PVA Meeting Recap – April 26, 2018

Ranked Choice Voting proposed for Las Cruces Elections

Doña Ana County Clerk, Scott Krahling, and Maria Perez from FairVote New Mexico told us about Ranked Choice Voting. This is where voters rank candidates in order of preference. The City Council will be deciding whether to use this process soon. Scott explained that while the new consolidated election law requires schools and special districts to consolidate, municipalities will choose whether to opt-in. They will also decide whether to use Ranked Choice Voting. Scott and Maria said the benefits of using this system are:

  • RCV eliminates “vote-splitting”: in RCV elections you always get to vote for your favorite candidate, even if your favorite doesn’t have a good chance of winning. If your favorite candidate gets eliminated, then your vote immediately counts for your second choice.
  • RCV helps increase voter turnout: when voters feel their vote will count, they turn out in greater numbers
  • RCV fosters civil elections
  • RCV reduces costs (there is an instant run-off so the city doesn’t have to run another election)

For more on this, you can read this article or this article, both written by Scott, published on KRWG.org and in the Las Cruces Sun News.

Unified Action

The April Unified Action is:

Be Involved in the 2018 Primary Election

Sponsored by the PVA Executive Committee, www.pva-nm.org

The Issue

The upcoming primary election is crucial to determining the kind of state and country we will live in for at least the next 2 years. Our personal involvement with political campaigns can make a big difference in national, state, and local elections.

What we are asking

 volunteer time for a candidate or campaign-related activity
 make a contribution to a candidate of your choice

Which candidates/candidates’ representatives came to PVA to ask for support? Thanks for asking! Click here to see a list.

Dinea Gardea running for District Court Judge

Dinea Gardea spoke about her campaign for District Court judge, saying that family law is her specialty and that, “Doña Ana County families deserve a family court judge.” She said that the District Court greatly affects people in the community and that’s why she’s eager to get to work.

For more information, email Dania.

Yes, she said all this in less than 2 minutes – you can be sure of that

Mary Lujan (official PVA time keeper) spoke on behalf of her friend Oscar Butler, who she has known for 25 years. Oscar is running for County Commission, District 5. She said, “The North Valley is neglected, and electing Oscar will help.” She detailed Oscar’s qualifications, which include a Masters in Public Administration, previous President of Doña Ana Mutual Domestic Water Association, Doña Ana County Commissioner from 2003-2010, previous President of New Mexico Association of Counties, previous co-chair of AVANCE – Early Childhood Education Program, and current Vice-Chair of NM Colonias Infrastructure Board.

For more information, email Mary.

Don’t know who to vote for? Check out KTAL Community Radio

Peter Goodman said that there will be candidate forums on KTAL. You can tune to the channel on the radio, at 101.5, or you can stream the station at www.lccommunityradio.org. Peter will be having candidates running for Doña Ana County Sheriff on his show on Wednesday, May 2, at 9am.

For more information, email Peter.

Carlos Preciado running for Doña Ana County Sheriff

Carlos said he’s been a public servant for 38 years. He said, “I am running for the right reasons.” He is a small business owner, and was a law enforcement officer for over 30 years. You can visit his campaign website here.

 For more information, email Carlos.

Dickie Apodaca running for County Commission, District 5

Dickie said he is running for County Commission because the County needs good leadership. He said, “We have good things here, but we need to get more creative to bring jobs.” Referring to his qualifications for the job, Dickie said he has a civil engineering degree and ran the county roads department. You can read more about him on his Facebook campaign page.

 For more information, email Dickie.

Lynn Ellins running for County Commission, District 1

Former County Clerk Lynn Ellins said, “I would appreciate support for my campaign, and if you live in District 1, I ask for your vote.” You can read more about him on his Facebook campaign page.

For more information, email Lynn.

Priority for Democrats: Stay united against Congressman Pearce

Karin Wiburg said she’s distressed about a Facebook Page called “Democrats for Democracy,” which is fostering a divisive tone in the NM Gubernatorial race. She said, “First of all, this page is clearly supporting a candidate and seems to exist to bash Michelle Lujan Grisham. Second of all, are there Democrats who don’t support Democracy?” She said Democrats around the state need to unify to beat Congressman Steve Pearce – this should be the priority.

 For more information, email Karin.

Stephanie Garcia Richard running for Land Commissioner

Stephanie spoke about her campaign for Land Commissioner and said, “I’m the only Democrat running who can win in November.” She said she will fight for early childhood education, and will fight against President Trump and federal land-grabs. She also said that if she’s elected she will open an office in the southern part of the state. You can learn more about Stephanie at her campaign website.

