VIDEO: Santa Fe mayoral debate gets heated

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Santa Fe’s mayoral race is shaping up to be one of the most hotly contested in 2014.

Our November poll showed Santa Feans fired up for candidates who were committed to protecting the city’s limited clean water, stand up for labor rights and stand by the city’s minimum wage.

Fast forward to January and City Councilor Patti Bushee faced off with former-Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales in a standing-room-only crowd at the Santa Fe University of Art & Design for the ProgressNowNM/Santa Fe Reporter 2014 Mayoral Debate.

The third candidate on the ballot, councilor Bill Dimas was invited but declined in all candidate forums during this election.

In a new twist to city debates, candidates were given fifteen minutes to ask each other a series of questions.  As the SF Reporter’s Joey Peters noted, the debate got a little heated as moderators Julie Ann Grimm (@SantaFeReporter) and Julia Goldberg (@votergirl) and the candidates touched on marijuana legalization, municipal power proposals and clean energy for the City Different.

You can read full coverage of last night’s event from Joey Peters at the Santa Fe Reporter:

When given the chance to ask her opponent a question, city Councilor and mayoral contender Patti Bushee criticized Javier Gonzales for supporting a “corporate tax cut” and asked him how many “green jobs” he created in his two terms on the Santa Fe County Commission and in his private work at Rosemont Realty…

“If we have an individual in the mayor’s office whose focus is ‘Me, Me, Me,’ that’s not going to help the community,” Gonzales said.

Here’s another take from the ABQ Journal North’s Glen Rosales, who kicks off coverage with a recap of questions around marijuana legalization in the city:

Santa Fe might just become known as the munchie capital of New Mexico if mayoral candidate Javier Gonzales has his way.

As a standing-room-only crowd stuffed the Fogelson Library auditorium on Monday, Gonzales drew chuckles, then immediate applause for his one-word answer, “Yes,” to the question of whether he favors legalizing marijuana.

Opponent Patti Bushee offered a longer reply to the question.

“I think we should decriminalize it,” she said…

Want to see for yourself?  We have the whole 1 hour event available live right here.  Get your vote on.

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