Release: New Mexico House Democrats Have Strong Recruitment Class for 2014 Election

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New Mexico House Democrats Have Strong Recruitment Class for 2014 Election

Campaigns and Candidates Matter

March 12, 2013

For Immediate Release


Albuquerque, NM – House Democrats have a strong recruitment class for the 2014 November general election.


Doctors, firefighters, educators, advocates for working families, attorneys, a football coach, community activists, and job creators round out the recruits to keep the New Mexico House Blue in the November election.


New Mexico is a diverse state, made up of so many different communities.  Every two years candidates from across the state file their paperwork to have the opportunity to run for election and represent their communities.


This year, House Democrats recruited a slate of diverse candidates, as diverse as New Mexico, well suited to represent the working men and women of their districts.


Below is a statement from Speaker W. Ken Martinez:


“Candidates and campaigns matter.  The issues those candidates and campaigns fight for also matter.”


“I am so proud of the Democrats who are running for re-election, and those who are challenging the Republican incumbents.”


“They have made a difference in the lives of everyday New Mexicans. Whether it is fighting for working families by fighting to increase the minimum wage, smaller class sizes and pay raises for teachers, working day in and day to create high paying jobs, I am confident our Democratic candidates will run strong grassroots campaigns that take their message to all corners of their district.”


“If we learned anything from the last two campaign cycles it’s that grassroots power means something, and the House candidates who are running will have strong grassroots operations that carry the day.”


“We will keep the New Mexico House Blue come November, and these candidates are the reason why.”


Here is a list of the top races and candidates running:


House District 4: Sarah Jane-White – Sarah lives on the Navajo Nation near the Chaco Wash in northwestern New Mexico and is a longtime advocate for healthy living on the Nation.


House District 4: Harrison Todachenne – Harrison was born and raised in Shiprock, served in the Air Force for four years, went on to become a civil engineer, and then went on to work for the Navajo Nation as project manager.


House District 7: Dr. Teresa Smith De Cheriff, medical doctor, recipient of the Governor’s distinguished Women of NM award (2009).  She was a single mother who worked her way through medical school. She currently serves on the Soil and Conservation Board of Valencia County.


House District 7: Andrew Barreras – Andrew is from Tome, NM, former state representative from 2007 to 2010, small business owner, owner of local restaurant, and real estate developer.    Married for 25 years, and currently raising three children.


House District 8: Jim Danner – Jim was born and raised in Belen.  He has a master’s degree in health and physical education from UNM. He started off as a teacher and worked his way up to principal of Belen high school. He was multi-sport coach, where he went on to become Athletic Director. He received the outstanding principal of the year award in 1994 by the NM Association of School and Curriculum Directors.


House District 8: Frank Otero – Frank is a retired facilities manager at the NM Dept of Health.  He has a degree in business management from UNM. He served on the Los Lunas school board of education from 2007 to 2011 and served as school board president from 2008 to 2009. Frank is longtime activist from the community.


House District 15: Rep. Emily Kane – Rep. Kane is running for re-election. Rep. Emily Kane is a captain in the Albuquerque Fire Department. She has been protecting the citizens of the Albuquerque area for over twenty years. Emily has the distinction of being only of two female captains on the Albuquerque Fire Department.   She resides in the north valley with her husband Robert.


House District 17: Debbie Armstrong – Debbie obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and her JD from UNM Law in 2001, focusing on health law. She has more than 20 years of experience in program management and administration within healthcare organizations.  Debbie has spent seven years in State government at the NM Aging & Long Term Services Department, the last half of which she served as Cabinet Secretary.





House District 20: Josh Anderson – Josh was born and raised in Albuquerque near Tramway and Lomas.  Josh graduated from Manzano high school, he went on to graduate from NMSU in 2001.  Josh’s father and mother have owned and operated plumbing business in the district for over 40 years.  Josh has extensive experience working with the New Mexico state legislature, working the past 12 sessions.

