Down Ballot Endorsements for Silver City, ABQ, Las Cruces, Taos & Santa Fe & Advice on Voting Early & Safely

A brief post today with down ballot recommendations and an invite to a very interesting election strategy Zoominar TONIGHT, sent to us by Morty Simon & Carol Oppenheimer.

On Monday, we will offer more commentary about Trump’s Covid diagnosis and more importantly his and his campaign’s behavior in the days leading up to and after the diagnosis was made public. We want to take time to settle on tone and content.

Election Update

We get tons of emails asking for how to vote most safely. Retake Our Democracy recommends you vote early in person, if you can do so safely, but if you can’t do that, then we urge you to either be sure to mail in your ballot as early as possible and definitely before Oct 27 OR to vote in person. But this is not an election to skip, so vote, vote, vote. As importantly, get friends to vote, especially in swing states. Click here to get to our election strategies. Literally, you can implement our Get Out the Vote strategy in 5 minutes and start a ball rolling where your friends are encouraging dozens of others to vote and tell others. Let’s do this!

Below is a link to the rules for 33 NM counties as each county differs.

Click here to get voting info
from County Clerks in 33 NM Counties

Monday, October 5, 6:30 – 8pm. PRC Constitutional Amendment: Commissioners Appointed or Elected. The Pros & Cons. 

Amendment I will eliminate your ability to vote for a PRC Commissioner and reduce the number of commissioners to three.

Do you want to decide who is your next PRC Commissioner or do you want a Governor to do it for you?

Can just 3 appointed Commissioners adequately represent the geographic & cultural diversity of NM?

We will discuss the history of the PRC, its strengths and failings as well as the pros and cons for passing a NM State Constitutional Amendment to shift from electing PRC Commissioners to having the Governor appoint them. The Amendment would also reduce the number of PRC Commissioners to three. Lot’s at stake on this and many people have asked for this Zoominar. We’ve scheduled this very special zoom to occur the night before early voting begins in NM.

This will be a Zoom where we present both sides to a complex issue. Joining us for the discussion will be Noah Long Western Region Director for Climate and Clean Energy with the National Resources Defense Council and Joe Maestas, former Mayor or Española, former Santa Fe City Councilor, and a candidate for PRC Commissioner in November.

Click here to register.

10.3.2020. Paul & Roxanne do a duet conversation with a focus on Trump’s Covid diagnosis, the election, the debate, the water crisis in NM, and more. We had to do this at the last minute, when there was a cancellation. In the end, it turned out to be a good little conversation, tied up in 30 minutes.

Working America Zoominar:
Persuading Trump Supporters to Vote Biden

Sunday, Oct 4, 5:00 PM Pacific/ 8:00 PM Eastern. You are invited to an emergency briefing on Working America and the new tactics it has just developed, tested and verified — tactics that can persuade hundreds of thousands of voters, who would otherwise support Trump to vote for Biden and Democratic Senate candidates instead.

Please RSVP clicking

Among tactics for which cost per vote can be measured, Working America’s breakthrough tactics can produce more votes for every thousand dollars spent than virtually any tactic currently in use. That’s not just their opinion. It’s the conclusion of top evaluators in the field like Sandy Newman and of leading political scientists like Yale’s Josh Kalla and Berkeley’s David Broockman who have independently reviewed the evidence.

We will hear from Working America’s founder, Karen Nussbaum, and its Executive Director Matt Morrison, Yale scholar Josh Kala, and evaluator and donor advisor Sandy Newman. There will also be time for Q & A.

Please register above for the briefing and share this invitation with others you know who want to make the biggest difference possible for the presidential and Senate elections.

NM Down Ballot Recommendations

Each election, Retake posts its recommendations for down ballot races. To do this, we reach out to people in other counties. We are very careful to accept recommendations from allies and supporters who we trust. But every once in while, our resources fail us, so if you see any recommendations that are amiss, please let us know and if you see anything missing, let us know that as well.

State Legislators

If the NM House of Representatives can add just one more Democrat to its caucus and if the Senate can add 4 new Democratic Senators, each chamber can make changes to the rules to limit debate in committees and on the chamber floors to one hour per bill, instead of the current limit of three hours. If you’ve sat in any hearings you will realize that the GOP uses the full three hours on most every issue, in a brazen effort to limit the number of bills considered. This is particularly important in the last days of the legislative session when Senate and House leadership must calculate precisely which bills should be advanced with many good bills left behind for lack of time. As a result, we encourage all of you to vote a straight Democratic ticket, with the following exception.

With one exception, vote a straight Democratic ticket.

