After Conservation Voters supported our successful primary election efforts, we got back to work identifying the best conservation candidates in the upcoming general election. Today, we’re excited to announce our full slate of endorsements for the important election on Nov. 6. We can’t thank our supporters enough for all you do to make New Mexico a great place to live.
With clean energy costs competitive with fossil fuels right now, the barriers to a clean energy future are no longer technical or economic; they’re political. And that’s why CVNM supports candidates who will stand up for you and me – not big corporations – and create the change we need to usher in New Mexico’s bright (and windy) clean energy economy.
We take this work seriously because these candidates – running for Governor, Commissioner of Public Lands, Secretary of State, Public Regulation Commission and seats in the NM House of Representatives – make critical decisions about how New Mexicans live, work, pray and play in our state. Do our children breathe clean air? Do our families have clean water? Do our local and state economies support good paying jobs that can feed a family? Do our state budget and revenue-generators reflect our shared values for protecting our air, land and water? Each of the offices we’ve looked at for endorsement have an impact on these most critical questions.
The reality is that in many of New Mexico’s communities, the answers to these questions is no. We’re in the trenches now, alongside our supporters like you, facing an onslaught of attacks on basic environmental protections from the Trump administration – fueled by widespread corruption. We are working hard for conservation candidates who represent you and your values and will be bold with their votes and their actions.
For too long, you and I have paid fossil fuel companies—from utilities to oil companies—to provide electricity and oil that pollutes and destroys our health, our communities and our climate. Too many politicians have gone along with this scheme, refusing to stand up to monopoly utilities and fossil fuel companies at the expense of local communities, especially working class and communities of color. With clean energy cheaper than fossil fuels in states across the country and increasing advancements to electric vehicles, big polluters increasingly rely on politicians and lobbyists to protect them from replacing an outdated energy system with 21st century technologies. These schemes allow polluters to continue to destroy communities and our climate when real alternatives are available and provide communities a better deal.
Below is the full list of our endorsements via our political action committee CVNM Action Fund, sorted by region of the state. If you’re not sure who your legislator is, you can look it up online or reply to this email and we can help.
Statewide and Public Regulation Commission
Governor & Lieutenant Governor
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Howie Morales
In the face of unprecedented threats to clean water, public lands, a clean energy economy and our climate, CVNM knows it is critical that our next Governor have a strong vision for a sustainable economy that prioritizes community investment and uplifts everyday New Mexicans. That’s why CVNM is proud to endorse Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham to be the next Governor of New Mexico. After nearly seven years of the worst anti-environment Governor our state has ever seen, we need a new bold beginning. CVNM is ensuring our air, land and water are up front and center for Rep. Lujan Grisham’s winning campaign.
Rep. Lujan Grisham is committed to changing our state institutions and processes to better reflect the values of New Mexicans. She understands that decisions made by our Governor have wide ranging implications that touch each family and she will continue to work tirelessly to bring people together to create solutions. She has already publicly committed to hold oil and gas companies accountable for their methane waste and pollution, increase our investment in clean renewable energy like wind and solar up to 50% by 2030, and invest in much needed transmission lines to make New Mexico a leader in clean energy. Read more about Rep. Lujan Grisham’s policy positions on her website.
We’re extremely lucky that career conservation champion, State Senator Howie Morales, has joined her on the ticket. Sen.Morales and Rep. Lujan Grisham have the potential to provide tremendous positive change for New Mexico.
Commissioner of Public Lands
Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard
Rep. Garcia Richard’s work, positions and record as a State Representative display her passion for the environment and its protection. During Stephanie’s 3-term tenure representing the Jemez Mountain Range district in the State Legislature, she has worked on many challenges, issues and constituency groups that are mirrored at the State Land Office. The State Land Office is one of the largest land managers in the West and makes decisions that impact the air we breathe and water we drink with few checks and balances. They make decisions with little oversight and largely out of the public eye. When these important decisions are made, New Mexico needs a true pro-conservation advocate like Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard in the State Land Office. Read more about why CVNM is #TeamSGR (and why you should be too!).
Secretary of State
Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver
Secretary of State Toulouse Oliver has delivered on her promise to ensure that the ballot is freely available to all in the state. We’re seeing unprecedented attacks on ballot access nationwide, including a particularly egregious effort to disenfranchise black voters in Georgia this August. Having Toulouse Oliver in the Secretary’s office ensures that New Mexico will have a secretary of state who will work to increase, not decrease, voter turnout. CVNM engages in voting issues and elections for the office of the Secretary of State because voter disenfranchisement is an injustice that threatens the fundamental right to political, economic, cultural, social and environmental self-determination of all peoples. Ensuring that every citizen’s voice is heard is crucial for the sake of our air, land and water because when more voters participate, conservation issues win the day.
