Santa Fe, N.M. – Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM), through its coordinated political action committee CVNM Action Fund, endorsed 19 conservation champion incumbents and challengers in the 2020 primary election for the state Legislature.

The list includes eight House candidates, of which five are making their first foray into legislative politics. On the Senate side, eight of the 11 endorsed candidates are new to the legislative electoral process. This slate joins four additional Conservation Champion incumbents that CVNM Action Fund automatically endorsed earlier this year.

For the first time, the CVNM Action Fund “dual endorsed” in a legislative race. In Senate District 9, both Brenda McKenna, a field representative for Congressional Representative Debra Haaland, and Ben Rodefer, a former legislator and renewable energy industry leader, presented strong arguments for endorsement. Each will bring specific strengths to the Senate. In the end, it was not possible to draw a line between them and CVNM, through its coordinated political action committee CVNM Action Fund, decided to make its first-ever “Dual Endorsement.”

“These endorsements build on the conservation majority that won seats in the 2016 and 2018 general elections. If elected, these candidates will strengthen the political voice for the future of New Mexico’s air, land, water and communities,” said Ben Shelton, Political and Policy Director for CVNM. “At the federal level, the Trump administration is dismantling bedrock environmental protections. The current pandemic is also making clear how economic and social inequality combine with environmental and health disparities and lead to vastly disproportionate mortality outcomes. We need a Legislature that reflects New Mexico’s diverse communities, that will support equity and inclusion in decision-making, and that reflects our shared values for protecting our air, land and water.”

Conservation Champions are incumbents with a lifetime score of 90% or better on CVNM’s Conservation Scorecard. They actively sponsor, support or advocate for conservation issues and are considered for early and automatic endorsement if they have a challenger in an election. Four incumbent House members were early endorsed in January: Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (HD 13), Rep. Miguel Garcia (HD 14), House Speaker Brian Egolf (HD 47) and Rep. Matthew McQueen (HD 50).

CVNM and the CVNM Action Fund also endorsed Brian Harris for the Public Regulation Commission District 3 race and Harry Browne for the Grant County Commission District 5 primary.

The endorsements announced today are:

New Mexico House of Representatives

HD 17 – Rep. Debbie Armstrong (95% CVNM score)

HD 20 – Meredith Dixon

HD 27 – Rep. Marian Matthews

HD 40 – Roger Montoya

HD 42 – Kristina Ortez

HD 45 – Linda Serrato

HD 65 – Rep. Derrick Lente (93% CVNM score)

HD 70 – Anita Gonzales


New Mexico State Senate

SD 3 – Senator Shannon Pinto

SD 4 – Noreen Kelly

SD 8 – Senator Pete Campos (89% CVNM score in 2019)

SD 9 – Dual Endorsement: Brenda McKenna, Ben Rodefer

SD 10 – Katy Duhigg

SD 17 – Senator Mimi Stewart (98% CVNM score)

SD 20 – Rebecca “Puck” Stair

SD 28 – Siah Correa Hemphill

SD 30 – Pam Cordova

SD 35 – Neomi Martinez-Parra


New Mexico Public Regulation Commission

District 3 – Brian Harris


Grant County Commission

District 5 – Commissioner Harry Browne


About CVNM Action Fund

Conservation Voters New Mexico Action Fund, the connected state political action committee of Conservation Voters New Mexico, is a nonpartisan “coordinated” political action committee. CVNM Action Fund works to elect pro-conservation candidates and to defeat anti-conservation candidates at the state level. Through our work with CVNM Action Fund, we let voters know that who we elect matters for New Mexico’s air, land water and healthy communities.

CVNM Action Fund does not endorse in uncontested races. The endorsements listed above are for the primary election only. General election endorsements will be announced at a later date. For more information on our endorsement process, please read CVNM Action Fund Endorsement Policies.