Who will fill Eichenberg’s seat? A look at the candidates and the process

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New Mexico Senate District 15


By Marsha Garcia, ProgressNowNM 


New Mexico District 15 will soon have a new Democratic nominee for State Senate. On June 5th, incumbent Tim Eichenberg announced that he will be resigning from his District 15 Senate seat in order to properly care for two ailing family members. On July 7th, the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County Central Committee will be nominating a Democrat to replace Tim Eichenberg on the November ballot. The meeting will be held at the Erna Fergusson Library, located at 3700 San Mateo NE, Albuquerque, on July 7th at 10:00 am. Voting will only be open to Central Committee members that reside in District 15.


There have been many democrats interested in replacing Mr. Eichenberg on Albuquerque’s east side. Progress Now New Mexico recently spoke to the potential candidates on why they hope to receive the nomination on July 7th, and other issues that are important to progressives in District 15.




Daniel Ivey Soto, Attorney and former Director of the state Bureau of Elections


Mr. Ivey Soto confirmed that if he is nominated on July 7th by the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County Central Committee, he will accept and run for Senate District 15. Ivey-Soto wants to make sure that New Mexicans are being stood up for, and will be represented in the Senate.


He stressed that the Senate is the last line of defense in stopping a number of policies from going into effect, and that he will take a stand on the issues. Ivey Soto spoke about his previous work on a number of innovative bills at the legislature that were introduced, though he did not offer specific examples, and that he understands the process. After the elections this fall a fourth of the Senate will be new, his experience will allow him to hit the ground running.




Vanessa Alarid, Consultant and former Executive Director of the Democratic Party of New Mexico


Ms. Alarid confirmed that she too will accept the nomination to represent the Democratic Party in the   Senate District 15 race if she is named on July 7th. Alarid stated that she is the best candidate to  represent District 15 in the November election. She has lived in District 15 her whole life with the exception of her time attending Columbia University, and is the only potential candidate that owns a home in District 15. Alarid added that the Democratic Party needs someone strong who can raise money, knock on doors, and ensure that this seat remains a Democratic seat.


Alarid addressed questions that have arisen in part to her previous work for SunCal and to donations she’s given to Republican legislators Bill Rehm, Nate Gentry, and Nora Espinoza. She spoke of her work with SunCal as economic development.  Alarid says that specific bills that she worked on would have brought 20,000 jobs to Albuquerque and were supported across the aisle by both Democratic and Republican legislators. Unfortunately, some of the biggest job creating bills did not pass. In regards to donating funds to Republican legislators, she attributes some to personal relationships she has had for years, and others to work.

Alarid also spoke about questions that arose from her engagement to a legislator who represents a district on Albuquerque’s west side and where she would reside should she be elected to represent Senate District 15. Alarid stated that her family has always lived in District 15, that she is completely committed to District 15, and that is where her family will live. No word on how that decision would affect her fiance’s status as a legislator when he would be eligible for reelection in two years.






Scott LeFevre, Marketing and Organizing United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 412


Mr. LeFevre also confirmed that he is interested in receiving the nomination from the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County Central Committee for Senate District 15. He sees running for this seat as an opportunity to  be a public servant working on behalf of the working families in District 15 and in our state.


LeFevre added that this is a critical time for our state and District 15 needs a strong leader who is willing to stand up and fight for issues in the district as well as issues that are on a broader spectrum such as economic fairness, meaningful job creation, and educational issues. LeFevre stated that the district needs a leader who is not just another political insider striving to make inroads in Santa Fe. Senate District 15 needs a leader who is willing to reach out to all constituents within the district, and work to not only better the district, but to better New Mexico by working together on issues that affect us as citizens and avoiding partisan politics.


LeFevre also added that he will fight to assure that the constitutional promise of a sufficient education to our children is upheld. He will stand up and fight to assure that as a state we fulfill our obligations to our seniors and veterans by providing the resources needed for seniors to have a good quality of life, and our veterans are afforded all the benefits they are entitled too. He stated that he is the leader who can and will fulfill these obligations, and will work tirelessly to win this district through a rock solid work ethic and unbreakable spirit.




Kevin Hoover, Mortgage Broker


Mr. Hoover confirmed that he had explored a run for the seat, but has since stricken his name from consideration for nomination for Senate District 15. He added that if either Daniel Ivey Soto or Scott LeFevre are nominated, he will be supporting them.