Meet & Greet for Stephanie
Friday, April 27, 5pm
2172 Stone Pine Drive

For more information, email Stephanie.

Rep. Nate Cote endorses Stephanie Garcia Richard  

Former State Representative Nate Cote expressed his strong support for fellow legislator Stephanie Garcia Richard for Land Commissioner. Nate said, “We are talking about the public trust and Stephanie is an honest and responsive broker. She’ll make the right decisions for our state lands.” Nate added that Stephanie is a lifelong Democrat. He’s glad to report that she voted to ban coyote killing contests.

For more information, email Nate.

These Meet & Greets are becoming legendary

Roberta Gran has developed a reputation – for hosting the most delicious and cozy Meet & Greets you’ll attend. She announced several upcoming events, which you don’t want to miss: both for the candidate and for the wonderful food.

Meet & Greet for Stephanie Garcia Richard
Friday, April 27 at 5pm

Dinner/fundraiser for State Rep. Angelica Rubio
Sunday, May 6 at 5:30pm

Dinner/fundraiser for Auditor candidate Bill McCamley
Saturday, May 12 at 5:30pm

The address is 2172 Stone Pine Drive. Roberta said she hopes you’ll come – there will be lots of fun, and “be sure to rsvp if you are coming to dinner.”

For more information, email Roberta.

Mary Martinez White running for State Representative, District 33

Mary Martinez White spoke about her qualifications for the job of state representative. She explained she has a MBA from NMSU and was previously elected as Doña Ana County Treasurer. As Treasurer she was responsible for $12 million. She said she has the experience necessary to use a budget for strategic purposes and she knows the business of governance.

For more information, visit the campaign website or email Mary.


Rosemarie Sanchez spoke passionately about her support for Xochitl Torres Small who is running for US Congress. She said, “I love New Mexico and that’s why I’m voting for Xochitl. She is a water attorney and we shouldn’t forget that water is life,” adding that “Xochitl has a record of public service, the knowledge of the issues, and the desire to work for the people.” Speaking of desire, Rosemarie said she likes a candidate with ganas. She said she is impressed that Xochitl got her degrees from Georgetown University and UNM, and then came back to her home to serve the people of southern NM. For more information about Xochitl, visit her campaign website or email Xochitl.

For more information, email Rosemarie.

Employee speaks highly of her former boss, Mary Martinez White

Priscilla Quiñones-Chavez spoke in support of state representative candidate Mary Martinez White. She said Mary was a great boss and mentor; she was honest, compassionate, and transparent. Priscilla said Mary is the most qualified person running especially with her success in former positions, and her belief in empowering under-privileged people. For more about Mary, visit her campaign website.

For more information, email Priscilla.

Billy Garrett running for Lt. Governor

County Commissioner Billy Garrett said he has always felt close to the people who attend PVA meetings. He hopes that he has earned your vote, through his work and commitment to Doña Ana County/ New Mexico. He believes his experience makes him the best choice for Lieutenant Governor. However, he understands if you haven’t made up your mind yet. He said, “Let’s not be divisive. I respect you and I want a chance to earn your vote.” Billy encouraged people to visit his campaign website and Facebook page.

For more information, email Billy.

Kim Stewart running for Doña Ana County Sheriff

Kim started out by saying that “Lady Justice won this week,” speaking of the Cosby verdict and the capture of the “Golden State Killer,” which was a case she worked on. After being fired from her job as a Doña Ana County internal affairs investigator, Kim said she had to fight the county for 5 years, and a jury awarded her a win as a whistleblower. This is evidence, she said, that she doesn’t give up. She believes in true community policing and said that currently there is a lack of leadership at DASO. “Now is the time to volunteer and get out and vote,” Kim said. For more about Kim, visit her Facebook page.

For more information, email Kim.

Support for Garrett VeneKlasen for Land Commissioner

Angel Peña said he is a strong supporter of Garrett VeneKlasen, because he has worked side-by-side with Garrett on various environmental issues. Angel said he is confident that Garrett will protect, restore, and expand wide-open spaces. He told a story about meeting up with Garrett for a camping trip, and Garrett arrived with a carload of children, who he thought needed to experience camping and the outdoors. Angel said that is typical of Garrett, “who has consistently shown his respect for public lands.” For more about Garrett, visit his campaign website.

No contact information for Angel provided.