  • HD 12, DPI 68.80. South Valley, ABQ Brittney Barreras vs. Art de la Cruz. Barreras is a DTS and de la Cruz is a write-in Democrat. But Barreras is highly progressive with life experience that enables her to connect with the needs and challenges of working people. Art de la Cruz is a seasoned politician who undermined an effort to pass a Bernalillo County ordinance to create paid sick leave and who was a key driving force for advancing the massive Santolina development in Bernalillo County. We do not need another DINO in the Roundhouse. Vote Barreras

Statewide Constitutional Amendments

  • Amendment I: Would reduce the number of PRC Commissioners from 5 to 3 and would eliminate elections of Commissioners, with the Governor making appointments. We will announce our position on this important amendment after our Zoominar on Monday, Oct. 5.
  • Amendment II: Would adjust the length of terms of some elected officials so as to consolidate election dates. APPROVE

Statewide Bond Measures

  • Bond A: Would create a Capital Projects General Obligation Bond that would provide $33,292,141 in funding to construct and/or make capital improvements in an array of senior citizen facilities. APPROVE.
  • Bond B: Would create a Capital Projects General Obligation Bond that would provide $9,751,433 in funds for public school, tribal, academic, and public libraries, to fund acquisition of needed resources. APPROVE.
  • Bond C: Would create Capital Projects General Obligation Bond that would provide $156,358,475 in funding to support facility improvements and capital expenditures in higher education, special schools and tribal schools. APPROVE

State Judicial Elections

  • Justice of the Supreme Court: Kerry Morris (R) vs. David Thomson (D). Vote for Thomson.
  • Position 1, Court of Appeals: Barbara Johnson (R) vs. Zach Ives (D). Vote for Ives.
  • Position 2, Court of Appeals: Stephen Curtis (Lib) vs Shammara Henderson (D) and Gertrude Lee (R). Vote for Shammara.
  • Position 3, Court of Appeals Thomas Montoya (R) vs. Jane B. Yohalem (D). Vote for Yohalem.

Public Regulation Commission

Joe Maestas (D) vs Christopher Luchini (Lib). Vote for Maestas

Bernalillo County

We were unable to get solid recommendations from BernCo, but perhaps with this going out, with but 3 recommendations, we will get some input in the comments below.

  • Adriann Barboa in Dist 3,
  • Wende Schwingendorf in Dist. 4,
  • Nancy Bearce for Treasurer. 

Silver City

  • State Senate 28- Siah Correa Hemphill
  • State Rep 38- Karen Whitlock
  • State Rep 39- Rudy Martinez
  • County Commission 3- Alicia Edwards
  • County Commission 4- Marilyn Alcorn
  • County Commission 5- Harry Browne

Las Cruces

  • Democrat on all the partisan races, except I am hearing mixed reviews about the Dem candidate for District 4 County Commissioner, Susana Chapparo. Any one out there have views on this?
  • Retain on all the judicial races, and
  • Yes on all the bond issues.

Sandoval County

Two of the most important races are for two county commissioner’s seats

  • District 2 Vote for Leah Ahkee Baczkiewicz (D)
  • District 4 Alexandria Piland  (D)

State Legislature

For the state legislature, there is are two potential seats to flip and an important seat to hold:

  • Vote for Katy DuHigg (d) state senate running against Candance Gould
  • Vote for Billie Thurman-Helean is running against Jason Harper and
  • In a seat we want to hold, Brenda McKenna is running in John Sapien’s Senate District 9  
  • All bond measures for the schools and school districts should be supported
  • Vote NO on Constitutional Amendment I, which would reduce the number of PRC Commissioners from 5 to 3 and would have them appointed by the Governor, not by a vote of the people.

Santa Fe

  • Bond 1: Would create a General Obligation Bond to provide $4,829,000 to acquire, improve equip, and restore open space, trails and parks. APPROVE
  • Bond 2: Would create a General Obligation Bond to provide $11,421,000 to acquire, improve, design, equip, and improve Santa Fe County roads. APPROVE
  • Bond 3: Would create a General Obligation Bond to provide $3,750,000 to acquire real property, and to construct, design equip rehabilitate and improve water and wastewater treatment projects within Santa Fe County. Funds would be used to acquire real property and necessary water rights for, and to construct, design, equip, rehabilitate, and improve water and wastewater projects within the County for:· Hyde Park Estates Upgrades – $400,000· ASR Partnership with Rancho Viejo – $50,000· Romero Park Area Water Line System & design for future growth – $950,000· Redirect Abajo Lift Station to Wastewater SFCWRF – $2,350,000 APPROVE
  • For more information on these bonds, please visit the Santa Fe County

The remainder of the Santa Fe County ballot has unopposed Democrats running. Vote the Democratic ticket.

Judge Retentions In Santa Fe

  • Judge Jacqueline Medina
  • Judge Francis J Matthew
  • Judge Maria Sanchez-Gagne
  • Judge Sylvia Lamar
  • Judge Jason Lidyard
  • Judge Glenn Ellington
  • Judge Mary Marlow Sommer
  • Judge Matthew Wilson


  • Pete Campos, NM Senate Dist 8
  • Kristina Ortez, NM House Dist 42
  • Unopposed Candidates, but we can still vote for these:
  • Bobby Gonzales, NM Senate Dist 6
  • Susan Herrera, NM House Dist 41
  • Melissa Kennelly, Dist Judge
  • Jeff Shannon, District Judge
  • Marcus Montoya, Dist Attorney
  • Sara Blankenhorn, Magistrate Judge
  • Stephen Carrillo, Public Education Commission
  • Valerie Rael-Montoya, County Clerk
  • Paula Santistevan, County Treasurer
  • Darlene Vigil, Taos County Commission Dist 3
  • AnJanette Brush, Taos County Commission Dist 4

That’s it for today. Early voting begins on Oct. 7 in NM.

