Democrat Ray Powell is announcing his candidacy for New Mexico Commissioner of State Lands. Powell previously served in that position from 1993-2002 and 2011-2014.
The State Land Office is responsible for administering 9 million acres of surface lands and 13 million acres of subsurface mineral rights. Those lands are managed for beneficiaries of the state land trust, which include schools, universities and hospitals.
Powell plans to formally announce his candidacy on March 13, at the New Mexico State Legislature’s Environmental Justice Day.
“What I stand and fight for is the land of New Mexico—it is a sacred Trust,” Powell said in a statement to NM Political Report. “I will conduct the affairs of the State Land Office in a transparent, ethical, and inclusive way. I will protect our land from being sold or traded off, from pollution, misuse and mismanagement—optimizing revenue for our schools, hospitals, and communities while creating thousands of jobs in the new energy economy. The Land Commissioner has a moral and ethical responsibility to protect the health of the land, our energy future and the people of New Mexico—today, tomorrow and for generations to come. That’s the legacy we seek to leave our children.”
In 2014, Powell lost to the state’s current commissioner, Republican Aubrey Dunn.
Powell, a vetrinarian, has also served on the State Investment Council, Mining Commission, Oil and Conservation Commission, the Youth Conservation Corps Commission, the Capitol Buildings Planning Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Committee on Foreign Animal and Poultry Diseases and the New Mexico Board of Veterinary Regulation and Licensing.