Before you review these endorsements, we encourage you to read 2022 Election Central here. This endorsement page provides info on who to vote for but, more importantly, which campaigns need your help.
Races are about to kick into high gear, and we have plenty here to help you sort out your priorities. Below you will find:
- Statewide races;
- All 70 NM House District races;
- The early childhood constitutional amendment;
- Local county races (in development, but not yet complete).
Early voting begins 28 days before Election Day (Nov. 8), so you can vote early from Oct. 11 through Nov. 5. Contact your County Clerk’s office to identify a location near you. Let’s vote early!
Magnify Your Impact; Counter the Ads & Mailers!
We encourage Retake supporters to do more than vote. With the onslaught of mailers and ads filled with misinformation, it is often difficult for even an informed voter to tease out the truth. For the majority of voters, their votes are based on a relatively random assortment of information, TV ads, mailers, Letters to the Editor, and input from friends. This is why it is so important for you to use your voice. You have credibility politicians can’t buy. Those who know you will give credence to your views. Hence our effort to build an army of “messengers for democracy.”
In this context, Retake folks have an opportunity to expand their impact by:
- Penning a letter to the editor or a My View on a race about which you really care. WE have a guide to writing LTEs with a list of most newspapers in the state and the rules on how to submit to each paper.
- Sharing this page on your Facebook page, with a short reference encouraging your FB friends to use our endorsements to inform their ballot decisions.
- Sharing this page in a personal email to friends and family. You can greatly magnify your impact by sharing these recommendations with a short personal note, pointing to one or more of the races below. In campaigns replete with misinformation, a recommendation from a trusted friend can be most impactful. I have received emails from folks telling me of how much their friends appreciated receiving our primary endorsements from them. Let’s do it with the General!
National Election: The Mid-Terms
National polls had been predicting defeat for Democrats, but the SCOTUS Roe v Wade decision and the January 6th Select Committee will motivate the grassroots in both parties. But my guess is suburbanites who once voted for Trump, and especially suburban women and youth, will be likely be highly motivated to flip Blue. There will be swing districts throughout the U.S, with two in NM (below). But many Retake folks want to work on swing districts in other states. Fortunately, Working America offers you an easy way to influence those races.
Just when we think it couldn’t get worse… Fortunately, the Working America volunteer program for 2022 kicked off on July 6! the short video below outlines yheir approasch and how you csa inluece the midterm results.
Working America is the best way we know to make a difference:
- We change minds and we change votes.
- Conversations about issues is how we get through to people, signing them up as members is how we become a trusted messenger.
- We reach people no one else is talking to, millions of working people of all races who aren’t paying much attention to politics.
- Letter writing is easy, and it works!
Click here to visit WorkinAmerica and then click on action to get invoved.
Congressional Election NM
Redistricting has made CD 2 much more competitive, but in doing so it has made things markedly more difficult for Teresa in CD 3, and for Melanie in CD 1. What’s more, the national GOP has identified CD 3 as a target district that they hope to flip, so expect piles of dark industry cash to flow into CD 3.
In any case, all three races deserve your attention. We could easily flip CD 2 and hold CD 1 and CD 3 and be an all blue NM again! But if the GOP out-works us, we could lose two and even all three Congressional seats. We can’t let that happen. We don’t provide much text explaining why we support each Dem below, as we are confident that no convincing is needed.
In CD 1 We Endorse Rep. Melanie Stansbury
This race could be much closer than before redistricting, as Dems moved parts of CD 1 into CD 2, a good thing for Gabe Vasquez, but not so good for Melanie. She deserves our strong support as she is a highly credible voice in D.C. on all things water. And we need that voice.
Click here to sign up to volunteer for Melanie. They ask for help with social media, calling, and texting. While not listed, I am certain they are canvassing, too.
In CD 2 We Endorse Gabe Vasquez
We have a real chance to flip this seat blue, as Gabe is well known in the district, having served as a city councilor in Las Cruces. He is also a solid progressive Dem as a tour of his issues page will disclose.
Gabe is asking for volunteers who will call, knock on doors, or offer housing to campaign volunteers.
If you don’t know Gabe Vasquez, this interview is a great introduction. The interview was recorded on July 15. It is such a powerful validation of what a tremendous candidate Gabe is. We can flip this seat, so watch this video to get motivated and then signup to canvass in CD2, now extending all the way into West ABQ or sign up to make calls, or just send in $50 or more.. To donate or to sign up to volunteer for Gabe Vasquez, click here.
In CD 3 We are All in for Teresa
Teresa Leger Fernandez is our Representative and our friend. Due to redistricting, she faces a far more daunting challenge than either of the other Congressional Democratic candidates. Not only do we endorse Teresa, we ask you to campaign for her, too.
NM Statewide Races
No matter how much she has disappointed us on climate and energy issues, she stood up to fierce challenges from the right and likely saved thousands of New Mexican lives with her science-based leadership throughout COVID. And many of the bills passed in the past four years, hallmarks of progress, would have been vetoed by any GOP Governor. We don’t want to return to the dark ages of 2015 where it was considered a big win to pass a good bill, just to force a sitting GOP Governor to veto it. That is not a win. Re-electing MLG is.
Retake Endorses Michelle Lujan Grisham for Governor.
There are a lot of good reasons to support Raúl Torrez. We met Raúl a number of times during the primary and based on those conversations and his criminal justice reform plans, we made his primary our #1 priority race.
He is committed to expanding the AG’s office by recruiting top-notch NM attorneys and putting them to work protecting our environment, our communities, and our personal liberties. He has specific plans to reform the court system and how crimes are investigated and tried. Retake outlined those plans in a blog published during the primary: “Criminal Justice System Needs Reform: Raúl Torrez has a Plan.” Check it out. And if you want more on his priorities click here for more info on Torrez, including how to donate or volunteer.
Retake endorses Raúl Torrez for Attorney General.
