N.M. Democrat Candidate for Governor Embellished Work History for Campaign Website

Candidate's resume shows candidate heavily exaggerated achievements

New Mexico gubernatorial candidate Lawrence Rael / AP
May 1, 2014

New Mexico’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Lawrence Rael, embellished his resume for his campaign website.

Rael claims to have a long record of "creating jobs" while working in city government, though his actual resume, which was attached to a meeting agenda for a regional transit project in 2010, reveals a less impressive job history.

"Unlike other candidates asking for your support—when it comes to creating jobs and growing local economies—Lawrence has actually done it," his campaign website states.

"In 1990 he became the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the City of Albuquerque," it says. "He went on to hold that position for 12 years, the longest anyone has held that senior role, serving with three different mayors and working closely with both Democrats as well as Republicans."

"As CAO with the City of Albuquerque Lawrence created thousands of jobs, putting people to work building roads, community centers, libraries, and fixing our aging infrastructure," the website states.

However, according to his resume, in 1990 Rael began serving as a "Deputy" and an Executive Assistant to the CAO. From 1990 to 1994 his role is described as being a "liaison" between the administration and the City Council and Congressional delegation.

Rael was responsible for "policy and legislative analysis: and "assisted CAO with day-to-day operations of city government." Executive Assistants, according to Career Step, are primarily responsible for administrative work and "keeping an office running smoothly."

Now that he is running for governor, Rael claims he was CAO for a full 12 years.

Rael received a major pay raise as CAO in 1998, with his salary bumped up from $86,700 to $108,500, according to an editorial in the Albuquerque Journal.

The editorial claims Rael received over $21,000 more in pay courtesy of New Mexico taxpayers because then-Mayor Jim Baca feared Raul would "leave for greener pastures." The raise came at a time when the city budget was facing a $25 million budget shortfall.

In addition, Rael’s campaign website overstates his first government job in the 1980s.

"Lawrence has dedicated his life to serving New Mexico," the website says. "He started off as the Deputy Secretary of Transportation for NM under Governor Toney Anaya, and in 1987 he went on to serve on the staff of Senator Jeff Bingaman in Washington, D.C."

According to his resume, Rael served as "Acting Deputy Secretary/Division Director/Management Analyst" for the Transportation Department, and never fully in the deputy role.

As Acting Deputy his duties included advising and assisting the Cabinet Secretary, analyzing contracts, preparing cost analysis, and serving as the Division Director for the Motor Transportation Division, which was responsible for enforcing state motor carrier laws.

Rael is one of five Democrats vying to challenge incumbent Gov. Susana Martinez (R.) this fall. The Democratic primary is scheduled for June.

Request for comment from the Rael campaign was not returned by press time.

Published under: 2014 Election