Public Regulation Commission
District 5: Steve Fischmann
Mr. Fischmann is a former state legislator and familiar face before the PRC. Formerly, Mr. Fischmann served as a manager at Levi-Strauss and member of CVNM’s board. He has spent the last several years as a renewable energy and children’s advocate at the Capitol building. His understanding and facility with renewable energy issues and utility regulation will make him an immediate leader on the PRC and an able ally to 2016 CVNM Action Fund endorsee Commissioner Cynthia Hall. The PRC must play an important role in helping New Mexico transition to a bold, clean energy future and Mr. Fischmann demonstrates the vision and expertise to execute it.
New Mexico House of Representatives
Bernalillo County and Central NM
House District 7, Valencia – Leroy Baca
Mr. Baca demonstrated a great deal of internal motivation and self-education around conservation issues in CVNM’s endorsement process. He’s taken the time to educate himself deeply on the topics of oil and gas development and uranium mining. As a result, Mr. Baca has well developed positions on environmental issues that are firmly grounded in his experience and values. In his analysis of the issues, he always starts from a place of the human impact in communities. Mr. Baca would be an independent voice for environmental health and protection for Valencia County.
House District 15, Bernalillo – Dayan Hochman
Ms. Hochman stands out for CVNM endorsement for her commitment and history of activism in the service of science in public policy making. She’s one of an impressive cadre of pro-conservation women running for office around the state. In addition, she represents a strong opportunity to continue to increase the number of young legislators in the State Capitol with an eye on the future of New Mexico.
House District 17, Bernalillo – Rep. Debbie Armstrong
A health expert, Representative Armstrong has established herself as a knowledgeable and consistent voice on conservation issues. She earned a 100% in CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard by steadfastly voting in support of clean energy like solar and wind and holding oil and gas companies accountable for their pollution in her four years in the House of Representatives.
House District 20, Bernalillo – Abbas Akhil
Mr. Akhil is an exceptional candidate. He’s spent most of his professional life as a renewable energy researcher and engineer first with PNM, then Sandia labs, and most recently as the principal for his own renewable energy consultancy. His professional qualifications and familiarity with grid operations make him extremely qualified for the legislature. Our Political Director Ben Shelton has seen him speak, in person, on panels about grid modernization and resiliency and remarked that Mr. Akhil will immediately be an expert in the New Mexico legislature on anything related to the grid or utility regulation. New Mexicans expect our next Governor to begin an equitable transition to renewable energy, making this knowledge base a critical asset in the legislature for everyone in the state.
House District 23, Bernalillo & Sandoval – Rep. Daymon Ely
Representative Ely has proven himself to be an innovative and proactive conservation champion in his first two sessions. He has been a knowledgeable and principled conservation vote, and has taken particular interest in ensuring the solar energy tax credits are available to more businesses in New Mexico. Rep. Ely earned an outstanding 96% in CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard.
House District 24, Bernalillo – Rep. Elizabeth Thomson
Representative Thomson continues to be a strong pro-conservation legislator. She brings a deeply community-based focus to her votes and advocacy and will continue to be strong conservation ally in the House of Representatives. Rep. Thomson earned a 97% in the 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard.
House District 25, Bernalillo – Rep. Christine Trujillo
Representative Trujillo continues to be an excellent vote on conservation issues. Her sparkling voting record clearly identifies her as a conservation champion. Rep. Trujillo earned a 100% in CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard.
House District 28, Bernalillo – Melanie Stansbury
Ms. Stansbury is the strongest challenger in the state on issues impacting air, land and water in this election cycle. She’s currently a Ph.D. candidate in environmental conflict resolution, with her dissertation on the Pojoaque water conflict. She has extensive experience in environmental policy from her time working in the U.S. Senate and her work with the Utton Center here in New Mexico. While Representative Jimmie Hall has held the seat since 2008, he hasn’t had a challenger in 8 years, earning a paltry 30% Lifetime score in CVNM’s Conservation Scorecard.. Past turnout suggests that this district can elect a pro-conservation representative like Ms. Stansbury.
