Former state Rep. Sandra Jeff will make it on the ballot for state Senate this upcoming primary election in June after all. Jeff came to an agreement with the Secretary of State’s Office on Monday—nearly three weeks after that office disqualified her from the ballot for not paying a fine for filing a late campaign finance report from an earlier campaign. Jeff, a Democrat, is challenging Sen. Benny Shendo, D-Jemez Pueblo, for the party nomination this year. Her attorney Zach Cook told NM Political Report that she agreed to pay “a nominal amount” of roughly $100 to the Secretary of State’s Office to get on the ballot. Part of the deal involves Jeff not having to concede that the fine was legitimate.
A former state Representative is challenging her disqualification from the ballot for a state Senate primary. Sandra Jeff will move forward with her attempt to challenge Sen. Benny Shendo of Jemez Pueblo in the Democratic primary for Senate District 22. Jeff is a former state representative who lost her position after failing to make the primary ballot for reelection to her state House seat in 2014. Two weeks ago, Jeff told NM Political Report she wasn’t sure if she wanted to challenge the disqualification. Jeff said she would consider running for Navajo Nation President or challenging U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan in the Democratic primary.
Friday marked the final day to challenge filing documents for candidates around the state ahead of the June primaries. In all, the reasons for ten disqualifications for candidates range from simply not getting enough signatures to breaking campaign finance rules. Amy Bailey, legal counsel for the Secretary of State’s office, told NM Political Report that her office went through any evidence brought to them before each candidate was qualified. “The candidates that brought us what they purported to be evidence we checked,” Bailey said. “We didn’t go through and check all the petitions.”
Prospective candidates who found themselves disqualified still have a chance to challenge the disqualification, but they must file a challenge it in district court.
The Secretary of State disqualified former State Rep. Sandra Jeff from the ballot for the Democratic primary in Senate District 22. A spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office confirmed via email Wednesday afternoon that Jeff was disqualified from the ballot “due to noncompliance with the Campaign Reporting Act.”
Amy Bailey, the general counsel of the department, later added more information. “I need to review the file for specifics, but the noncompliance is associated with reports which were due in past filing periods and the fines associated with those past issues,” Bailey said in an email. Jeff said in a phone interview on Wednesday that she was aware and was deciding whether or not to contest the disqualification. She described herself as undecided on whether or not to continue her run for State Senate.
Filing day took place for candidates for many positions throughout the state—but the main focus is on state representatives and state senators. Two contested primaries with former legislators trying to return to the Roundhouse will likely receive a big amount of attention in the next two months. Related Story: Who’s running for House, Senate seats? Former State Rep. Sandra Jeff of Shiprock is back running for office, this time in the state Senate. Jeff will be taking on incumbent Benny Shendo of Jemez Pueblo in the Democratic primary Senate District 22.
Former State Rep. Sandra Jeff is back for another run at the state legislature. This time, she is setting her sights on a Senate seat. She is running in the Democratic primary against Sen. Benny Shendo in Senate District 22. Jeff told NM Political Report that she felt “very confident” after she finished the filing process on Tuesday afternoon. She said Shendo has a bad habit of not returning to his district and talking with his constituents.
While it’s highly unlikely that Gov. Susana Martinez will choose Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver to be the next Secretary of State in New Mexico, a former Secretary of State is likely even more of a longshot—but she applied for the position anyway. The Albuquerque Journal reported that former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil (known as Vigil-Giron when she was Secretary of State) applied to replace Dianna Duran. Other names included former State Reps. Sandra Jeff and Janice Arnold-Jones as well as former Albuquerque City Clerk and current Secretary of State employee Amy Bailey. Oliver publicly announced her application for the position late last month.