Support for Stephanie Garcia Richard, from Lincoln County, #1

Tony Davis said he will be voting for Stephanie Garcia Richard for Land Commission. He said, “We have an excellent candidate and another who is very good. Stephanie is the excellent candidate.” Tony said Stephanie’s political and educational background makes her the best candidate, plus he said, “This is the year of the woman.” He added that she is a lifelong Democrat who has sponsored bills related to renewable energy, and she will say no to Trump’s wall on state land.

For more information, email Tony.

Democratic Party of New Mexico is looking for volunteers and paid organizers

Luis Guerrero, Field Organizer for the Democratic Party of NM, invited everyone to meet the new DPNM Party Chair, Marg Elliston. Luis is recruiting volunteers to go door-to-door and/or make phone calls. In addition, DPNM is hiring organizers for all 33 counties. You can email your résumé to Luis and he will forward it to the Field Director.

Meet & Greet with Sen. Heinrich and DPNM State Chair
Friday, May 4, 2018, from 5:00-6:30pm
Salud de Mesilla, 1800 Avenida de Mesilla

For more information, email Luis.

Let’s all be friends

Campaign manager Matthew Gloudemans announced a Meet & Greet for Lieutenant Governor candidate Billy Garrett. He said Billy’s message is that of transformational change for New Mexico.

Matt also said that he knows there are contentious primary campaigns happening, but after the primary, “let’s all be friends.”

Sunday, April 29, 4-6pm
At the home of Bob Woffard
4915 Desert Walk Court, Las Cruces

For more information, email Matthew.

Separation of church and state

Alice Anderson recommended the following book, available on the New Book Shelf at Branigan Library:

Fatal Discord: Erasmus, Luther, and the fight for the Western Mind, by Michael Massing. She said the book covers the religious wars and religious persecution in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, “which were the reason for the Establishment Clause in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.”

Alice related this to the County Commission recently deciding to institute sectarian prayer at the beginning of their meetings (Commissioner Billy Garrett was the one dissenting vote). She said, “Do they not know about the 1st Amendment? There is no official national religion, no state religion, and no county religion.”

For more information, email Alice.

Emerge Fundraiser

Rep. Joanne Ferrary, who is running for State Representative, District 37, announced a fundraiser for Emerge NM. Joanne said, “Emerge trains Democratic women to run and win. In 2016, 73% of Emerge graduates won their elections.” The current class has 50 women enrolled.

Joanne said she is endorsing Stephanie Garcia Richard for Land Commissioner.

And in campaign news, Joanne said she was recently at the Legislative Education Study Committee, in Santa Fe, where her opponent promoted giving guns to teachers. You can read more about Joanne by visiting her campaign website.

Emerge Fundraiser
Friday, May 4, 6:00-7:30pm
At the Law Office of McGraw & Strickland
165 W. Lucero, Las Cruces

For more information, email Joanne.

Karen Trujillo running for County Commission, District 5

Piggybacking on Joanne Ferrary’s announcement about the Emerge Fundraiser, Karen said she is a graduate of Emerge. She has been knocking on doors for her campaign for County Commission and has been hard at work trying to get information into the hands of voters; she has found the people of District 5 to be gracious and wonderful. She believes collaboration is necessary to get important work done, and that “we must listen to the people and work together.” She encouraged people to donate to her campaign and vote in the primary.

For more information, visit her campaign website or email Karen.

Antoinette Reyes running for County Commission, District 1

Antoinette shared that she’s a 15th generation New Mexican, she has been an activist since age 16, and she’s running because she believes we need dedicated leaders in commission chambers. She said, “I will fight for a better tomorrow.” She listed her priories as: addressing poverty and food insecurity, expanding transit, affordable housing, broadband access, public infrastructure (roads and community centers), renewable energy, a diverse revenue stream, and buying local. She is an advocate for a Homeless Bill of Rights, and hopes to serve on the Water/Natural Resources board, Health & Human Services, and Education committees. She encouraged people to donate to her campaign, take a sign, and vote.

Antoinette also announced the following candidate forums:

Democratic Party of Dona Ana County Candidate Forum
Wednesday, May 9, from 6:00-9:00
Rio Grande Theater
211 North Downtown Mall, Las Cruces

Picacho Hills HOA Candidate Forum
Monday, May 21, at 7:30pm
Picacho Hills Country Club
6861 Via Campestre, Las Cruces

For more information, visit her campaign website or email Antoinette.

Mother’s Day Celebration will honor Olga Pedroza

Caroline Barr announced that the Las Cruces Coalition for Reproductive Justice will be having its Second Annual Mother’s Day celebration, which will honor women who are working for change and pay tribute to former City Councilor Olga Pedroza. You can see the flyer for this event here.

