2018 New Mexico endorsements: Local, PRC and Legislative

Below are Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter endorsements in the 2018 New Mexico district elections. Volunteer to help elect these environmental champions!

New Mexico Legislature

District 8: Mary Jo Jaramillo

Mary Jo Jaramillo believes that our environment supports life. She supports state laws to protect resources and prevent pollution to make up for the federal EPA’s failures and she firmly opposes fracking and the use of millions of gallons of our precious water in the process.

District 15: Dayan Hochman

Making New Mexico a leader in renewable energy is a top priority for Hochman, who wants to work with state and local agencies to minimize human-caused climate destruction. She is particularly concerned about fracking on tribal lands and the massive amount of water use by extractive industries.

District 17: Debbie Armstrong

Armstrong has been a steadfast protector of air, water, land and wildlife as a legislator. As a public-health advocate, she says, “Clean water and clean energy have a direct impact on the health of communities and residents. I will continue to support all initiatives that clean up the environment.”

District 20: Abbas Akhil

Akhil is an engineer who retired from Sandia National Laboratory before forming his own energy consulting business. He has spent his entire career in clean-energy storage and innovation. His expertise would be invaluable in the Roundhouse to craft a sustainable-energy future for New Mexico.

District 22: Jessica Velasquez

A Sierra Club member, Velasquez lives in the East Mountains and has been involved with the North 14 Deep Well Protest Group of homeowners to fight the assignment of new water rights to a company for the development of 4,000 homes and two golf courses in the area.

District 23: Daymon Ely

Rep. Ely has been a strong environmental vote in House committees and on the floor in his first term. He spoke up against irresponsible fracking permits in Sandoval County and is  a strong proponent of reinstating the state’s tax credit for residents and small businesses installing solar.

District 24: Elizabeth Thomson

As a state legislator, Thomson was proud to support the acquisition of Valle de Oro. She has also been an advocate for New Mexico becoming a leader in solar and wind production and manufacturing. Rep. Thomson is proud to have never taken a dime from oil and gas in any of her campaigns.

District 25: Christine Trujillo

Rep. Trujillo is a labor and teachers advocate. She says her excellent environmental record is a result of her heritage and love of New Mexico. “Water, air and our general natural environment must be pristine and sustained for our kids and their kids.

District 28: Melanie Stansbury

Melanie is a native New Mexican who is a policy consultant working on water and natural-resource issues. She is a senior advisor to the Utton Transboundary Resources Center at the UNM School of Law and has a thorough knowledge of complex water and resource issues.

District 29: Joy Garratt

As a longtime K-12 educator, Joy has strived to integrate environmental and conservation education in her language-arts and social-studies assignments. She cares deeply about preserving our state’s natural beauty and resources for future generations, and she stresses that education is a vital component in ensuring that this happens.

District 30: Natalie Figueroa

As a high-school teacher, Figueroa helps students explore issues that help them understand our shared responsibility to make our communities healthier and more sustainable. Figueroa ran a smart and organized race in 2016 against an incumbent who is now retiring. She has a great chance to capture this seat for the environment.

District 33: Micaela Cadena

Cadena is the research director at Young Women United, a New Mexico nonprofit, leading statewide policy initiatives and culture shift strategies. She has also worked as an advocate for women in correctional facilities.

District 35: Angelica Rubio

Rubio has a deeply ingrained understanding and passion for the issues, particularly those issues relating to environmental justice and environmental racism. In her first term she proved her dedication and leadership. She proved this with her leadership and advocacy for people, climate and animals in her successful first term in the state House.

District 36: Nathan Small

A former Las Cruces city councilor, Small was a strong advocate for Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. He is an avid outdoorsman and is past board chair for the Animal Services Center of Mesilla Valley.

District 37: Joanne Ferrary

Ferrary’s first term in the Legislature proved she is a true ally for protecting our climate and people, and she emerged as a leader on the Energy and Environment Committee. Her election is critical to keeping a pro-environment majority.

District 38: Karen Whitlock

Whitlock brings not only critical knowledge and expertise as a former compliance officer for a copper company, but also her dedication to clean drinking water and clean air. She would be an outstanding advocate in the Legislature.

District 39: Rudy Martinez

Martinez, an incumbent with a strong environmental voting record, supports keeping the Gila River free-flowing. He is defending a tough swing seat in Southwest New Mexico that he lost in 2014 and regained in 2016.

District 43: Chris Chandler

Chandler has a proven track record in Los Alamos of supporting environmental policies. The longtime Sierra Club member pledges to strengthen methane and water-use standards while supporting public lands and wildlife conservation.

