There is no doubt that Garrett VeneKlasen is a conservationist: that is his job. Yet what experience does he possess to be our Democratic candidate for state Land Commissioner?
Has he ever been active in the Democratic Party? A ward chair/delegate? Walked/called for candidates? He has never voted in a school bond or school board election, so how much does he care about education for NM children? What is his experience working with the Legislature? Has he worked with the entire state’s budget? Interestingly, only a small part of the job is about conserving the land. The job is to grow the fund that pays for K-12, colleges, and state hospitals.
The job involves the ability and experience to work with others, to work on investing and growing the fund, and to work with the Legislature. We are looking for someone who has those skills, who understands and has experience with using money to improve the education of all children in New Mexico and is a progressive who will move New Mexico forward.
Only one candidate has those skills and meets those requirements. Only one candidate has a record of progressive voting. Only one candidate has shown the ability to work with a large state budget and a proven record of standing up against fracking and for Early Childhood Education.
My vote is for this state’s first female Land Commissioner: Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard. This woman will restore the $750 million projects begun and planned by former Land Commissioner Ray Powell, who remained in this race until illness forced him to step aside; however, he endorsed Stephanie Garcia Richard as the best qualified candidate to replace him on the ballot. This woman has shown she can work with diverse viewpoints, come to consensus, and move forward. She has been an active Democrat for years, as a ward chair and a delegate. She has walked and called for candidates. She is an environmentalist. Environmentalism came from the ideals of protecting people’s health and well-being by protecting mother nature.
No other candidate in this race has the qualifications of Stephanie Garcia Richard … period.