House District 29, Bernalillo – Joy Garratt
As the state treasurer for the American Federation of Teachers, Ms. Garratt is a unique candidate because she understands the nuance and interparty dynamics of some of the more complicated issues we work on such as oil and gas regulation and nuclear energy. Ms. Garratt takes a studious and educated approach to conservation policy. She would be well prepared to cast votes on critical policy impacting air, land and water early in her time in office. The sitting representative in this district, Rep. David Adkins, has earned a dismal 31% Lifetime score in CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard.
House District 30, Bernalillo – Natalie Figueroa
Both as a candidate and concerned citizen, Ms. Figueroa has a strong intuition for policy making and the players involved. While her background is primarily in education, she shows strong principles around conservation and environmental issues and an ability to incorporate new information quickly. She’s a strong example of the type of decisive, community-focused legislator that we’re seeing emerge from Bernalillo County in the last couple of years. Outgoing Representative Nate Gentry earned a 31% Lifetime score in CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard and Ms. Figueroa will better represent the district’s pro-conservation values.
House District 43, Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Santa Fe – Christine Chandler
This seat is open because Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard is running to become New Mexico’s first female Commissioner of Public Lands. Ms. Chandler’s technical understanding of how our state can implement more clean energy indicates that she’ll be a strong representative for her district. Her aptitude for and commitment to clean energy issues and addressing climate change helps her stand out from her challenger as a clear choice for conservation issues.
House District 44, Sandoval – Benton Howell
Mr. Howell is well known as an environmental activist and conservation voice in Rio Rancho and Sandoval County. His record of work with the Sierra Club and his strong questionnaire and issue review make him the clear conservation choice in this race. He is challenging Rep. Jane Powdrell-Culbert, who has earned a dismal 17% Lifetime score in CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard.
House District 46, Santa Fe – Andrea Romero
Ms. Romero represents a new generation of potential for New Mexico lawmakers. Her background and expertise in conservation issues alone make her a clear fit for our endorsement, and she also represents the next generation of conservation leadership as someone who is inextricably connected to her district’s environmental values.
House District 50, Bernalillo, Santa Fe, Torrance, Valencia – Rep. Matthew McQueen
Representative McQueen continues to be an immensely knowledgeable and thoughtful voice on conservation issues. As Chair of the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee, he has boldly taken strong positions to protect clean air and water. Rep. McQueen earned a 97% score in CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard. With his committee leadership position and considerable expertise on environmental issues, he is easily one of the most influential conservation legislators in the State Capitol, and it’s critical that we keep him in office.
House District 57, Sandoval – Billie Helean
Ms. Helean is an ambitious, pro-conservation voice new to the New Mexico political arena. Her inclusion in the House of Representatives would add another pro-conservation, pro-climate voice to a growing conservation caucus based on her strong questionnaire responses. She is challenging Rep. Jason Harper who earned a 23% Lifetime score in CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard.
House District 60, Sandoval – Alexis Jimenez
Ms. Jimenez has been a reliable pro-conservation voice in Sandoval County as the community debates how they are going to regulate the oil and gas industry going forward. Her strong voice and knowledge of this complicated issue on the local level make her a strong candidate for the House in order to ensure that Sandoval County’s residents are heard when these decisions are made at the state level. Ms. Jimenez is challenging Representative Tim Lewis for this seat who earned a disappointing 26% Lifetime score in CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard.
House District 68, Bernalillo – Karen Bash
Ms. Bash is a former New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light (NMIPL) board member who would bring a unique approach to conservation issues in the State Capitol. CVNM consistently partners with NMIPL, a state-based nonprofit organization that works for climate justice by mobilizing faith communities to reduce the causes and consequences of global climate change. Ms. Bash is challenging embattled Representative Monica Youngblood who earned a 20% Lifetime score in CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard.
Doña Ana County and Southern NM
House District 33, Doña Ana – Micaela Cadena
Ms. Cadena is a young, progressive conservation candidate, similar to success stories of endorsees who became champions in Dona Aña County like such as Representatives Nathan Small and Angelica Rubio. She demonstrates a strong knowledge and facility with key conservation issues. Her experience in the State Capitol as an advocate with Young Women United gives us confidence she’ll be able to hit the ground running. Ms. Cadena is running to replace Rep. Bill McCamley, who left the seat to run for auditor.