State Land Commissioner
The State Land Office has raised more revenue for the state under Stephanie Garcia Richard’s leadership than any land commissioner in NM history. She is also acting as the strongest steward for our land. In just one term, Richard:
- Ended oil and gas lease sales in the Greater Chaco Region/San Juan County.
- Stopped all oil and gas-related fresh water sales from state trust land and created the Water Bureau.
- Established the Accountability & Enforcement Program to hold bad actors accountable and ensure remediation and removal of over 100 abandoned wells and infrastructure. This saves New Mexicans millions in cleanup costs.
- Is leading statewide efforts to increase oil and gas bonding requirements to address the $8 billion gap.
- Fought to increase methane and produced water regulations.
- Is working to halt Holtec’s nuclear disposal site in southeastern New Mexico.
- Tripled the amount of renewable energy in production on state trust land, along with creating the Office of Renewable Energy.
- Leased the largest wind farm in the western hemisphere.
- Championed issues like community solar, the state investment council’s renewable energy investment standards, and state-owned transmission lines through RETA.
To be fair, her opponent, Jefferson Byrd has actually cast many good votes on the PRC, rejecting the Avangrid-PNM merger and holding PNM accountable, but Richard has been extraordinary in her role as Land Commissioner.
We actually hope that our next endorsement for Richard is in 2024 for Governor, that is how strongly we feel about this endorsement.
Retake endorses Stephanie Garcia Richard for Land Commissioner.
We have appreciated Laura Montoya’s principles and priorities since meeting her on a tour of fracking sites in the Chaco Canyon area in 2018. But while it is nice to have a Treasurer with solid principles, experience with basic accounting and the rules and regulations that outline how state funds are to be collected and used is even more important.
While serving two terms as Sandoval County Treasurer, Laura Montoya was the chairwoman of the Sandoval Treasurer’s Investment Committee and managed approximately $40 million in investments, $50 million in non-property tax revenue, over $1.2 billion in property taxes, and achieved a 99.37% collection rate. Under her leadership, the Treasurer’s Office was able to get four clean audits to complete her term with the county.
Laura was the only New Mexico County elected official that served in an appointed leadership position by the President of the National Association of Counties (NACo), serving for seven years as Vice-Chair of the Finance, Pensions & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. And Laura is the only County Treasurer to have served on the New Mexico Tax Policy Committee. As the Finance, Pensions & Intergovernmental Affairs Vice-Chair, Montoya worked on national policies that affect counties as relates to taxes, pensions, county, and tribal governments, and elections.
Click here for more information about Laura Montoya, and how to support her campaign.
Retake endorses Laura Montoya for State Treasurer.
When serving on the Santa Fe City Council, Joe Maestas responded to public anger over unanswered questions about how the city of Santa Fe handled a $30.3 million voter-approved bond issue for parks and trail projects, and he took the bold step of calling for the city to commission a full, independent financial audit of the bond-issued projects.
As Public Regulation Commissioner Chair, Maestas displayed professional, competent, and thoughtful decision-making when he took two tough votes in December 2021. He voted against both the Avangrid-PNM merger and PNM’s application for sale of its Four Corners coal plant. Maestas determined that the Avangrid-PNM merger was not in the public interest and Avangrid’s takeover would have resulted in financial risks for customers that far outweigh the benefits. In the Four Corners case, he rejected PNM’s inclusion of potentially “imprudent” costs that would have resulted in the continuation of the burning of coal and a cost to ratepayers of $300M plus interest that would have appeared on their bills for the next 25 years. Maestas’ measured and methodical oversight gives us confidence that he has the integrity to hold corporations accountable and act similarly in his capacity as Auditor. We are 100% confident Joe would be a far better Auditor than his Republican opponent.
Click here for more information about Maestas and to donate or volunteer.
Retake endorses Joseph Maestas for State Auditor.
The State Legislature
There are no State Senate seats up for grabs this election, so we offer comment only on House races.
The goal here is to list all the state House races with contact info for each Dem., and for most races we offer some advice as to where you might best devote time and even money to specific campaigns. With just one or two exceptions, we encourage voting a straight Democratic ticket. But the endorsement guide goes beyond offering guidance as to how to vote. More importantly, it offers information to help you prioritize and target your time and money. To this end, we examine how close or otherwise important each race is. In some instances we encourage a vote for a candidate but don’t recommend campaigning for them, either because they are so certain to win that help is not needed or they are so conservative or corporation-tied as to not deserve your time, but they still deserve your vote because the GOP candidate is much worse.
To achieve our goal, we have begun conversations with advocates, campaign managers, and political strategists to identify the races where your time and/or money could have the greatest impact. This page was completed on July 4. It will be updated throughout July as campaigns shape up and situations change. We will highlight in Green the races we identify as especially needing/deserving your support.
House District 1. Incumbent, Rod Montoya (R). Unopposed.
House District 2. P. Mark Duncan (R) is a Tea Party-style GOP running in one of the most conservative districts in the state. (Incumbent James Strickler is retiring.)
No Dem. is running, but Matt Dodson, a Bernie Sanders-style Democrat is challenging Duncan, as an Independent. This is a true Hail Mary longshot, but oh what a sweet and stunning win it would be.
We have tried to locate info on his campaign and have not found it. if we do we will. post it. Matt is a solid progressive and deserves your vote and support once a campaign is formed.
Retake endorses Matt Dodson.
House District 3. T. Ryan Lane, incumbent (R), unopposed.
House District 4. Anthony Allison, incumbent (D), unopposed.
House District 5. Doreen Wanda Johnson, incumbent (D), unopposed,
House District 6. Eliseo Alcon, incumbent (D), opposed by Jerri Rowe (R).
It is impossible to mount any enthusiasm for Rep. Alcon after he single-handedly destroyed the effort to reduce predatory lending in the 2021 legislative session. He is seldom prepared in sessions, needing help tracking content and process. No endorsement here.