In solidarity and hope,

Paul & Roxanne

Categories: Local-State Government & Legislation

Tags: , , , , , ,

12 replies

  1. Just a reminder that unlike in the rest of Santa Fe County, where Dems are running unopposed or against nominal opposition, at the southern end of the county in the Sandia Park/Cedar Crest/Edgewood area there are closely contested races in NM House and NM Senate districts currently held by Republicans. Vote Jessica Velasquez (D) in NM House District 22 and Claudia Risner in NM Senate District 19.

  2. Also, a reminder that absentee ballots need not be returned by mail. They can be dropped off at the County Clerk’s office or at any early voting location once early voting starts Oct. 17.

  3. Thank you for the down-ballot recommendations!

    It’s important, when working to get out the vote, to remember the down-ballot stuff – local, county, state, and special districts – that sort of thing. Research shows that when people go to vote with the down-ballot races in mind, they always vote in the top-of-ballot races too. But when they vote with the top-of-ballot races in mind, they quite often ignore down-ballot races, leaving those boxes unchecked.

    So – in your election activism, remember to emphasize those local, county, and state races! You’ll get results from bottom to top!

  4. (This may not be public comment worthy)
    Hi Roxanne and Paul – since you’ve already heard from me, I’ll try to keep this Chapparo Doña Ana County Commission comment less wordy. Chapparo has a horrible record from her Magistrate Court Judge days where she was rightfully disciplined and taken off the Court. Now, “she has “learned” from her experiences. Not. Only learned more about being political. She is a major block to the local Progressive movement. She prevailed over a wonderful candidate in the Primary. The “establishment” Dems in Doña Ana County have maintained their hold on power – with a boost from Joe Kabourik, our State Chair, and no support at the SCC when their ramrod power move was forced down the throats of those trying to make a Progressive difference in how things are run here. Granted, those speaking out had angered the State and County Party, and had a few firebrands. But, the Progressive movement here has lost all coordinated steam subsequent to the lack of support from the SCC, Chapparo was integral to that state of affairs. Awful to think that I just won’t vote on that position. There’s more solid details, but perhaps for another time. Thank you.

  5. Thanks so much for getting this out NOW. And thanks for the upcoming zoominar on the PRC constitutional amendment!

  6. Nancy Bearce for Bernalillo County Treasurer!

  7. Not sure what you mean by “We were unable to get solid recommendations from BernCo, but perhaps with … but 3 recommendations, we will get some input… .” Nancy Bearce is unopposed as treasurer in Bern Co. and Adriann Barboa is unopposed for her BernCo Commission seat–both solid Yeses. Wende Schwingendorf is a solid YES and if she does not get elected, any positive progressive policies being put forth by Debbie O’Malley and Adriann Barboa on the county commission will get lost–Wende is needed to make a reliable forward thinking majority for the county. This is a big deal and a big race that must not get overlooked.

  8. Slight but meaningful suggestion for safe voting. Vote by mail ballots can be filled out and dropped at early voting site or County Clerk dropbox thus bypassing post office.

  9. It’s really important to tell folks who applied for absentee ballots and who want to vote early, to BRING their BALLOTS with them when they go in to vote in person. If they don’t it will cause a serious delay, with affidavits etc. Please do pass along this information. Thanks!

  10. Here’s a plan…
    • Request your absentee ballot NOW! County Clerks will begin to mail them on October 6th!

    • You can complete your ballot at your leisure, at home. You can even look up local candidates that you may not be aware of and be confident of your choices.

    • Seal your ballot up in the inner and outer envelopes that are provided and plan to drop it off in person at:
    • Your County Clerk’s Office, anytime during normal business hours through 7PM on November 3rd
    • Ballot Collection boxes at any polling location in your county beginning on October 17th and throughout the Early Voting Period, which ends on October 31st.
    • Special Dropboxes now in planning. Locations to be announced.

    Here’s a video on the subject, complete with subtitles in Spanish:

  11. No down ballot recommendations for Rio Arriba County and Espanola?

  12. Paul, I was watching your Saturday video on the upcoming PRC presentation. You mentioned that all five PRC commissioners voted for the 100% renewble energy replacement for the San Juan power plant. Cynthia Hall last week spoke at the 350 monthly speaker series. I asked Cynthia why all five PRC commissioners had supported the hundred percent renewable energy instead of the other four options that all had natural gas. Cynthia stated, that the reason two or three of the commissioners voted for the hundred percent renewable, was because any of the gas options would have required that the coal plant be torn down so the gas fired plant could be built. Those commissioners think that coal sequestration is still a possibility and they want to keep the coal fired plant. It’s not because they’re for 100% renewable energy. It’s because they wanted to keep the option open for coal sequestration.

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