By Bernie Dotson | Sun Correspondent

SANTA FE – Conservation Voters New Mexico, a Santa Fe-based political nonprofit, is formally endorsing incumbents Benny Shendo, D-Jemez Pueblo, of the New Mexico Senate, and, D. Wonda Johnson, D-Church Rock, of the state’s House of Representatives, officials announced May 10.

“(CVNM) continues its efforts to build a strong political voice for our air, land and water by endorsing candidates who will work for resilient New Mexico families and sustainable families,” Liliana Castillo, a spokeswoman for CVNM, said.

Castillo noted that the endorsements are connected to New Mexico’s June 7 primary. Shendo is an attorney and graduate from the University of Colorado. Shendo’s District 22 includes a small portion of McKinley County. Shendo will face former District 5 state representative Sandra Jeff of Crownpoint in the race.

Johnson is a Democrat and former educational coordinator with Gallup-McKinley County Schools. Johnson won the District 5 House seat about a little more than a year ago. She’s facing Kevin Mitchell, a Democrat and vice president of the McKinley County School Board in the June 7 primary race. Johnson is the subject of a $26,000 lawsuit by a former campaign manager who contends that he was never paid for his services.

CVNM is a non-partisan and nonprofit organization that connects the people of New Mexico to their political power with respect to air, water and land. Castillo said the organization aims to mobilize voters, advance public policies and assist certain candidates in winning statewide elections.

The organization is endorsing various candidates for several state offices, but none with direct ties to McKinley County.