House District 7. Danny Bernal, Jr. (D), opposed by Tanya Mirabal Moya (R). Incumbent Kelly Fajardo (R) is retiring.
During redistricting, District 7 was significantly redrawn, transforming a safe GOP district into one giving Dems a 51-49 edge, heightening Democrats’ hopes of flipping the seat. Democratic candidate Bernal is a city councilor in Belen. He is no leftist — his campaign platform is focused on getting tough on crime. But this is a potential flip from Red to Blue, so we should put energy into this race.
Retake endorses Danny Bernal.
House District 8. Rep. Brian Baca (R) incumbent, vs. Paul Matthew Kinzelman (D).
There is a lot to like in Kinzelman’s positions, as he favors gun violence prevention legislation, universal healthcare, expanded child tax credits, and has progressive positions in a litany of other areas, as described on his campaign site. And Baca is a very conservative Republican. We don’t have data on how competitive this district is post-redistricting, but in 2020 Kinzelman ran against then-incumbent Rep. Alonzo Baldonado and was thoroughly trounced. (Baldonado since resigned and Baca was appointed to fill his seat in Jan. 2022.) In conversation with others more familiar with the district, we were told that Kinzelman is viewed as an outlier in the district and not a viable candidate. So, unless redistricting has done him a big favor, this race is a long shot. Clearly, if you live in Dist. 8, you should vote for Paul Kinzelmann, but check with others before you invest resources.
Retake endorses Paul Matthew Kinzelman.
House District 9. Rep. Patty Lundstrom, (D), incumbent. Unopposed.
House District 10. Rep. G. Andrés Romero, (D) incumbent, vs. Mary Kay Ingham (R).
Retake endorses Rep. Andrés Romero.
House District 11: Rep. Javier Martinez (D), incumbent, vs. Lisa Meyer Hagen (R).
Rep. Martinez is one of the most solidly progressive Dems in either chamber and perhaps the only House member capable of repulsing Rep. Lundstrom’s effort to become Speaker. His seat is likely safe, although I have no data on how redistricting impacted his district. In 2020 he won by a 4-1 margin, so I’d guess he is pretty safe.
Retake strongly endorses Rep. Javier Martinez.
House District 12. Rep Art de la Cruz D), incumbent, unopposed.
House District 12 is an Albuquerque South Valley District. When Representative Brittney Barreras resigned earlier this year, former Bernalillo County Commissioner Art De La Cruz was appointed to fill the vacancy by the County Commission. Since De la Cruz prevailed in the primary, he has effectively been elected and will keep the seat.
House District 13. Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D), incumbent, unopposed. Yay!
We would enthusiastically endorse Roybal Caballero if there were an opponent. Happily, that is not the case.
House District 14. Rep. Miguel Garcia, (D), incumbent vs. Solomon Pena (R).
Garcia is viewed as part of the old-guard progressive Dems, not to be confused with District 68 Rep. Harry Garcia. Miguel Garcia assumed a leadership role in the effort to increase the minimum wage.
Retake endorses Rep. Miguel Garcia, but we are still assessing if his campaign needs your active support.
House District 15. Day Hochman Vigil (D) incumbent vs. Laura Gutierrez (R).
Day is a largely reliable Representative who we strongly supported in 2018 and 2020. Hochman Vigil won handily in both races, but with redistricting we are researching to assess whether this is a sure win.
Retake endorses Rep. Day Hochman Vigil.
House District 16. Moe Maestas (D), incumbent, unopposed.
House District 17: Cynthia Borrego (D) vs. Ellis McMath (R).
This is an open seat on the West Side of Albuquerque, the result of the retirement of Representative Deborah Armstrong, who will be sorely missed. The district has been significantly redrawn and now includes Albuquerque’s Northwest side. Two Democrats faced off in the primary: former City Councilor Cynthia Borrego and Darrell Deaguero. Borrego prevailed and, as a Dem, we endorse her. But based on a less-than-consistent job as an ABQ City Councilor, we are not asking you to campaign for her. There are too many close races in and around ABQ where your time and money might be better spent. But we hope those of you in her district will vote for her.
Retake (tepidly) endorses Cynthia Borrego.
House District 18. Rep. Gail Chasey (D), incumbent, vs. Scott Troy Canon (R).
We still need to research how competitive this race is, but we certainly want to retain Gail Chasey. She is a courageous, thoughtful legislator. For more info on Chasey and how to become involved with her campaign, click here. Our initial info is that her seat is pretty safe, so until further notice, devote your time and money elsewhere.
Retake strongly endorses Rep. Gail Chasey.
House District 19. Janelle Anyanonu (D) vs. Kathleen Jackson (R) and Enrique Jesus Cardiel (Independent).
This is a race for an open House seat resulting from the resignation of progressive Democrat Kay Bounkeua. The district covers part of Southeast Albuquerque. A review of Janelle Anyanonu’s campaign website reveals a deep understanding of the issues and strongly progressive positions. Janelle prevailed quite easily in the primary, but many activists in the International District are not comfortable that she moved to the district to run and has no authentic roots in or understanding of the International District.
For the general election, an intriguing Independent has entered the race, Enrique Jesus Cardiel. He is supported by many ABQ activists we know, who tell us he is fiercely progressive, a passionate social justice advocate, and a long-time International District resident and activist.
We think that the district is so strongly Democratic that even if Cardiel and Anyanonu split the Dem vote, one will prevail over Jackson.
After conversations with International district constiuents and interviewing Enrique Cardiel, Retake has determined that he is the candidate to support. Check out our interview with Enrique to find out for yourself why we endorse him.
Retake Endorses Enrique Cardiel
House District 20. Meredith Dixon (D) incumbent vs. Robert Salazar (R).