District 44: Benton Howell

Howell, a former physicist, is a committed volunteer for the Rio Grande Sierra Club and 350.org. Howell worked hard among a large coalition of volunteers to help defeat an ordinance that would have paved the way for fracking in Sandoval County.

District 50: Matthew McQueen

Rep. McQueen has become one of the Legislature’s most informed and passionate champions for a safe climate and protecting people. As chair of the House Environment Committee, he has taken the lead to improve and vet important legislation.

District 52:Doreen Gallegos

Rep. Gallegos, executive director of Mesilla Valley CASA, has earned a reputation for standing up to big-money CAFOs and other industries and standing up for her constituents’ best interests. She has a strong record on environmental issues and a stellar rating from Animal Protection Voters New Mexico.

District 53: Willie Madrid

Madrid knows our natural environment is critical to our region’s future and a commitment to protecting public lands and resources for ourselves and for future generations. His district includes White Sands National Monument and much of Organ Mountains Desert Peak National Monument. “I will fight to protect our natural legacy for all of us.”

District 57: Billie Helean

A teacher, Helean educates her students on issues such as climate that critically impact their lives. She helped in the effort to defeat the polluter-friendly Sandoval County oil and gas measure. “Families are the cornerstone of my campaign, and families deserve clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean land to enjoy for generations.”

District 60: Alexis Jimenez

“It’s never been a question for me that we need to do more to care for our earth,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez is a grandmother, retired educator, community organizer, advocate for preventing gun violence, and a champion for New Mexico labor. She has been a leader in the Rio Rancho area for 30 years.

District 68: Karen Bash

Bash, a former board member and president of New Mexico’s Interfaith Power and Light, has spent hours talking with legislators about methane standards and other environmental issues. She attended the 2017 Climate March in Washington, DC, and met with New Mexico’s congressional delegation about climate issues facing our state.

Public Regulation Commission:

District 5: Stephen Fischmann

Steve Fischmann has been a consistent environmental champion since serving on the state Senate Conservation Committee and on the boards of Conservation Voters New Mexico and Southwest Environmental Center.

He also co-founded the Southwest Energy Alliance, which championed renewables and energy efficiency.

The Public Regulation Commission has more power over New Mexico’s energy mix than any other body. It’s critical to elect a clean-energy and consumer advocate like Fischmann.

Fischmann has an extensive corporate finance background that will be valuable in assessing the $8 billion in plant and power-line investments that New Mexico’s major utilities plan over the next five years. He believes electric bills can be reduced over time with well-designed increases in the renewable portfolio.

Doña Ana County Sheriff:

County Commissions

Bernalillo County Commission: Charlene Pyskoty

Charlene Pyskoty is running for an open seat in the northeast heights and east mountains that was vacated by Wayne Johnson.

Pyskoty, who’s been a Sierra Club volunteer, displayed excellent knowledge of environmental issues and said she would prioritize renewable energy, sustainable development and water conservation on the commission.

She will make a welcome addition to the Bernalillo commission.

Sandoval County Commission: Katherine Bruch

Katherine Bruch has been active in opposing legislation that would fast track fracking in the Albuquerque Basin in Sandoval County, where there is an extremely high risk of pollution of groundwater due to the highly fractured geology. As the commission goes through the process of crafting an ordinance again. Katherine will give residents a voice in county decisions.


Santa Fe County Commission: Rudy Garcia

Long-time land-use manager Rudy Garcia is a dedicated local professional familiar with all aspects of county planning and the need to carefully weigh all impacts of new developments on water, infrastructure and quality of life in Santa Fe County.

He also helped draft the county’s strong oil and gas drilling ordinance, a model for other counties.


Doña Ana County Commission:

Lynn Ellins (District 1) proved to be a champion for voting rights during his tenure as county clerk from 2008 to 2016. Ellins was the first clerk in the state to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples and ran an efficient, transparent elections office. Ellins also committed to protecting Doña Ana County’s natural resources as commissioner.


Shannon Reynolds (District 3) is an Air Force veteran who had good ideas for water conservation and protecting lands and wildlife as a commissioner.




Karen Trujillo (District 5) is director of a teachers’ learning alliance at New Mexico State University and an educator with more than 20 years’ experience. Trujillo showed a depth of knowledge  on local water issues and supports public lands and policy that protects our natural resources for future generations.




Paid for by Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club PAC. 


2018 New Mexico endorsements: Local, PRC and Legislative