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Grassroots candidates beat Big Oil money

Neomi Martinez-Parra

Commentary: Tuesday, as people across the state and country continue to confront the systemic racism plaguing the country, voters in six state Senate districts made an emphatic statement in favor of candidates committed to moving New Mexico forward. New Mexicans voted for clean air and water, for clean energy, and for progress for people rather than corporations. 


The Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter proudly endorsed Siah Correa Hemphill, Pam Cordova, Carrie Hamblen, Brenda McKenna, Neomi Martinez-Parra, and Noreen Kelly, among many others. Correa Hemphill, Cordova, Hamblen, McKenna and Martinez-Parra all won.

The Rio Grande Sierra Club Healthy Communities PAC worked tirelessly, including devoting significant resources, to make these candidates the nominees in each district. Alongside the Sierra Club, an array of progressive and social-justice organizations, including OLÉ, Working Families Party New Mexico, No Corporate Democrats, and Planned Parenthood, joined in an unprecedented — and successful — effort to take on Big Oil-funded incumbents who put corporations over people. Chevron spent more than $700,000 on a Texas-based PAC backing the incumbents, and a Republican-allied PAC pumped thousands of dollars at the last minute into deceptive robocalls and mailers. 


“Sierra Club made a major commitment of time and resources for all of us here in New Mexico. It made a difference. We’ll join these new leaders in the fight for the environment and justice now and in the future,” said Richard Barish, Chair of the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Political Committee. 


Sierra Club’s Rio Grande Chapter will continue to work to support pro-environment and pro-justice candidates for election in November. 


“New Mexican voted for transformation yesterday. Finally our state legislature will be a place where we fund children’s education, protect women’s choice and put community health first. These progressive candidates will be key in the movement for environmental, social and racial justice, and away from the fossil fuel economy that has left or kids and communities behind for so long,” said Camilla Feibelman, Sierra Club - Rio Grande Chapter Director


“Democratic Voters have made clear who they want to lead us in confronting our nation’s and our state’s greatest challenges. Women of color are leading the day today, and they will lead us proudly into the future,” said Rio Grande Chapter Chair Mary Hotvedt.


As New Mexico faces the urgency to move away from our dependence on oil and gas and the demand for justice on poverty, education, health care and jobs are the clear call for our state.  


The Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter endorsed a large slate of candidates, and the overwhelming majority, including all of the following candidates, were leading their races as of 4 p.m. Wednesday: 


United States House of Representatives

3rd Congressional District: Teresa Leger Fernandez

New Mexico House of Representatives

District 13 – Rep. Patricia Roybal-Caballero

District 14 – Rep. Miguel Garcia

District 17 – Rep. Debbie Armstrong

District 27 – Rep. Marian Matthews

District 40 – Roger Montoya

District 45 – Linda Serrato

District 50 – Rep. Matthew McQueen

District 65 – Rep. Derrick Lente

New Mexico Senate

District 5 –Leo Jaramillo

District 8– Pete Campos

District 9 – Brenda McKenna

District 10 – Katy Duhigg

District 17 – Mimi Stewart

District 28 – Siah Correa Hemphill

District 30 – Pam Cordova

District 35 – Neomi Martinez-Parra

District 38 — Carrie Hamblen

County & Local Races

Bernalillo County Commission – Adriann Barboa

Doña Ana County Clerk — Amanda López Askin

Santa Fe County Commission – Hank Hughes

Santa Fe County Clerk — Katharine Clark

Valencia County Clerk – Aurora Chavez

Grant County Commission — Harry Browne