The district includes the Albuquerque Foothills from Indian School Road to the city’s southernmost border and from Eubank Blvd. east to Carnuel. A swing seat with a reliable, somewhat moderate Democratic incumbent facing Republican Robert Salazar, whose campaign page does not reveal much, except that our education system should prepare students by ensuring they recognize the U.S. as the greatest nation on earth and that we need to cut taxes and shrink government in NM. It is hard enough to find votes to protect and even increase our state revenues. We do not need to add a fiscal conservative to the Roundhouse. Dixon, on the other hand describes her position on environmental issues like this:
- Ensure that our environmental agencies have appropriate funding to protect our clean water and air.
- Invest in electric vehicle infrastructure in New Mexico, extend tax credits for electric and hybrid vehicles, and provide tax credits for residential and commercial solar panels.
- Work with oil and gas companies to aggressively reduce methane emissions – putting money back into New Mexico’s coffers and helping the environment.
- Retrofit buildings to be more energy efficient and increase building energy efficiency targets.
- Extend access to distributed solar so that condominiums and other groups can lower utility costs by investing in solar.
For more on Meredith Dixon and to find out how you can support her campaign, click here.
We are still assessing how challenging Dixon’s race will be. In 2020, she won her seat by just over 1,000 votes. We will update this endorsement as we get more information, but at minimum she deserves your vote.
Retake endorses Rep. Meredith Dixon.
House District 21. Debra Sariñana (D) incumbent, unopposed. Yay!
House District 22. Stefani Lord (R) incumbent vs. Augustine Montoya (D).
We would like to see Rep. Lord doing something other than vote her far-right agenda and obstruct passage of responsible gun violence prevention legislation (she campaigns at gun shows). The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has endorsed Montoya, and his campaign website reflects a grasp of key progressive issues that are in stark contrast to Rep. Lord.
To find out more about Montoya and how to volunteer, you’ll find his campaign website at this link. We will do some additional research to see how competitive this race might be and what chance Montoya has, but he would be a vast improvement over Lord.
Retake endorses Augustine Montoya.
House District 23. Ramon Montaño (D) vs, Alan Martinez (R).
Incumbent Daymon Ely (D) is retiring. This district covers parts of the Town of Bernalillo west of the Rio Grande as well as northern Rio Rancho. Ramon Montaño is a strong supporter of K-12 education and equitable access to health care. Based on GOP candidate Martinez’s campaign site, he wants to reduce the role of government and restrict the Governor’s capacity to protect us from COVID. We need to keep this seat Democratic.
For more information on Montaño and his campaign, click here.
Retake endorses Ramon Montaño
House District 24. Elizabeth Thomson (D) incumbent vs. Khalid Emshadi.
While Liz Thomson is one of the hardest working, fiercest advocates for improving access to healthcare and protecting women’s access to all forms of healthcare, her opponent wants to severely shrink government and provide state funding for private schools. The choice here is easy. Liz Thomson has proven herself as a progressive legislator and advocate. We are not sure she needs your help with her campaign, but she definitely deserves your vote. We will update here if we find she needs campaign support.
Retake strongly endorses Liz Thomson.
House District 25. Christine Trujillo (D) incumbent, unopposed. Yay!
House District 26: Eleanor Chavez (D) vs. Patrick Sais (R).
This is an open seat created by the resignation of 5-term Democrat Georgene Louis. With the District having a 63% Democratic voter turnout history, Chavez is nearly certain to win in November. Chavez is the Executive Director of the NM Hospital Workers Union, vice chair of New Mexicans for Health Security, and a solid progressive who has served in the NM House of Representatives for the 13th district from 2009 to 2012. It would be good to have her return to the House.
Click here to find out more about Eleanor Chavez and how you can support her campaign. She deserves you vote and your support, if she needs it. We will keep you posted, but this seems a safe seat.
Retake strongly endorses Eleanor Chavez.
House District 27. Marianne Matthews (D) incumbent vs. Robert Godshall (R).
House District 27 is located in Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights. The district zig-zags around the Academy corridor, runs east from I-25 along Academy Road past Eubank, extends on the north as far as Paseo del Norte at some points and on the south of Arroyo del Oso Golf Course at some points.
Matthews helped pass legislation to curb prescription drug costs and ensure New Mexicans, including those with pre-existing conditions, will have access to affordable healthcare. She is also a strong advocate for protecting a woman’s right to choose. Godshall, on the other hand, wants to shrink our tax base and offer state funding to support a student wherever s/he attends school, i.e. religious schools and private schools. This school choice policy is standard fare for eroding public K-12 education.
Click here for more info on Matthews and how you can support her campaign. We will explore the degree to which her campaign needs help.
Retake endorses Rep. Marian Matthews.
House District 28: Pamelya Herndon (D) incumbent vs. Nicole Chavez (R).
Democrat and attorney Pamelya Herndon was appointed to fill a vacancy. She is opposed by Republican Nicole Chavez in November. Nicole Chavez’s son was the victim of a high-profile murder some years ago, and she’s running on a stern anti-crime platform, which may be enough to oust Herndon given that Democrat performance in the District is 49.5%. We don’t need another vocal tough-on-crime vote in the House, but this will be a very tough race, as there is great concern that Herndon will be unseated, in part due to a pile of NRA $$ that will support Chavez.
Click here for more information about Rep. Herndon, including how to donate or volunteer. With a well-funded opponent, Herndon will need all the help she can get. This is an important seat to hold.
Retake endorses Pamelya Herndon.
House District 29. Rep. Joy Garratt (D) incumbent vs. Gregory Cunningham (R).
Garratt is a solid Dem, supporting legislation to strengthen K-12 and early childhood education, advance affordable health care and clean energy initiatives, and to protect women’s reproductive rights. She will be reliable on key votes like Health Security. Cunningham won’t. She is also among ten Dem. women Reps. working since the end of the last session to create legislation to modernize the legislature, create paid legislative staff positions for every legislator, and create a constitutional amendment to extend sessions and pay legislators — all reforms that are badly needed.
