Former NM GOP Chair Using Oil & Gas Cash to Buy NM Leg Seats

Former NM GOP Chair Using Oil & Gas Cash to Buy NM Leg Seats

As we mentioned before, the oil and gas industry is relentless in trying to shore up its influence in New Mexico politics. With Republicans like gubernatorial candidates like Rebecca Dow and also with conservative Democrats.  Here’s the update:


May 18, 2022

Albuquerque, NM In an effort to undermine the will of New Mexicans, a Republican extremist and oil executive is backing a group of conservative Democrats in the upcoming June 2022 primary elections. While the supported individuals are registered as Democrats, their stances on issues that matter to New Mexicans paint a very different picture.

Harvey Yates, oil executive and President of Jalapeño Corporation and Trump supporter, has donated thousands of dollars to “Democrats” running in contested primary races. Yates has been exploiting New Mexico’s land and people for decades in return for becoming one of the richest individuals in the state. Yates has also served as the Chair of the Republican Party of New Mexico. Now Yates is using the money he made off of oil and gas and corporate greed to try to take over the State House.

“New Mexicans support candidates who prioritize communities and families. Harvey Yates and the individuals he is supporting do not share these values. It is not lost on us that the only way Republicans can win is to literally buy nominally ‘Democratic’ seats. This is exactly what Trump-aligned oil executive Harvey Yates is trying to do,” says Josette Arvizu, Deputy Director, ProgressNow New Mexico.

In 2020, New Mexicans made it clear that they want a legislative body that prioritizes our needs by voting for Democrats that would disband the long standing conservative coalition in the Senate. The effect of voting out long time conservative Democrats made way for policy changes such as increased teacher pay, repealing the antiquated abortion ban and passing paid sick leave — all of which have been demanded by New Mexicans for decades and constantly blocked by the conservative Democrats in the State Senate. 

In an attempt to form another such conservative coalition in our State House, Yates is backing the same candidates that Working Together NM PAC (a PAC designed to elect conversative Democrats) and Representative Patty Lundstrom, both of which are backed by oil and gas donations, support. 

“Government should work for and reflect hardworking, everyday New Mexicans – not just the well off and well connected. The money made off of corporate greed allowed Yates to become an extremist who doesn’t play by the same rules that the rest of us do. That money is now being funneled into our elections in an effort to elect people that do not represent New Mexican values,” says Alissa Barnes, Executive Director, ProgressNow New Mexico. “Yates has direct ties to Trump and Republican Party Chair, Steve Pearce, and his extremist views have no place in our State House. New Mexicans made their voices heard in 2020 when they elected to disband the conservative coalition in the Senate and they will do the same again this June in the House primaries.” 

Conservative Democrats backed by Republican big-wigs:

Jalapeño Corporation, Working Together NM, and Representative Patty Lundstrom

(Candidates listed are supported by at least one of the above listed entities)

  • Joseph Sanchez 
  • Marlo Martinez
  • Henry Roybal
  • Cynthia Borrego 
  • Florence Miera
  • Ambrose Castellano 
  • Ravi Bhasker
  • Cherise Quezada

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