A conservation group that makes endorsements each election cycle says one candidate is claiming an endorsement she did not receive. Conservation Voters New Mexico and the related Conservation Voters New Mexico Action Fund did not make an endorsement in the Democratic primary in House District 21—however, the group did deem two candidates “conservation qualified.” When the group finds two candidates are qualified in a certain race, it does not endorse. This is new, an email from CVNM’s Liliana Castillo said. “Historically, CVNM has simply not endorsed in those races.
One of Albuquerque’s most diverse legislative districts has seen three different representatives in the past two years. Now voters in House District 21 have three choices in the upcoming Democratic primary. No Republicans are running in the race, which means the winner of the June primary will almost certainly be the next representative from the district. Note: This piece also appeared in the May 18 edition of the ABQ Free Press. The game of musical chairs began when Tim Keller, then a state Senator, ran for State Auditor.
An Albuquerque teacher officially announced she will run for a House seat she lost out on earlier this year. After applying to fill the District 21 spot last month, Democrat Debbie Sariñana announced on Thursday that she would run for the spot that has seen two vacancies in the past year. Sariñana told NM Political Report she chose to announce her candidacy now because primary elections are next June and candidates cannot raise money during the legislative session that starts next month. Sariñana said she grew up in the district and moved back after finishing her college degree. She said working as a teacher in the area has shown her how many people are struggling with things like jobs and healthcare.
Bernalillo County Commissioners will decide who will replace Stephanie Maez in House District 21. The commission is expected to make a decision Tuesday night, according to the agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting. Maez resigned from the position in October. Bernalillo County provided NM Political Report with the six applications for the position. Update: The Bernalillo County Commission voted to appoint Lechuga-Tena during Tuesday night’s meeting. Idalia Lechuga-Tena could be the most high profile, and controversial, of those seeking the position.