Retake endorses Rep. Joy Garratt.
House District 30. Rep. Natalie Figueroa (D), incumbent vs. Kurstin Johnson (R).
This is an Albuquerque NE Heights District. Natalie Figueroa is running for another term in a District once represented by Republican Rep. Nate Gentry, who served as a Republican House leader. Republican Kurstin Johnson, a realtor and the wife of former Bernalillo County Commissioner Republican Wayne Johnson, is running in the hopes of flipping the district back to the Republican column. The GOP will have a well-funded campaign and see this race as an opportunity to flip a seat. We need to hold this seat, and Figueroa has been a solid Rep. If you have time, invest some of it in supporting Natalie.
Click here for more information on Rep. Figueroa, her positions, endorsements, and ways to support her campaign.
Retake endorses Rep. Natalie Figueroa.
House District 31. Rep. William Rehm (R) incumbent, vs. Athena Christodoulou (D).
Christodoulou, a progressive Dem. whose campaign revolves around renewable energy, is facing off against a popular GOP Rep. who has made his campaign entirely focused on tough-on-crime legislation, ignoring all the root causes of crime. Quite obviously, it would be tremendous to flip this seat, but it is a long shot.
Retake endorses Athena Christodoulou.
House District 32. Rep. Candie Sweetser (D) incumbent vs. Jennifer Jones (R).
District 32 captures part of Grant, Hidalgo and Luna counties, so it is a deeply conservative district. Rep. Sweetser votes with the GOP as often as with the Dems. I’ve been told she is a reliable vote on a narrow range of Dem bills and perhaps that is the best we can get from this district. Retake can’t in good faith endorse Candie Sweetser, but her opponent is fundamentalist Christian and the merging of that form of theology with politics is a huge threat to our state and nation.
From Jennifer Jones’ campaign website: “An active member of CitiLife Church, Jenifer believes her Christian faith has shaped her perspective on community, service, and government. She will fight for and maintain the rights found within the Constitution of the United States and the State of New Mexico, but most importantly, the rights given by God of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
House District 33. Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena (D) incumbent, vs. Charles Wendler (R),.
While we were disappointed with Cadena’s 2021 vote to derail the effort to reduce predatory lending rates, her opposition did seem to come from concerns for poor folks with no other access to loans. Otherwise, Cadena is a solid Dem, forthright in her commitment to working families and a strong advocate for prison reform and policies designed to reintegrate released inmates into our community.
Retake endorses Micaela Lara Cadena.
House District 34. Raymundo Lara (D) incumbent, vs. Mark Vieth (R).
I could not find campaign websites for either candidate, but know that Lara is a solid supporter of K-12 and early childhood education. In the absence of any info on Vieth, we encourage a Dem vote. I could only locate a FB page for Lara, so I can’t provide more info on him or his campaign.
Retake endorses Raymundo Lara.
House District 35. Rep. Angelica Rubio (D) incumbent vs. Richelle Peugh-Swafford (R).
No need to research campaign promises, Rubio has consistently delivered as an advocate for legislative reform, early childhood, a woman’s right to choose and paid sick leave. Plus, we love how she uses her campaign site to educate voters on issues.
Click here to read more about Rubio. Likely she doesn’t need your help in this race, but she deserves it.
Retake strongly endorses Angelica Rubio.
House District 36. Rep. Nathan Small (D) incumbent vs. Kimberly Skaggs (R).
Rep. Small has been on the wrong side of many energy and environment bills, from the ETA and Produced Water to an appointed PNM and Hydrogen Hub. But on social issues he is a reliable vote. Vote for Small, but invest your time in re-electing Rubio, Ferrary, and Cadena.
House District 37. Rep. Joanne Ferrary (D) incumbent vs. Rene Rodriquez (R).
Easy choice: Ferrary is a VERY reliable ally who was one of the first to voice opposition to hydrogen, she is a reliable supporter of early childhood education, and a strong advocate for women’s rights (e.g. equal pay, reproductive rights). We are researching the degree to which Ferrary needs help with her campaign. Check back soon.
Retake strongly endorses Rep. Joanne Ferrary.
House District 38: Tara Jaramillo (D) vs. Sandra Kay Hammack (R).
This is the seat that Republican Rebecca Dow of Truth or Consequences vacated to run for governor. House District 38 has long been a Republican stronghold, represented for the last six years by arch conservative Rebecca Dow, who just lost the Republican primary election for governor. Dow’s House district was redrawn from reliable Republican turf to an area that performs better for Democrats, according to Research & Polling Inc., the state contractor that compiled data on redistricting.
Dow’s district included parts of Grant, Hidalgo, and Sierra counties. In the district’s new form, Grant and Hidalgo no longer are in the district. They were replaced by parts of Socorro and Doña Ana counties. A section of Sierra County remains, but part of Dow’s hometown of Truth of Consequences also was removed from the district, shifted to another district represented by Republican Rep. Gail Armstrong.
Tara Jaramillo is a Socorro school board member and a progressive with strong positions on education, healthcare, housing, and social safety net. She warrants our strong endorsement.
Redistricting has made the district more Democrat, so this is an opportunity to elect a progressive in Rebecca Dow’s old seat. With Jaramillo’s decisive win in the primary and a well-funded campaign, we don’t want to squander the opportunity to add a progressive voice to the Democratic House Caucus. By the calculations of Research & Polling Inc., the newly formed district has leaned toward Democrats during the last decade, 52 percent to 48 percent. Let’s do this.
Click here to find out more about Jaramillo’s positions on issues and how to contribute or volunteer. We recommend volunteering and campaigning for Jaramillo.
Retake strongly endorses Tara Jaramillo.
House District 39: Representative Luis Terrazas (R) incumbent vs. former Rep. Rudy Martinez (D).
