ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales watched the election results for mayor of Albuquerque come in at the Admiral Beverage Corporation near Second St. and Rio Bravo Blvd, and earlier in the evening, the music was blaring and it was a festive scene. However, his hopes of getting into a run-off with incumbent Mayor Tim Keller fell short.

“Whatever happens, we accept. I said that earlier and I’ve never been a bad loser. As a matter of fact, I think I’ve learned more from my losses than I did from my wins,” said Gonzales.

Sheriff Gonzales said initially that he was feeling really good about his chances Tuesday night. He also spoke to the crowd of supporters repeatedly saying how grateful he is. Albuquerque Police Officer Mario Verbeck made his first public appearance Tuesday night in support of the sheriff. Officer Verbeck was shot in the line of duty in August.

Gonzales became emotional while talking about his support. The second-term sheriff is no stranger to the election process. He has used his law enforcement background to appeal to Albuquerque voters, repeatedly saying the city’s crime problem is out of control.

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Sheriff Gonzales had said his life of service made him the best leader for his hometown, having served in the Marine Corp. and then spent the majority of his law enforcement career in the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.

His run hit a hurdle when he was denied public funding after his campaign was caught forging signatures. However, he raised money down the stretch launching a series of attack ads. Gonzales even made unsubstantiated claims about the mayor’s personal life.

KRQE News 13 asked him about the decision to go negative on the campaign trail. “I don’t feel that was negative I feel that the truth matters. I think when you when you bring up things, people should ask questions. I don’t think it was dirty at all,” said Gonzales.

Sheriff Gonzales will be out of a job in a year because of term limits. He also has not said what he might do next.