Caroline also said she is supporting Mary Martinez White for State Representative, District 33; she said she met Mary in a political discussion group and found that if she doesn’t know about an issue, she will go study that issue in depth, which is an impressive characteristic.

Las Cruces Coalition for Reproductive Justice Mother’s Day Celebration
Sunday, May 6, from 1:00-3:00pm
1972 Calle de Fuerte, Las Cruces

For more information, email Caroline.

Support for Rep. Doreen Gallegos… oh, and this VIP running for PRC, too

Sandy Katayanagi announced her support for Doreen Gallegos, who is running for re-election for District 52. She said Doreen is her representative and has been doing a great job. Doreen has a primary opponent, Sandy said, “so it’s important to get out and vote for Doreen in the primary.” As an afterthought, Sandy added, “Oh, and vote for my husband, too! Steve Fischmann, who is running for PRC.” You can find out more about Doreen here, and you can find out more about Steve Fischmann here.

For more information, email Sandy.

Steve Fischmann running for PRC, District 5

“As my wife advised you, vote for me!” said Steve. He said his opponent is a supporter of everything El Paso Electric does or proposes and it’s time for a change. He continued, “You want someone who takes care of the public interests, not the corporate monied interests. And just to be clear, I’m for the public interests.”

For more information, visit his campaign website, or email Steve.

Paul Ponce running for County Assessor

Paul, who is the deputy County Assessor, gave an update from the Assessor’s office. He said April is the month to protest your property value; the office strives for great customer service.

As a candidate for Assessor, he said, “You want someone with experience and who has put in the effort.” He spoke of his experience in the private, corporate, and government sectors and his 18 years as a management supervisor. He commented that he is lifelong learner and will keep aiming to improve and serve the residents of Doña Ana County.

For more information, visit Paul’s Facebook Page.

Support for Stephanie Garcia Richard, from Lincoln County, #2

Joyce Westerbur said she is voting for Stephanie Garcia Richard for Land Commissioner, because of her accomplishments in the legislature, her efforts to fight fracking in Chaco Canyon, and her work on domestic water systems. Joyce said she believes Stephanie is the most qualified candidate, and hopes you will consider voting for her.

For more information, email Joyce.

Outdoor Economics Conference & Xochitl Torres Small campaign update

Nathan announced the Outdoor Economics Conference, which will focus on economic development and opportunities connected to protected public lands. You can read more about the conference and see the schedule at the website.

Giving an update on his wife’s campaign for US Congress, Nathan said, “Xochitl’s campaign is going well because she has a winning message and is an incredible worker.” He reported that
the campaign has raised more resources than both of the Republican candidates combined.

Outdoor Economics Conference
May 3 & 4
Hotel Encanto, Las Cruces
Register here.

For more information, email Nathan.

Las Cruces 2nd Amendment group will protest school safety

Kurt Anderson announced that there will be a joint work session with the Las Cruces City Council and the LCPS School Board, on the topic of school safety. A group called the Las Cruces 2A Alliance is encouraging its members to protest at the meeting; this group is against the City Council resolution to ban the sale and possession of semi-automatic firearms. Click here to see the 2A Alliance flyer. Kurt encouraged people who support safe schools to attend the meeting.

CLC/LCPS Work Session
May 2 at 7pm
Oñate High School
5700 Mesa Grande Drive, Las Cruces

For more information, email Kurt.

Micaela Lara Cadena running for State Representative, District 33

Micaela said she is working hard to earn the support of District 33 voters and is honored to have been endorsed by the Las Cruces Professional Firefighters Association, OLÉ (Organizing in the Land of Enchantment), and most recently Planned Parenthood Votes NM. She talked about an incident that happened when was working to help women in NM correctional facilities: she encountered a woman lying on the floor of the institution, devastated because she just found out she was pregnant. Micaela was impacted by the sadness and stress the woman was feeling and the tough life decisions women make because of individual circumstances. She made clear that pregnancy related decisions are personal and she will continue to fight for women to have access to reproductive health care.

For more information, visit her campaign website or Facebook Page.

Fundraiser for Howie Morales, Lieutenant Governor Candidate

Thomas Durham announced a fundraiser for Howie Morales. He said he thinks Howie is the best candidate for the Lieutenant Governor position, because among other things, he has a Ph.d in Education and he will work on improving NM schools. He asked for volunteers to knock on doors and hopes you will attend the fundraiser.

Howie Morales Fundraiser
May 1 from 5:00-7:00pm
Dragonfly Restaurant
139 N. Main Street, Las Cruces

For more information, visit the campaign website or email Thomas.