This is a Silver City area district that once included some of Las Cruces but has swapped Las Cruces for parts of Catron, The seat has been on and off for former Rep. and Democrat Rudy Martinez since 2005, but the highly conservative Republican Luis Terrazas won two years ago and was not opposed in the Republican primary. Martinez narrowly beat Karen Whitlock for the Democratic nomination. Redistricting led to the creation of a district with a 44% Republican voter performance, so with Martinez’s narrow primary win he has a solid shot at the ousting the GOP incumbent in November.
We were told by constituents that Martinez is not a strong progressive, but he would be leagues better than Luis Terrazas, a right-wing zealot who needs to be defeated.
To find out more about Rudy Martinez and to find out more about how you can volunteer for his campaign, click here.
Retake endorses Rudy Martinez.
House District 40: Joseph Sanchez (D) vs. Jerald McFall (R).
This is a huge district with rural, mountain, and tribal communities. Roger Montoya is one of the legislators with the most principled progressive values and he was beaten in the primary by a formidable, conservative Dem. Joseph Sanchez, who has stated that he is a “Gas & Oil candidate.” Sanchez also voted against decriminalization of abortion. He is supported by Working Together, the centrist, corporate-funded PAC, and he is receiving funding from Rep. Patty Lundstrom. Sadly, Sanchez prevailed in a primary race that was not close.
Retake won’t endorse Sanchez, and we won’t encourage anyone to devote time or money to his campaign. We will do more research to see if there are other options. If you live in this district, canvas for Teresa Leger Fernandez instead. Sanchez is a penultimate DINO and we may be better off with a GOP Rep. in this district, as a GOP Rep. will not be in the Democratic House caucus. More on this later in July.
House District 41. Rep. Susan Herrera (D) incumbent, unopposed. Yay!
This is a northern NM House district that includes parts of Rio Arriba County. Representative Susan Herrera is seeking another term. She was being targeted in the primary because she was the sponsor and shepherd of HB 132, the payday loan bill that lowered small loan interest rates to 36%, a very heavy lift. She was opposed by moderate Democrat and former Probate Judge Marlo Martinez, but Herrera easily won her primary and no Republican is running. Herrera deserves another term for her solid work on a range of issues, not the least of which was her leading the effort to reduce predatory lending rates to 36%.
Retake endorses Rep. Susan Herrera.
House District 42. Rep. Kristina Ortez (D) incumbent, unopposed. Yay!
This is a Taos area seat. Progressive first-term Representative Kristina Ortez was challenged in the primary by moderate Democrat Florence Miera. Ortez easily won, so with no Republican is running, Ortez has effectively retained her seat.
Retake endorses Kristina Ortez.
House District 43. Rep. Christine Chandler (D) incumbent, unopposed. Yay!
Retake strongly endorses Christine Chandler, but because she is unopposed, you can devote your time and resources elsewhere.
Retake endorses Christine Chandler.
House District 44. Rep. Jane Powdrell-Culbert (R) incumbent vs. Kathleen Cates (D).
Rep. Powdrell-Culbert of Corrales has seen her District 44 redrawn to make it competitive. By the research company’s analysis, Democrats have a slight 51 to 49 percent edge in performance, but Powdrell-Culbert has represented this district forever and has a loyal base of business support. Cates is a solid candidate and it would be very good to flip this seat, so if you have time or money, this might be a worthwhile investment. Cates, of Rio Rancho, will fight to protect a woman’s right to choose. She is also a strong and well-informed advocate for affordable housing and supportive housing.
We strongly endorse Kathleen Cates and encourage volunteering for and donating to her campaign. This would be a huge win. We were unable to find a campaign website.
Retake endorses Kathleen Cates.
House District 45. Rep. Linda Serrato (D) incumbent, unopposed. Yay!
Retake endorses Linda Serrato, but she will not need your time or funds as she is unopposed.
Retake strongly endorses Linda Serrato.
House District 46: Rep. Andrea Romero (D) incumbent vs. Jay Groseclose (R).
Two-term progressive Democrat Representative Andrea Romero drew three democratic primary challengers and won her primary handily. She deserves your vote in the general election. Romero has been a solid progressive representative and has demonstrated leadership in advocating for investing in affordable housing and water management and planning. Romero is endorsed by Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club, and Moms Demand Action. The district is heavily Democrat, so, while she has an opponent, she should easily repel this challenge. I am checking to see if Andrea will need canvassing support or contributions.
Retake endorses Rep. Andrea Romero.
House District 47: Reena Szczepanski (D), unopposed. Yay!
This is the Santa Fe area house seat being vacated by Speaker of the House Brian Egolf, who has endorsed his top aide, Reena Szczepanski, to succeed him. As Egolf’s chief of staff for six years, Szczepanski knows the Roundhouse inside and out, knows the issues and the processes, and she knows how to get things done. She has a deep commitment to behavioral health and is a long-standing advocate for legalized cannabis. No Republican is running, so Reena has secured the seat. No need to canvass or call on her behalf.
To find out more about Reena Szczepanski, click here.
Retake endorses Reena Szczepanski.
House District 48. Rep. Tara Lujan (D) incumbent, unopposed. Yay!
Retake endorses Tara Lujan, but she will not require funds or volunteers.
House District 49. Gail Armstrong, (R), incumbent, unopposed.
There are far worse Republicans, but Armstrong is unopposed, so nothing to do here.
House District 50. Rep. Matthew McQueen,(D) incumbent, unopposed. Yay!
One of our favorite legislators not because he supports our positions 100% of the time (more like 90-95%), but he is a responsive, well-prepared legislator who does his homework and, as committee chair, he manages with great skill a sometimes contentious House Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Committee.
Retake strongly endorses Rep. Matthew McQueen and is delighted we and he have no work to do to keep him in the House.
House District 51. Rep. Richard Block (R), who defeated Rachel Black in the GOP primary, faces Sharonlee Cummins (D).
