October 31, 2022

Bernalillo County seeks applicants for vacant state senate seat

Kendra Chamberlain

The Bernalillo County Commission is looking for applicants for the vacant District 26 New Mexico State Senate seat.

The Bernalillo County Manager’s Office will accept applications through noon Nov. 10.

The Commission is expected to discuss and possibly make a decision for who to appoint for the District 26 Senate seat at its regular meeting at 5 p.m. on Nov. 15.

Applicants must be 25 or older, live within state Senate District 26’s boundaries which are in the western portion of Bernalillo County with I-40 running through the middle.

The seat will be filled based on the current boundaries, not the redistricted state senate boundaries which do not go into effect until the 2024 election.

The seat is vacant after Jacob Candelaria resigned from the seat on Oct. 19. Candelaria was the lone decline-to-state member of the senate.

Candelaria’s seat’s vacancy caused a heated discussion near the end of the Bernalillo County Commission’s regular meeting on Oct. 25 with some commissioners wanting the appointment made on Oct. 31 while District 1 County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley objected to such an early date.

O’Malley issued a comment via email about the exchange on Oct. 27.

“I own what I said,” O’Malley’s email states. “And while I regret confronting Commissioner (Charlene) Pyskoty when angry, I do not regret standing up for the constituents in my District.”

Pyskoty suggested the Oct. 31 meeting date.

Applicants should submit a letter of interest and résumé to the Bernalillo County Manager’s Office, Attention: Julie Morgas Baca, County Manager, 415 Silver Ave, SW, 8th Floor, Albuquerque, NM, 87102 or via email to: manager@bernco.gov.