Home News Local News Union donates $4,550 to municipal candidates

Union donates $4,550 to municipal candidates

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On May 22, representatives of Utility Workers Union of America Local 51 held an event at Roswell’s City Hall Monday to announce the formation of a political alliance of employees of the city of Roswell, the Roswell Independent School District and the New Mexico Federation of Labor. Pictured, from left, are Alfredo Dominguez, founding member of UWUA Local 51; Eddie Burns of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1564; Jon Hendry, president of New Mexico Federation of Labor; Patrick Lopez, president of UWUA Local 51; Denise Dawson, president of the Roswell Education Association; Mark Brooks and Jerry Acosta of Utility Workers Union of America; and Vernon Molinar, secretary-treasurer of UWUA Local 51. (File Photo)

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Reporter’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct amount of money given to mayoral candidate Del Jurney, who received $500, not $1,500. 

Local 51 of Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) has donated amounts ranging from $500 to $1,500 as reflected in the third quarter campaign finance reports to one mayoral and four city council candidates.

Mark Brooks is the special counsel to the president of UWUA and said the union goes through a process of selecting candidates who support family interests and blue-collar workers. Brooks said the reason certain candidates received more funds based was based a judgement on which candidate would allocate the resources best.

Brooks also said though the funds come from the national office, the choice of candidates is made by approximately 160 blue collar workers employed by the city of Roswell. Brooks clarified that the local members make decisions on which candidates receive donations after an interview process.

Brooks said union chose a dual endorsement for Jurney and Natasha Mackey for mayor in the election today. Jurney received $500 from UWUA, while no amount was reflected on Mackey’s report, but Brooks said the union authorized donations to the endorsed candidates.

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Richard Garcia, Ward 3 candidate, said he was awarded $500 from UWUA International and an additional $50 from UWUA Local 51, as reflected in his report. Garcia also said he retired from a food worker union and confirmed the interview process for the union.

Ward 4 candidate George Peterson and Ward 1 candidate Alfredo Dominguez III each received $1,500 from UWUA. Dominguez is a founding member of UWUA Local 51 and was present when the union rallied at City Hall on May 22. Peterson is a former city of Roswell employee.

Another $500 was given to Ward 5 City Council candidate Angela Moore.

Donald O’Connor, detective and president of the Roswell Police Officers Association, said the RPOA sign was not correlated with Utility Workers of America’s donations to the candidates. O’Connor also said the unions are not directly related, though the two unions have similar goals for blue-collar workers.

The UWUA’s website shared an article from July 11, which said the following statement:

“The alliance will focus on voter education and registration, as well as recruiting, screening and endorsing candidates for public office. The alliance will mobilize to elect candidates who support essential public services, without regard to political parties.”

All campaign finance reports are public record according to City Clerk Sharon Coll. Coll said the city had received calls and complaints about how this nonpartisan election has become political.

Candidates must detail their finances in an itemized report listing all income, cash or other contributions exceeding $100, as well as expenditures, to City Clerk when candidacy is declared and on the first day of February through April.

For the mayoral candidates campaign totals, Jurney has raised $5,220 and spent $10,540.14. Mackey has received $4,351.52, which excludes the $6,980 from the committee to elect Natasha Mackey in contributions received before Nov. 25, and her expenses are reported at $3,3687.12. Sergio Gonzales has not filed his last report and has been notified by the City Clerk. Incumbent Dennis Kintigh’s contributions total at $10,765 with expenditures of $20,650.92.

In Ward 1, Catarino Munoz and Jeffrey Cabana have not reported any contributions and expenditures. Jacob Roebuck has reported $1,450 in contributions and $1,223.09. Alfredo Dominguez has reported zero in each report until receiving $1,500 from the union.

Caleb Grant, Ward 2 incumbent, reported no finances until the third quarter report. Though running unopposed, Grant has received $1,500 and spent $1,050.29.

For Ward 3, Richard Garcia’s finances totaled with $2,375 in contributions and $1,493.42 in expenses. Tarra Morgan has reported raising $375 and spending $378.63. Judy Stubbs contributions add up to $4,525 and her expenses total to $3,865.23.

Whitney “Whit” Hamill reported zero contributions and $501.27 in expenditures, while George Peterson, other Ward 4 challenger, has reported $1,800 in donations and $1,273.32 in expenses.

For Ward 5, incumbent Tabitha Denny has reported zero in both contributions and expenditures. Challenger Angela Moore’s contributions total is $1,785 with $618.37 in expenses.

Election Day is today, and the polls at the voting convenience centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

City reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.