The quickly; voter registration ends February 6

The 2018 Santa Fean mayoral election is a groundbreaking one, considering that for the first time, five candidates compete for a full-time mayoral position, complete with a pay raise. Those aren’t the only things special about this mayoral election because, for the first year, Santa Fean voters will be using ranked-choice voting to elect a candidate by a majority.Ranked-choice voting won overwhelming approval in 2008, and it is finally being put up in Santa Fe’s polls. The rules are simple, if no candidate receives a 50% + 1 majority of first choice votes, the last-place candidate is eliminated. Second choice votes of the voters who ranked the eliminated candidate first are then redistributed among the candidates, and the system repeats itself until a clear majority has been given to one of the candidates. The candidate with the ultimate majority of votes will assume the first full-time position of Santa Fe Mayor, with a hefty salary rumored to be around $110,000.Voting dates are coming quickly; voter registration ends February 6 and early voting begins February 14. Election day will be held on March 6.Mayor Javier Gonzales has decided to not run for re-election, and so five new candidates have emerged, all registered Democrats, all competing for your first-choice vote, all with a new mindset of ideas to put into place for a better, brighter Santa Fe. But who are our candidates?Joseph Maestas is a first-term city councilor and a civil engineer. He is also the former mayor of Española, making him the only candidate to actually have held the position of mayor.Peter Ives is a two-term city councilor and an attorney. He is now serving as Santa Fe’s Mayor Pro Tem to Mayor Javier Gonzales.Ronald S. Trujillo is a three-term city councilor. He works at the state Department of Transportation Fleet Management Bureau. Trujillo is the sole candidate who qualified for public campaign funds.Kate Noble is the only female candidate. For nine years, she worked for the City of Santa Fe in economic and community development and is currently a school board member.  She is the co-founder of MIX Santa Fe, she launched New Mexico’s first business accelerator and has developed youth job-training programs.Alan Webber has a background in business, government, and journalism. He has been a policy advisor, a consultant, and an advisor to mayors, city managers, and governors. He has also been an Editorial Director of the Harvard Business Review and co-founder of Fast Company magazine.Several public forums are available to highlight the candidate’s perspectives on various issues: