Second day of 480+ new COVID-19 cases, five related deaths

State health officials reported nearly 500 new cases of COVID-19 for the second day in a row, and five additional deaths. 

The state Department of Health reported 486 new cases of the disease on Saturday, just two fewer than the record-setting 488 new cases reported Friday. The state has now recorded 32,722 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. 

Two counties accounted for half of Saturday’s new cases: Bernalillo County reported 167 new cases, and Doña Ana County reported 73 new cases. Nine other counties reported double-digit increases. Those counties are Curry County (42), Chaves County (38), Sandoval County (27), Eddy County (16), Valencia County (12), Lea Count (11), San Juan County (11), Roosevelt County (11) and Santa Fe County (10). 

The Otero County Processing Center also reported 15 new cases among inmates being held by federal agencies. 

The five new deaths bring the state’s total to 907. 

DOH provided the following information on the newly announced deaths:

A female in her 70s from Eddy County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 80s from Lea County who had underlying conditions.A male in his 50s from McKinley County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 30s from San Juan County who had underlying conditions.A female in her 80s from Santa Fe County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. 

DOH does not disclose which underlying condition any of the deceased had, only if one was present. There are currently 130 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19, three fewer than reported Friday.

2020 Elections: U.S. House candidates on environmental issues

This week, we’re running a series of interviews with New Mexico’s federal candidates, each of whom answered questions about issues related to our energy future, water scarcity and climate change. First Congressional District: Incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland is running for reelection against Republican Michelle Garcia Holmes. Haaland, a member of Laguna Pueblo, was one of the first two indigenous women to be elected to Congress when she won her election in 2018. Prior to that, Haaland served as chairwoman of the New Mexico Democratic Party from 2015 to 2017. In 2014, Haaland ran for Lieutenant Governor on former state Attorney General Gary King’s gubernatorial ticket, but ultimately lost to Republican Susana Martinez and Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez.

Candidate Q&A: Deb Haaland on environmental issues

This week, we’re running a series of interviews with New Mexico’s congressional candidates, each of whom answered questions about issues related to our energy future, water scarcity and climate change. 

You can find all our congressional candidate interviews here. 

The following interview is with Deb Haaland, who is running for reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives for the state’s first congressional district. Haaland, a member of Laguna Pueblo, was one of the first two indigenous women to be elected to Congress when she won her election in 2018. Prior to that, Haaland served as chairwoman of the New Mexico Democratic Party from 2015 to 2017. In 2014, Haaland ran for Lieutenant Governor on former state Attorney General Gary King’s gubernatorial ticket, but ultimately lost to Republican Susana Martinez and Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez. Haaland also served on then-president Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign as New Mexico’s vote director for Native Americans. 

New Mexico’s First Congressional District covers parts of Bernalillo, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Valencia and Torrance counties.

Candidate Q&A: Teresa Leger Fernandez on environmental issues

This week, we’re running a series of interviews with New Mexico’s federal candidates, each of whom answered questions about issues related to our energy future, water scarcity and climate change. 

You can find all our congressional candidate interviews here. 

The following interview is with Teresa Leger Fernandez, a Democrat who is running for New Mexico’s Third Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The seat is currently held by U.S. Rep Ben Ray Luján. Luján is running for the open U.S. Senate seat. 

Leger Fernandez runs the Santa Fe-based social impact law firm Leger Law and Strategy. She was appointed as vice chair to the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation under President Barack Obama’s administration. She was also appointed as a White House Fellow by President Bill Clinton.

Candidate Q&A: Alexis Johnson on environmental issues

This week, we’re running a series of interviews with New Mexico’s federal candidates, each of whom answered questions about issues related to our energy future, water scarcity and climate change. 

You can find all our congressional candidate interviews here. 

The following interview is with Alexis Johnson, a Republican who is running for New Mexico’s Third Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The seat is currently held by U.S. Rep Ben Ray Luján. Luján is running for the open U.S. Senate seat. 

Johnson is an environmental engineer and rancher. She worked at the Midland, Texas-based environmental consulting firm Larson & Associates. Johnson is running against Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez.

Candidate Q&A: Steve Jones on environmental issues

This week, we’re running a series of interviews with New Mexico’s federal candidates, each of whom answered questions about issues related to our energy future, water scarcity and climate change. 