Block is even more conservative than Black and is the State GOP Chair. This district includes all of Otero county and no precincts outside of Otero, so it is Cowboys for Trump territory. Cummins has her work cut out for her, especially given that after 20 minutes of hunting, I could find no campaign site to refer you to to help with her campaign. In fact, folks with whom we have spoken and who know the district have said “no chance.”
Retake endorses Sharonlee Cummins, but unless you have lots of time, you’d be better off putting your energy where it is more likely to have an impact.
House District 52. Rep Doreen Gallegos (D) incumbent vs. John Foreman (R).
Gallegos is a far better candidate than her GOP opponent, but during legislative sessions she is too often doing the bidding of lobbyists rather than constituents.
Retake recommends you vote for Gallegos, but put your time and funds to work for Ferrary (Dist 37), Rubio (Dist. 35), or Cadena (Dist. 33).
House District 53. Rep. Willie Madrid (D) incumbent vs. Elizabeth Winterrowd (R).
Redistricting has enhanced the chances of incumbent Rep. Willie Madrid of Chaparral. His House District 53 was altered to cover an area that has performed better for Democrats by 5 percentage points. Republicans have nominated newcomer Elizabeth Winterrowd of Las Cruces. In an interview with Milan Simonich, she spoke in generalities except to criticize Madrid’s vote to repeal the 1969 law that criminalized abortion. Enuf said: Go Willie!
Retake endorses Rep. Willie Madrid.
House Dist 54. James Townsend (R), incumbent, unopposed.
House District 55. Cathrynn Brown (R), incumbent, unopposed.
House District 56. An open seat, as GOP Rep. Zack Cook has retired. Harlan Vincente (R) vs Elaine Allen (DTS).
We do not know this race or this district, but as a county commissioner, Allen introduced and strongly supported a “Right to Work” bill, which is anathema to labor, so there is no one to support here.
House District 57. Jason Harper (R) incumbent, vs. Michelle Sandoval (D).
Jason Harper is a likeable but very conservative legislator who has been known to actually listen and consider Dem. positions before voting GOP. Sandoval is a thoughtful challenger, no strident progressive, but a solid moderate Dem. who understands our need to transition to renewable energy, albeit in measured steps.
Click here to find out more about Sandoval and how to support her campaign. We encourage you to put in time to support her candidacy.
Retake endorses Michelle Sandoval.
House District 58. Candy Spence Ezzell (R) incumbent, unopposed.
House District 59. Greg Nibert (R) incumbent, unopposed.
House District 60. Joshua Hernandez (R) incumbent, unopposed.
House District 61. Randall Pettigrew (R) incumbent, unopposed.
House District 62. Larry Scott (R) incumbent, unopposed.
House District 63. Martin Zamora (R) incumbent, unopposed.
House District 64. Andrea Reeb (R) vs. David Lansford (DTS).
Current Rep. Randal Crowder (R) is retiring. With Lansford possibly more conservative than Reeb, put your time in other races.
House District 65. Rep. Derrick Lente (D) incumbent, unopposed. Yay!
House District 66. Jimmy Mason (R) vs. Andrew Kennedy (Libertarian).
An open seat caused by the retirement of Phelps Anderson (R). Either way we lose as Anderson was the most thoughtful Republican in the Roundhouse (not a high bar). Your choice if you live in this district is Mason (bad) vs. Kennedy (worse). So if you live in this district vote for bad and put your energy elsewhere.
House District 67. Rep. Jack Chatfield (R) incumbent, unopposed.
This district spans Colfax, Curry, Harding, Quay, Roosevelt, San Miguel and Union counties, so it is quite conservative. There is also no race here. Chatfield is it.
House District 68. Charlotte Little (D) vs. Robert Moss (R).
This is an open seat, as the incumbent, Rep. Karen Bash, retired. Fortunately, Charlotte Little is a solid candidate well worth your vote and your time. Little served as a Tribal Administrator and worked as an Administrative Officer for the United States Department of Health and Human Services. She served New Mexicans through her work as Vice-Chair of New Mexico Voices for Children, President of Emerge New Mexico, and Chair of the San Felipe Pueblo Health Board. We want to take this seat, and Little is the candidate to do it.
For more information on Charlotte and to find out how to support her campaign (please do), click here.
Retake endorses Charlotte Little.
House District 69. Rep. Harry Garcia (D), incumbent, unopposed.
House District 70. Representative Ambrose Castellano (D), incumbent, unopposed.
This is a sprawling district that captures parts of San Miguel, Santa Fe & Torrance counties, covering parts of southwest Santa Fe and north to Las Vegas. It extends south to Moriarty and Estancia. Conservative Freshman Democrat Representative Ambrose Castellano was challenged by progressive Democrat Anita Amalia Gonzales who was endorsed by the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, American Federation of Teachers, and Teamsters Chapter 492. Unfortunately, Castellano eked out a very close win.
Castellano votes as often with the GOP as with the Dems, famously being the only Dem to vote no on HB 132 (predatory lending bill) on the House floor in 2022.
No Republicans have filed in the heavily Democratic district. If you live in this district, put some time into races in neighboring districts.
Constitutional Amendment: Early Childhood Education Annual Permanent Fund Distribution
This measure would allocate 1.25% of the five-year average of year-end market values of the money in the Land Grant Permanent Fund to early childhood education (60% of the allocation) and public education (40% of the allocation). The Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) estimated that the additional allocation would be about $245.7 million in fiscal year 2023. Of that total, $126.9 million would be allocated for early childhood education, $84.6 million to public education, and $34.2 million for the LGPF’s other beneficiaries.
Without question, this is the easiest recommendation we are making — an enthusiastic YES! Investment in early childhood education is the best investment NM can make in its future, as piles of studies have found that quality early childhood education contributes to long-term school success and even longer term economic success. Vote Yes! More importantly, reach out to friends to ensure that they vote for it and consider penning a Letter to the Editor voicing your support for the amendment. It is important to ensure a reliable flow of revenue to these programs, regardless of who is in power, as even when the Dems have been in control of the legislature it has not been easy to pass funding increases for early childhood.