House District 23: Catherine Begaye – Catherine is 37 years old, a practicing attorney, small business owner who opened her law firm last year. She’s the oldest of three children raised by a single mom. She grew up in Flagstaff, AZ, and moved to Albuquerque for college in 1994 and have never left.  Catherine is a Navajo woman, an aunt to two nephews, and her mom’s caretaker.


House District 24: Rep. Elizabeth Thomson – Rep. Thomson is running for re-election. Thomson earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico. Her professional experience includes work as a Physical Therapist.  She grew up with 5 sisters and a brother, where she learned the values of working together, and the importance of family.  Elizabeth credits her family’s pillars of giving back, and valuing education, as the impetus that led to her run for House in 2012.


House District 30: Robert M. Coffey (Bob Coffey) –  Bob is a High school government teacher at Highland school in Albuquerque.   Bob is a former small businessman.  Bob is a co-leader of the Highland high school “We The People” program.


House District 36: Rep. Phillip Archuleta –Rep. Archuleta is running for re-election. Rep. Archuleta has been an avid fighter for working families in his district. In the 2103 legislative session he was a champion for raising the minimum wage and while he was unable to attend the 2014 legislative session, he sponsored 3 bills, and fought for $690,000 in capital outlay money that will help local projects in his district.

He worked in the Labor Law Administration for the State of New Mexico Department of Labor from 1990-2012.



House District 37: Joanne Ferrary – Joanne lost by 8 votes in the 2012 election against Rep. McMillian. She received her BA and MBA from NMSU and worked over 25 years as an employee and traffic safety consultant with the Department of Transportation and other organizations.  She has worked tirelessly to reduce the incidence of DWI crashes in our county, and to help educate the community about the consequences of drunk driving and underage drinking.  For the last two legislative sessions, Joanne has advocated for raising the minimum wage.


House District 38: Terry Fortenberry – Terry is the former Mayor of Silver City. Terry’s career has been in public service, where he has spent over 25 years in law enforcement with the Silver City Police Department and started as a patrol officer and worked his way up the leadership ranks where he now currently serves as Captain of the Department. Terry was born and raised in Silver City, NM.  He and his wife, Jean, have been married for 35 years, they have two children, Chris and Tracey.


House District 39: Rudolph “Rudy” Martinez – Rep. Rudy Martinez is running for re-election. Rudy was born and raised in Southern NM.  He is a Vietnam Veteran; he worked at Chino Mines for 33 years.  He is a licensed journeyman and member of IBEW Local 611.  He served 8 years as councilman & 8 years as Mayor for the City of Bayard, NM, where he also served as the District 7 (Southern NM) Director of NM Municipal League.  He was elected as a NM State Representative for District 39 in2007.


House District 43: Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard – Rep. Garcia is running for re-election. She was born in Silver City, NM. After graduating high school she went to Barnard College, Columbia University in New York and followed in her father’s footsteps and became a teacher. Stephanie is a native New Mexican and lifelong educator who has worked both abroad and in Northern New Mexico.  Having worked abroad and around the country, she returned home to New Mexico with her husband to raise their family in White Rock. Today, she is a 3rd grade teacher in Pojoaque.

As an educator, Stephanie taught at a Bureau of Indian Affairs school, a charter school and within the public school system. She has seen firsthand how public policies can succeed—and fall short— in preparing our children for a promising future.


House District 50: Matthew McQueen – Matthew is a conservation attorney from Galisteo. He is an active leader in the community on water conservation, and has worked tirelessly to support small businesses. He is running to keep all of District 50, a good place to earn a living and raise a family.


House District 53: Mariaelena Johnson – Johnson worked in education from 2006-2010 aspiring to be an educator and attended NMSU. Born and raised in Chaparral, NM, she champions parent engagement, serving for 2 years as a PTA board member. She was mentored by State Representative Dolores Wright while in junior high school and later became a local organizer.