House District 35, Doña Ana – Rep. Angelica Rubio
Representative Rubio has realized the potential that voters in House District 35 saw in her when she first ran for office in 2016. She’s a crystal clear, unrelentingly principled voice for places where environmental and justice issues intersect. As a rising star in New Mexico politics, her authority as one of the leading voices in southern New Mexico continues to grow. We’re proud to partner with Rep. Rubio for the next generation of conservation values and voters. Rep. Rubio earned a perfect 100% in CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard.
House District 36, Doña Ana – Rep. Nathan Small
His strength as an advocate for public lands alone is enough to make Representative Small a natural endorsement for CVNM. What’s defined him in his years in office is his willingness to dive deeply into the extremely complicated and fraught world of energy regulatory policy and develop personal expertise in that arena. He’s taken real steps in his first legislature to build bridges and relationships with legislators in different parts of the state and across the aisle. He’s already a leader on several of our most important issues. Rep. Small earned a perfect 100% in CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard.
House District 37, Doña Ana – Rep. Joanne Ferrary
Representative Ferrary’s determination to be the most progressive legislator possible for her district has borne out in 2017 and 2018. As a member of the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee, she’s been in a position to cast extremely tough votes to protect clean energy and environmental resources and did so each time. She earned a 100% Lifetime score on CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard. Rep. Ferrary is learning the issues that motivate her district quickly and continuing to develop her voice on conservation issues.
House District 38, Grant, Hidalgo and Sierra – Karen Whitlock
Ms. Whitlock first ran for this seat in 2016 and we’re excited that she has chosen to run again and challenge Rep. Rebecca Dow for the seat. Ms. Whitlock has been a State Capitol advocate for New Mexico social workers for years and has a strong background on conservation issues, having been an environmental compliance specialist for a multinational copper mining company that operates in southwestern New Mexico, previously.
House District 39, Doña Ana, Grant and Sierra – Rep. Rudy Martinez
Since his re-entry to the New Mexico House of Representatives in 2017, Representative Martinez’s has been a conservation powerhouse. This remarkable shift has taken the form of being a consistent voice on key issues in his district, notably including the Gila Diversion and Holloman Air Force Base flyover plan. Rep. Martinez earned a 100% in CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard, which are well deserved and we’re excited about the opportunity to continue to support him. His challenger, former Senator Lee Cotter, is a former LCV Dirty Dozen member and the owner of a 6% Lifetime score. LCV’s Dirty Dozen identifies the worst performing decision-makers from across the country for defeat in elections.
House District 51, Otero – Jeff Swanson
Mr. Swanson is a veteran and the founder of the Public Lands Alliance with the Wildlife Federation. He has advocated for New Mexico’s public lands with the D.C. delegation and is an authentic, community-rooted voice for environmental protection in House District 51. This seat is currently held by Representative Yvette Herrell who has led efforts to transfer public lands to state control, a dangerous idea that results in these lands being sold to private interests or opened for destructive development like drilling and mining. Rep. Herrell earned a 14% Lifetime score in CVNM’s Conservation Scorecard.
House District 52, Doña Ana – Rep. Doreen Gallegos
The House Majority Whip, Representative Gallegos has earned one of the strongest scores in the legislature in recent years, demonstrating her increased level of understanding and reflection of the strong conservation values held by her constituents. She earned a 94% score in CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard. Rep. Gallegos manifests a particularly strong connection to the cultural conservation values of her district.
House District 53, Doña Ana and Otero – Willie Madrid
Mr. Madrid represents the best opportunity since former Representative Nate Cote’s tenure for House District 53 voters to see representation that will act on conservation values. Issues around the environmental impacts of the border wall and public lands protection and access surrounding the San Andres National Wildlife Refuge in the district will be important. Our review indicates that Mr. Madrid is the best candidate to ensure that House District 53 voters interests are fully represented in those areas. Mr. Madrid is challenging sitting Rep. Rick Little who earned a 27% Lifetime score in CVNM’s 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard.
We’re ready to take bold action to elect pro-conservation champions all across the state. Are you in? Across the state, Conservation Voters like you will have the opportunity to elect conservation champions up and down the ballot in 2018 to protect New Mexico’s public lands, clean air and water, and community health. Chip in to CVNM Action Fund today for a stronger Land of Enchantment.
When you donate to CVNM Action Fund, we strategically help our conservation candidates get their message out to the right people and connect them with Conservation Voters like you. Together, we can protect our communities and our future by building a strong political voice for our environment.