2018 Rio Grande Chapter Endorsements: Federal, N.M. Statewide

Below are Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter endorsements in the 2018 New Mexico state-wide races. Volunteer to help elect these environmental champions!

U.S. Congress

U.S. Senate: Martin Heinrich

Sen. Martin Heinrich championed the creation of the Rio Grande Del Norte and Organ Mountains Desert Peaks national monuments and stood up to the Trump administration’s attempted land-grab. He helped pass legislation expanding public access to the Valles Caldera National Preserve and putting the National Park Service in charge of its management.

A former Rio Grande Chapter leader, Heinrich also led the fight to keep a rule limiting natural gas waste to protect the climate and reduce the waste of
taxpayer-owned natural gas.

U.S. House District 1: Xochitl Torres Small

It’s pretty clear when you meet Xochitl Torres Small that she is a special candidate: She’s deeply knowledgeable about a wide range of issues, she’s energetic, she listens to everyone, but most of all it’s clear that she truly cares about people.

The daughter of a teacher and a social worker, Torres Small grew up in Las Cruces, where she lives now. She worked her way through college and graduated cum laude from Georgetown University in just three years.

Growing up in the desert, Torres Small knows that our future depends on protecting our drinking water. She emphasizes the importance of working together to find community-driven solutions, and as a water-rights attorney, she works with local governments, farmers, developers, and conservationists to best use our shared resource.

Torres Small is running to replace Steve Pearce, who took every opportunity to gut climate and water safeguards and diminish New Mexico’s national monuments. If Torres Small can win this newly competitive Southern New Mexico district, a true turnaround for the better is in store.

U.S. House District 2: Deborah Haaland

Deborah Haaland speaks sincerely and passionately about environmental justice and protecting people by protecting their access to clean water and a safe climate. She advocates for bold action to prevent climate disaster and boost our economy.

“We need to act fast to counteract climate change and keep fossil fuels in the ground,” Haaland has said. “I pledge to vote against all new fossil-fuel infrastructure and to fight instead for 100% clean energy — including tens of thousands of solar-energy jobs for New Mexicans.”

If she wins, Haaland would become the first Native American woman in Congress. This Albuquerque-area seat is being vacated by U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Haaland will make an excellent successor to an excellent people’s representative.

U.S. House District 3: Ben Ray Luján

In District 3 (Northern and Eastern New Mexico), Ben R. Luján has been a climate champion since his tenure at the Public Regulation Commission, requiring utilities to expand and diversify their renewable-energy portfolio and implement efficiency programs.

In addition to his excellent voting record and seat on the House Natural Resources Committee, he has emerged as a leader in Congress and would be a prominent voice for climate protection if Democrats take control of the House in November.

New Mexico Statewide Offices

Governor: Michelle Lujan Grisham

This is it, folks. The Rio Grande Chapter and all progressives are putting in the calls, knocking on doors, making donations, working with allies and making sure our friends and family vote.

After eight years of stagnation and attacks on our land, water and communities by our current governor, I am especially excited that Michelle Lujan Grisham will be our next governor. Michelle is experienced, tough, energetic and committed to a progressive future for our state.

Michelle is traveling the state, listening to New Mexicans and making the commitments to move us forward. She has endorsed a renewable portfolio standard for electricity in New Mexico of 80% by 2040. Imagine having a governor who understands the importance of renewable energy to our planet and economy instead of a governor committed to climate denial and the profits of polluters.

This election is one of the best chances we may ever get to stop the extremism represented by Michelle’s opponent, whose reckless actions we can see the tragic effects of here in New Mexico.

Michelle will be this governor if we work hard to elect her. She will stand up for our wildlife and for protection of our air and water. Sweetheart deals for polluters can be ended. Abuse of our environment and our communities can be curtailed. We can have a state government that cares about us, instead of an administration interested only in implementing the Koch brothers’ agenda. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will fight to protect New Mexicans — women, Latinos, immigrants, workers, children — from the Trump administration. Her opponent has been a cheerleader and remains another silent enabler of a morally corrupt and dangerous administration

Michelle is working hard, and so are we in the Sierra Club. If we get her elected, we can move on to a resilient, sustainable future for ourselves and for our communities. Make sure you vote, and please contact us to volunteer if you can spare any time at all. This is it, folks!

