and there’s a natural balance that has been happening.”

To bolster the local economy, Aragon claimed that the minimum wage in Albuquerque needs to be re-examined and that it drives small businesses away from the city.

“When you put in those artificial things, you’re forcing businesses to make decisions that probably aren’t going to make things much better for either party (employers or employees),” Aragon said.

Aragon also brought up the issue of expensive housing costs, which he said could be remedied by reforming the Planning Department, therefore making it easier for developers to build houses.

Concerning UNM students specifically, Aragon consistently emphasized that the city needs to keep these students in Albuquerque after they graduate.

Aragon promised a stark pivot from the policies of current Mayor Tim Keller, and said that he doesn’t support the proposed multi-purpose sports stadium. He also said he would plan to disassemble the Albuquerque Rapid Transit System, which began in 2016 during the administration of Mayor Richard Berry and has been continued by Keller.

The final “Coffee with the Candidates” event will be with Keller on Oct. 26.

Matthew Salcido is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at sports@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @baggyeyedguy