Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard Officially Launches 2016 Re-election Campaign

Los Alamos Democratic Party Chair Robyn Schultz addresses the crowd Sunday at the Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op and introduces Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard announces her bid for re-election to a third term. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Supporters gather at the Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op for Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard’s re-election campaign kick-off event. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

 

By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard officially announced her bid for re-election to a third term during a campaign kick-off event Sunday at the Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op in Central Park Square.

The Democrat has served two terms in the New Mexico House of Representatives and spoke at Sunday’s event about her reasons for seeking public office in 2010 and her motivations for continuing to serve.

“I have a very particular experience,” she said. “I’ve been in a classroom (teacher) … I am a mother … I don’t believe that perspective was represented in the legislature … it’s a citizen’s legislature yet I don’t believe all perspectives were represented there.”

Garcia Richard lost her father recently and explained that she has had a lot of time to reflect on her upbringing and the values her parents instilled in her.

“They really valued service to the community – not necessarily elected office but having a voice and working to make things better in the community,” she said. 

She laid out her reasons for seeking re-election.

“I really think that we are off to a good start,” Garcia Richard said. “We’ve worked on a variety of issues including education, water, small business support and closing the tax loophole known as ‘combined reporting’”.

The tax loophole allowed out-of-state corporations to avoid paying part or all of their New Mexico income taxes. It was part of a larger corporate tax overhaul and an issue that Garcia Richard campaigned on.

“We closed that loophole thereby leveling the playing field for our in-state corporations,” she said. “I am glad we were able to accomplish it in my first session.”

Garcia Richard has spent her last two terms in office building relationships on both sides of the aisle, with local elected officials and with state agencies, which she said allows her to be “extremely effective.”

“Also, to be effective you can’t stick with your party alone – you have to reach out to the other side and work together.

Does Garcia Richard have her sights set on higher office?

“At this point I have my hands full as a state representative and I want to do well,” she said. “Why have the job if you don’t put everything into it … I haven’t thought about higher office … there’s so much to do in the office I’m in now that it’s important to really concentrate my efforts there.”

Garcia Richard campaigned last time on the formation of an independent ethics commission to provide oversight to public officials as well as lobbyists. She said she wants to continue that work.

She added that it’s important to draw her constituents out to express themselves and their opinions so she can understand how they feel about the issues. One of those constituents, Los Alamos resident Mike Lippiatt, was at Sunday’s event and said it was the first political function he has ever attended.

“I actually shocked myself but she has drawn me out … she’s so genuine and does so much for our community and for New Mexico,” he said. “It’s a surprise to find that there is actually somebody who is real and is at the capitol working for what’s right for New Mexico.”

Los Alamos Democratic Party Chair Robyn Schultz spoke about Garcia Richard following Sunday’s event.

“She works hard for everyone in her district and I’ve seen it first hand,’ Schultz said. “She helps make things happen and I say this not because she is a Democrat but because she is a great representative.”

Garcia Richard, 41, is a native New Mexican who grew up in Silver City. She was first elected to the State House Nov. 6, 2012, to represent Los Alamos and portions of Santa Fe, Sandoval and Rio Arriba County. Her father was a WWII veteran and teacher; her mother was active in their church and community. 

After graduating high school, Garcia Richard went to Barnard College, Columbia University in New York and followed in her father’s footsteps and became a teacher. She is married to Valley Daily Post Publisher Eric Vasquez. The couple has two daughters, a freshman and a senior at Los Alamos High School.

At this point, Garcia Richard is running unopposed in the Democratic Primary and a Republican challenger has not yet announced.

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard addresses the crowd at Sunday’s event. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

District Judge Jennifer Attrep, center, speaks with Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard at Sunday’s event. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Lew Agnew and his wife Marge with Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard at Sunday’s event. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos High School students DC Kim, left, and Alex Csanadi chat with Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Kyle Wheeler, left, speaks with Marvel Harrison. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Supporters pack Sunday’s campaign kick-off event for Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Amy Storey chats with Phil Gursky. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

From left, Mike Lippiatt, Jody Schultz, Judge Jennifer Ettrep and Dustin Lippiatt. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Scene from Sunday’s event. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Scene from Sunday’s event. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Scene from Sunday’s event. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

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