Retake will be producing a one-page summary with speaking points and a call to Write Letters to the Editor in support of this amendment.
Retake recommends a YES vote on this constitutional amendment.
PLEASE NOTE: we wish we could have provided recommendations on more local races, particularly races for City Council, County Commission, Judges and Sheriffs, but it is just beyond our bandwidth. And we don’t want to offer recommendations based upon a limited information.
Bernalillo County Commissioner Races
Bernalillo County Commission District 1
Erin Muffoletto is facing off with Barbara Baca in the Dem. primary. Muffoletto is a long-time lobbyist for the Chamber of Commerce and is backed by Working Together, the newly formed, corporate-funded, centrist PAC. Baca, on the other hand, has demonstrated a strong history of advocacy for the environment, conservation, and open space. She started her career with the Albuquerque Open Space Program in 1983. She worked collaboratively with Open Space volunteers and community advocates to develop the Rio Grande Valley State Park Management Plan to protect the Bosque. She was the co-author of the Northwest Mesa Escarpment Plan, working with both open space advocates and developers. This plan led to the creation of Petroglyph National Monument. Barbara also served as the Social Services Division Manager for the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Department of Senior Affairs from 2001-2009. In 2014, she retired after serving for 5 years as the Director of the Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department. She was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, At-Large position, in 2019.
While Muffoletto is endorsed by the Working Together PAC, Barbara Baca has been endorsed by a long list of leaders, organizations, and community advocates, including Commissioner Debbie O’Malley, who is retiring, and who Baca would then replace, preserving one of the two solid progressive votes on the Commission. Baca’s endorsers:
- U.S Representative Melanie Stansbury
- Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller
- Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley
- State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino
- State Senator Katy Duhigg
- State Senator Linda Lopez
- State Senator Harold Pope, Jr.
- State Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero
- State Representative Joy Garratt
- State Representative Miguel Garcia
- City Councilor Isaac Benton
- City Councilor Pat Davis
- Middle Rio Grande Conservancy Board Member Karen Dunning
- Middle Rio Grande Conservancy Board Member John Kelly
- Former Lt. Governor Diane Denish
- Former State Senator Dede Feldman
- Former State Senator Eric Griego
- Former Member of APS Board of Education Candelaria Candy Patterson
- Central New Mexico Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
- New Mexico Building Trades & Construction
- Retake Our Democracy
- Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club
- Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, LU 1319
- Teamsters Local 492
Neighborhood and Community Leaders
- Clara Apodaca
- Robert Baade
- Bradley Bingham
- Lance Chilton
- Ellen Coplen
- Joseph Cristo
- Herb and Diane Denish
- Marsella Duarte
- Gloria Doherty
- Joshua Doherty
- Elaine Faust
- Lee Gamelsky
- John Garcia
- Jennifer Girod
- Jim Graf
- Bruce Hicks
- Renee Horvath
- Susan Kelly
- Anna Lamberson
- Briana and Roger Lucero
- Yolanda Luciani Garcia
- Bob McNeill
- Richard Meadows
- Stephen J. Miller
- Fred Mondragon
- Wendy Parker-Wood
- Lita and Joe Pino
- J. Brent Ricks
- Ambassador Ed Romero
- Joe Sabatini
- Mario Semiglia
- Dave Simon
- Diane Souder
- Terri Storch
- Barbara Taylor
- Linda Thorne
- Lanny Tonning
- Juan Vigil
Click here for more info on Baca and how to support her campaign.
Retake endorses Barbara Baca for Bernco Commission District 1.
Bernalillo County Commission District 5
District 5 offers a choice between the incumbent DINO, Charlene Psykoty, and a solid progressive Democrat, Eric Olivas. Psykoty has voted to allow a rezoning of the Santolina project, essentially giving it new life, and she has aligned with the Chamber of Commerce to vote to water down an ordinance to offer strong labor protections in county contracts.
On the other hand, Eric Olivas has consistently opposed Santolina and is a small business owner who is a strong advocate for worker’s rights and benefits. From his campaign website:
“Pay the prevailing wage for all county employees and county contractors on all county projects, not just large ones, to level the playing field for small businesses. I will also always support union jobs. My opponent watered down project labor provisions in the current ordinance that would have required major county contractors to pay decent wages and benefits.”Olivas for Bernco
In our interview with Eric it was clear that he has a deep commitment to protecting open space and water, both of which are key factors in Santolina. His campaign website calls out his position on local economic development and supporting working people. His website also includes articulate plans to address homelessness and public safety, plus policy priorities that address preservation of natural resources.
Psykoty ignored constituent concerns and voted to advance Santolina, while Eric Olivas is an outspoken opponent of the development. In short, while Psykoty’s past votes show that her allegiance is not with the people, workers, or the planet, but with developers and big business. Olivas pledges an entirely different set of priorities.
Click here to find out more about Eric Olivas and how you can support his campaign.
Please keep in mind that this commission district also overlaps with 4 competitive state house districts (HD28 – Herndon, HD20 – Dixon, HD30 – Figueroa, HD27 – Matthews). This means that efforts in the county commission race also benefit state house candidates and Democrats across the ballot as we get-out-the-vote and engage voters. The Olivas campaign partners each week with a different state house candidate to increase our capacity to doorknock and do direct outreach for both candidates.
To volunteer to phone bank or door knock please contact Felecia Pohl at 505-377-8173 or email her at:
Feel free to reach out to Eric directly at 505-934-4540 if you have any questions about the race or check out the campaign website at: www.olivasforbernco.com .
To contribute to the campaign use the Act Blue link below or send a check to: Eric Olivas for Bernalillo County, 2708 Valencia Dr. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110
Retake Endorses Eric Olivas for Bernco Commission District 5.