2012 Primary Elections

Entering the 2012 primary elections, CVNM’s top priorities were to defeat the decidedly anti-environmental Chair and Vice-Chair of Senate Conservation Committee. The Chair is Sen. Bernadette Sanchez, a Democrat from the west side of Albuquerque, who has a lifetime CVNM score of 59%. Her Vice-Chair is Sen. David Ulibarri, a Democrat from Grants, who has a lifetime score of 48%.

We worked hard to help recruit high-caliber challengers in both races, and we succeeded. Jacob Candelaria, a brilliant young Princeton graduate and native New Mexican, filed to run against Sen. Sanchez in SD26. Maxine Velasquez, a talented attorney from Laguna Pueblo, joined another candidate in challenging Sen. Ulibarri.

In the end, facing a very strong opponent in Jacob Candelaria, Sen. Sanchez opted to withdraw from the race. We are now guaranteed a new Chair of Senate Conservation Committee; hopefully, that individual will be committed to protecting the public health and natural resources of our Land of Enchantment.

With Bernadette Sanchez out of the race, CVNM focused our attention on defeating Vice-Chair Ulibarri and Sen. Phil Griego, another member of the Senate Conservation Committee whose voting record on environmental issues has worsened dramatically over the years. CVNM was proud to back former Santa Fe County Commissioner Jack Sullivan in his race against Sen. Griego.

Our political action committee, CVNM Action Fund, conducted research and polling in both races. We contacted 10,553 strategically-targeted voters in each district to educate them on the environmental voting records of the incumbents. In the end, we distributed more than 45,000 copies of 11 different mail pieces, had 3,551 phone conversations with voters in both districts, and played radio ads in Grants for the race against Sen. Ulibarri.

Come election night, we are proud to report that Sen. Ulibarri was soundly defeated. He came in third in a tough three-way race. Unfortunately, Maxine Velasquez lost to the third candidate by a mere 11 votes, and Jack Sullivan was unsuccessful in his race despite his incredibly hard work and dedication.

We will work hard to ensure that they provide better protection for the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land where we live and play.