Willie Madrid running for State Representative, District 53

Willie delivered his campaign platform, which he said, “is focused on 1) jobs, 2) education, 3) infrastructure improvements, and 4) ethics.” He said two years ago he lost by just 100 votes, continuing, “I’m running for the district Nate Cote represented, and I know those are big shoes to fill.” He hopes you will support his campaign.

For more information, visit his campaign Facebook Page.

Jeanne Quintero running for District Court

Jeanne said she’s used to handling a busy caseload, as a current District Court judge. She has experience in family law, civil law, and Indian rights. She has a Ph.d in psychology; she finds herself fulfilling many roles in the position such as, “mediator, arbitrator, bad cop, good cop, and very often, Kleenex-passer.”

For more information, email Jeanne.

Isabel Jerabek running for District Court

Isabel relayed that she is currently a Domestic Violence Hearing Officer. She built a law office from the ground up. She said the center of her platform for District Judge is to allow all parties to speak their mind.

For more information, email Isabel.

Several events planned with gubernatorial candidate, Jeff Apodaca

As a field organizer for Jeff Apodaca, Joann Vullo announced several upcoming events. She said she keeps him busy when he’s in southern NM. She also said that if he wins the primary in June, Jeff would be more than willing to debate Steve Pearce.

Breakfast with Jeff
Sunday, April 29, from 10:30am-12:30pm
Boldt Street, Mesilla

Anthony BBQ with Jeff
Sunday, April 29, from 4:00-6:00
224 4th Street, Anthony

NMSU Town Hall with guest speaker, Jeff Apodaca
Monday, April 30, from 3:30-5:00

Coffee with Jeff
Tuesday, May 1, 9:30am
Sunland Park City Hall

For more information, email Joann.

Indivisible Las Cruces meeting, with speaker Bill McCamley

Linda Harris announced that Bill McCamley will be speaking to the Indivisible Las Cruces group at their next meeting. All are welcome. She said Bill will have the first hour, and other candidates are welcome to come give short talks during the second hour. She hopes to see you there.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018, 11 am – 1 pm
Branigan Library, Roadrunner Room

For more information, email Linda.

Take note: Las Cruces schools are gun-free zones

LCPS School Board president, Ed Frank, acknowledged that the school district has received some negative press recently; however, he said those articles have been filled with major inaccuracies and “aren’t even close to the truth.” Rest assured, he said, the district will be responding. He asked, “What would motivate someone to feed misleading, negative, or inaccurate information to the press? It’s something to ponder.”

Ed also confirmed that the joint work session between the Las Cruces City Council and the LCPS Board will be held at Oñate High School, as was mentioned previously by Kurt Anderson. He said, to be clear: Oñate is a gun-free zone, as are all schools in the Las Cruces School District.

CLC/LCPS Work Session
May 2 at 7pm
Oñate High School
5700 Mesa Grande Drive, Las Cruces

For more information, email Ed.

Samantha Madrid running for Magistrate Judge, Div I

Current Magistrate Judge Samantha Madrid relayed that she has been in court on the other side of the bench, trying to straighten out a problem with her voter registration status. Long story short, without her knowledge her registration became “decline-to-state” instead of Democrat, which resulted in her being ineligible to run for reelection in the primary. She went to court but lost her case. She said, “In legal matters, I will fight hard, but I can also lose graciously.” She will be running as an Independent, but wanted to clarify that she has always been a lifelong Democrat. She explained this is the only option left to her. Samantha also said she thinks very highly of the County Clerk’s office and Scott Krahling, but her only choice was to file a suit against them. She emphasized that she has the experience and desire to do the job, and she hopes you will vote for her in the general election. 

For more information, email Samantha.

Running for office is not easy for introverts!

Magistrate Judge Beverly Singleman said she’s retiring and is excited to spend time with her grandchildren. But, she wanted to thank PVA for always welcoming her warmly when she was running for judge. She said she’s an introvert, so campaigning was not always easy, but she always found her experiences with PVA positive and encouraging.

For more information, email Beverly.

What you are reading right now… Want to write it?

Cheryl Frank announced that PVA is searching for someone to write the recap. It’s a really important part of PVA! It’s loaded with good information and easy to read. Big thanks to Judy Zimmerman who wrote the recap for many, many years, and Sandy Katayanagi for taking on the task in August of last year. Let Cheryl know if you are interested in carrying on the tradition, and she’ll give you the details.

For more information, email Cheryl.

Our next meeting will be Thursday, May 24, 2018, 7 p.m., at Munson Center.




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