Dems Paint the Town Blue

New Mexico House of Representatives Democratic Candidate Stephanie Richard, left, with LAPS Teacher Andrea Determan. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/


By Kirsten Laskey

“This is our year,” said Stephanie Richard, candidate for New Mexico District 43 House of Representatives, to the crowd assembled at the Los Alamos Democratic Party’s County Convention at the Hilltop House Hotel Thursday.

With the room packed and the walls plastered with campaign posters, the mood felt optimistic. This was reflected in Richard’s words when she said a friend from Santa Fe commented that the mountains by Los Alamos looked purple, “Nah, uh,” she said, “They’re solid blue.”

During Thursday’s convention, the party elected 18 delegates and five alternates to attend the Democratic Primary Convention March 10 at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

These delegates include Carlotta McInteer, Lawrence Jeffryes, Cathy Chapman, Robert Ecke, Debra Billbury, Karen Kendall, Greg Kendall, Michael Redondo, Paul Frederickson, Stephen Yanicak, Phillip Gursky, Nathan Hjelms, Karyl AmArmbruster, Amy Storey, Laura McClellan, Chris Chandler, David Izraelevitz and Cheryl Smith Ecke.

The five alternate delegates are Ken Milder, Lesley Olsher, Monty Billbury, Brad Wright and Betty Gunther.


The delegates’ role at the convention is to represent the Los Alamos Democrat Party, pass resolutions and vote on which candidates should move on to the primaries.

A few candidates hoping for a spot in the primaries attended the convention.

Harry Montoya, candidate for the 3rd Congressional District is a native of Pojoaque.

“I stand ready to fight for a better future,” he said of his stance against corruption.

Lloyd Drager, candidate for the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office, also made an appearance along with incumbent Angela “Spence” Pacheco.

Pacheco mentioned the relationship that has formed between her office and Los Alamos.

“It’s been a wonderful collaboration between the police department, Magistrate Judge Pat Casados and the DA’s office,” she said.

Drager said he felt some changes needed to be made such as dealing with DWIs.

Jeff Carr, candidate for Public Education Commission in District 10 said he is a strong advocate for having child-centered classrooms and for good, strong schools for “whatever (young people) want to take on in life.”

Pete Sheehey, candidate for Los Alamos County Council said he has two big objectives for public office – communication and prioritization.

Communication included listening to people and telling them what the issues are, he said, and prioritization is about making good choices.

Representatives for the 3rd Congressional District incumbent Ben Ray Lujan; Public Regulation Commission candidates Brad Gallegos, Virginia Vigil and Danny Maki; Court of Appeals candidates M. Monica Zamora and Victor Lopez and incumbent to the U.S. House of Representative Martin Heinrich attended the meeting.

Field Organizer Carol Sorensen-Baumgartel of Organizing for America New Mexico spoke in support of re-electing President Barack Obama.

Editor’s Note: Check back for coverage of Thursday’s GOP County Convention.  

Chair Mike Wheeler of the Los Alamos Democratic Party. Kirsten Laskey/

Congressional Candidate Harry Montoya, left, with County Council Candidate Pat Sheehey/ Kirsten Laskey/

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