— David Coss, Rio Grande Chapter chair

Land commissioner: Stephanie Garcia Richard

Stephanie Garcia Richard has a plan, a thorough plan, she wants to carry out as our Land Commissioner. It involves active work for better protection of our aquifers, promulgating smarter efficient grazing practices, and promoting wind and solar installations on public lands.

It would be refreshing to have the Office of the Land Commissioner have a forward-looking, data-based approach on climate change and its impact on our state. Garcia Richard’s election would ensure that decisions were made that worked for all stakeholders. She has already demonstrated her commitment to the best use of our resources in her three terms as a state representative, in which she sponsored legislation on solar energy storage and support for businesses committed to smaller carbon footprints.

Garcia Richard will prohibit the use of cruel traps and poisons on all 9 million acres of New Mexico State Trust Lands because they kill indiscriminately. This means that wild animals like bobcats, foxes, badgers and even cougars, all important species for the balance of nature, will be safer on our state trust lands but so will inadvertent victims like the endangered Mexican wolf. While in the Legislature she consistently voted to outlaw coyote killing contests and as land commissioner will prohibit State lands from being used for this heinous purpose as well.

I have known Stephanie since her first run for the Roundhouse. She’s well-known and greatly appreciated here in Grant County, where her mother was a teacher and Stephanie went to school. Like her mother, she is also an educator. She understands the need for public lands to produce the revenue for our education system, and she knows we need to fund early childhood education as well as K-12.

Stephanie is proud, I know, of her Sierra Club endorsement in this race. And I, as a Sierra volunteer, am most proud to support her.

— Mary Hotvedt

Attorney general: Hector Balderas

Attorney General Hector Balderas last year joined forces with California AG Xavier Becerra to file suit against the Trump administration over its suspension of a common-sense rule to limit methane pollution from oil and gas drilling.

The Attorney General’s Office also appealed the implementation of New Mexico’s “Copper Rule,” which expressly allows pollution under copper mines and was passed after the Environment Department’s Ryan Flynn disregarded his own technical staff and replaced a draft written by a technical committee with a rule implementing every change requested by copper giant FreePort McMoRan.

Secretary of State: Maggie Toulouse Oliver

Perhaps the greatest threat to our democracy is the steady assault on voting rights. In many states, legislators have made it increasingly difficult for young adults, people of color and the elderly to vote.

In North Carolina in 2016, county elections commissions severely reduced the number of early-voting sites only in heavily African American counties, in one case from 13 to 2. In Wisconsin, not only did lawmakers pass a voter-ID law based on debunked fears of voter fraud, but it barred college students from using their student IDs, often their only IDs, to vote.

In New Mexico, we are lucky to have an advocate for voter rights, not voter suppression, as our secretary of state. Maggie Toulouse Oliver was a two-term Bernalillo county clerk, increasing efficiency and transparency. After taking office in a 2016 special election, she developed the Native American Voting Taskforce, charged with identifying ways to boost voter registration, education and election participation in tribal communities.

New Mexico has numerous opportunities to increase civic engagement, and Maggie Toulouse Oliver is the experienced, dedicated public servant who will lead us there.

Treasurer: Tim Eichenberg

Tim Eichenberg sees oil and gas waste in the form of methane pollution as a state Treasury issue. He has signed on time and again to protect important methane safeguards. He is also working to promote environmentally friendly investment and works with CERES promoting green bonds.



Paid for by Sierra Club Political Committee, www.sierraclub.org, and Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club PAC. Not authorized by any campaign or campaign committee.

2018 Rio Grande Chapter Endorsements: Federal, N.M. Statewide

One thought on “2018 Rio Grande Chapter Endorsements: Federal, N.M. Statewide

  • October 19, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    Thank you so much for putting this information together so that we can make informed choices with our votes! And, like many New Mexicans, I am very concerned about the oil, gas, mineral, water and animal abuses in our state. Thank you for being an advocate for these causes!

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