You can find all our congressional candidate interviews here. 

The following interview is with Steve Jones, who is running for New Mexico’s Second Congressional District seat to the U.S. House of Representatives as an Independent and a write-in candidate.  

Jones is a retired energy executive, and has experience as a business consultant and TV producer. 

Jones is facing Democratic incumbent Xochitl Torres Small and Republican challenger Yvette Herrell for the seat. Herrell did not respond to requests for an interview. Torres Small scheduled an interview with NM Political Report twice for this Q&A but had to cancel both times due to schedule conflicts related to the House of Representatives’ voting schedule. 

NM Political Report (NMPR): What energy future do you see for New Mexico and the United States? Steve Jones: The fact is we are using a technology which is controversial and has simultaneously increased our exports to where we’re self-sufficient energy wise, and at the same time, excited a whole lot of people who would rather not have as much energy. My expectation is, depending on the outcome of the election, we will either have a restriction on hydrocarbon production or we will have business as usual.

2020 Elections: U.S. Senate candidates on environmental issues

This week, we’re running a series of interviews with New Mexico’s federal candidates, each of whom answered questions about issues related to our energy future, water scarcity and climate change. Three candidates are running for the U.S. Senate in a seat currently held by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall. Udall announced in March of 2019 that he would not run for reelection.  

The three candidates are Democrat and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, Republican and former TV meteorologist Mark Ronchetti and Libertarian Bob Walsh. Luján has served as U.S. Rep. for New Mexico’s third congressional district since 2009. In 2019, he was voted  Assistant Speaker of the House by the House Democratic caucus. Luján also served on the state’s Public Regulation Commission from 2005-2008 and served as chairman of the commission from 2005 to 2007. You can read our interview with Luján here.

Candidate Q&A: Bob Walsh on environmental issues

This week, we’re running a series of interviews with New Mexico’s federal candidates, each of whom answered questions about issues related to our energy future, water scarcity and climate change. 

The following interview is with Libertarian Bob Walsh, who is running for the U.S. Senate in a seat currently held by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall. Udall announced in March of 2019 that he would not run for reelection. 

Walsh is a retired scientist with degrees in physics, mathematics and biology. Walsh was a legislative assistant to former state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones, and was an Assistant Democratic Party Ward Coordinator in 2005-2006. 

Walsh is running against former TV meteorologist and political newcomer Mark Ronchetti, a Republican, and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján. Ronchetti did not respond to multiple requests for an interview. You can read our Q&A with Luján here. 

NM Political Report (NMPR): What energy future do you see for New Mexico and the United States?

Candidate Q&A: Ben Ray Luján on environmental issues

This week, we’re running a series of interviews with New Mexico’s federal candidates, each of whom answered questions about issues related to our energy future, water scarcity and climate change. 

The following interview is with U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who is running for the U.S. Senate in a seat currently held by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall. Udall announced in March of 2019 that he would not run for reelection.  

Luján, a Democrat, has served as U.S. Rep. for New Mexico’s third congressional district since 2009. In 2019, he was voted  Assistant Speaker of the House by the House Democratic caucus. 

Luján also served on the state’s Public Regulation Commission from 2005-2008 and served as chairman of the commission from 2005 to 2007. 

Luján is running against former TV meteorologist and political newcomer Mark Ronchetti, a Republican, and Bob Walsh, a Libertarian. Ronchetti did not respond to multiple requests for an interview. You can read our Q&A with Walsh here. 

NM Political Report (NMPR): What energy future do you see for New Mexico and the United States?

New COVID-19 cases shoot past 300 for first time since July

State health officials reported 341 new cases of COVID-19 Friday and five deaths related to the disease. The 341 cases represent the third-highest single day increase in new cases since the start of the pandemic. 

The state Department of Health has not recorded more than 300 new cases in a single day since July 27, but has recorded a steady uptick in cases in recent days, weeks after the state eased some restrictions. The new cases and deaths bring the state’s total to 30,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 887 deaths. DOH provided the following information on the newly announced deaths: 

A male in his 60s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 90s from Doña Ana County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society facility in Las Cruces.A female in her 90s from Eddy County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of Lakeview Christian Home in Carlsbad.A male in his 60s from Lea County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A female in her 70s from Lea County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. DOH does not disclose which underlying condition any of the deceased had, only if one was present.