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Successful Conservation Candidates Decide Key Races in State House and Senate

By November 9, 2016November 29th, 2022Campaigns & Elections, Press Releases

In NM’s Pivotal 2016 General Election, State Outcomes Diverge from National
Successful Conservation Candidates Decide Key Races in State House and Senate

Santa Fe, N.M. – Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM), via its coordinated political action committee CVNM Action Fund (CVNMAF) and independent committee CVNM Verde Voters Fund, continues to build power for our environment in the Land of Enchantment by electing pro-conservation candidates who will work to protect our air, land, water and the health of our communities. Nineteen out of 34 candidates that CVNMAF endorsed in the general election were successful in their races. The success of these candidates decided key races in NM’s 2016 general election, increasing the conservation performance of the NM legislature.
“New Mexico is different from the rest of the country. Our values and approach to protecting our lands, air, water, and wildlife are different. Our goal is to ensure that the deeply-rooted conservation values of New Mexicans are fully represented in the critical policy debates that impact their lives,” says Ben Shelton, CVNM Political and Legislative Director. “To that end, we worked hard for those candidates who will make community-informed and intelligent decisions about environmental and public health issues impacting their constituents. Moving forward, we will make progress to ensure that every New Mexican has access to clean air and clean water. As in the 2016 primary election, having a strong conservation record pays off for candidates in NM.”
CVNM will engage in full analysis of the election, but a few key themes and highlights are already clear. They are:

  • New Mexico bucked the national anti-conservation trend in outcomes last night. Democrats regained control of the State House after losing it in 2014 for the first time in 62 years. That means conservation champions like Rep. Brian Egolf, who has a 97% lifetime score on CVNM’s Conservation Scorecard, Rep. Gail Chasey, who has a 94% lifetime score on CVNM’s Conservation Scorecard, and Rep. Patricial Roybal Caballero, who has a 100% lifetime score on CVNM’s Conservation Scorecard, will be leaders in the State House. Our work also increased the pro-conservation representation of key districts in the State Senate. Many of the candidates in key races in both the Senate and House earned our endorsement because they care deeply about making sure their constituents have access to clean air, land and water.
  • Doña Ana County was home to some of the most successful candidates on election night. Dynamic pro-conservation candidates, such as Jeff Steinborn, Angelica Rubio, Bill Soules, Joanne Ferrary, Bill McCamley and Nathan Small, ran phenomenal campaigns with solid ground games, and their hard work paid off.
  • New Mexico elected Maggie Toulouse Oliver as the next Secretary of State. Oliver won by a wide margin and her lead was clear most of the evening. Oliver’s election bodes well for the midterm elections in 2018 because she is committed to making sure voting works for all New Mexicans by expanding early voting and increasing ballot access across the board.
  • With two pro-conservation candidates winning their seats for Grant County Commission, the critical environmental issues impacting that community and the state have a stronger voice.
  • Cynthia Hall will be the new representative for Public Regulation Commission district 1, mostly in Albuquerque. Conservation voters like you took out Karen Montoya in the primary election and this is a huge win for clean air and utility accountability. The PRC is the elected body that regulates utilities in New Mexico. CVNM’s affiliated political action committee Verde Voters Fund spent $50,000 in her race, helping to make a difference in this important contest. Cynthia Hall is a new expert voice on the PRC.
    CVNM and CVNMAF engage in a thorough endorsement process and endorse candidates based on their conservation records and responses to a questionnaire on topics including environmental justice, environmental health, quality of life, energy, water, land use, transportation, wildlife and wilderness.

Below is a breakdown of the outcomes of each race that CVNMAF endorsed in.*
Secretary of State
Maggie Toulouse Oliver – Win
Northwestern NM
House of Representatives
HD 4 – Glo Jean Todacheene (San Juan) – Loss
North Central NM
House of Representatives
HD 10 – Rep. Andres Romero (Bernalillo) – Win
HD 15 – Ane Romero (Bernalillo) – Loss
HD 20 – Giovanni Haqani (Bernalillo) – Loss
HD 22 – John Wallace (Bernalillo, Sandoval & Santa Fe) – Loss
HD 23 – Daymon Ely (Bernalillo & Sandoval) – Win (Pending Recount)
HD 24 – Elizabeth Thomson (Bernalillo) – Win*
HD 30 – Natalie Figueroa (Bernalillo) – Loss
HD 31 – Robert Scott (Bernalillo) – Loss
HD 43 – Rep. Stephanie Garcia-Richard (Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval & Santa Fe) – Win*
HD 47 – Rep. Brian Egolf (Santa Fe) – Win
HD 50 – Rep. Matthew McQueen (Bernalillo, Santa Fe, Torrance & Valencia) – Win
SD 10 – Dave Simon (Bernalillo & Sandoval) – Loss*
SD 13 – Sen. Bill O’Neill (Bernalillo) – Win
SD 15 – Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (Bernalillo) – Win
SD 18 – Bill Tallman (Bernalillo) – Win
SD 19 – Harold Murphree (Bernalillo, Sandoval, Santa Fe & Torrance) – Loss
SD 23 – Joy Garratt (Bernalillo) – Loss
SD 29 – Sen. Michael Sanchez (Bernalillo & Valencia) – Loss
SD 39 – Liz Stefanics (Bernalillo, Lincoln, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Torrance & Valencia) – Win
SD 40 – Linda Sanchez Allison (Sandoval) – Loss
South Central NM
House of Representatives
HD 33 – Rep. Bill McCamley (Doña Ana) – Win
HD 35 – Angelica Rubio (Doña Ana) – Win
HD 36 – Nathan Small (Doña Ana) – Win*
HD 37 – Joanne Ferrary (Doña Ana) – Win*
HD 38 – Mary Hotvedt (Grant, Hidalgo & Sierra) – Loss
SD 36 – Rep. Jeff Steinborn (Doña Ana) – Win
SD 37 – Sen. Bill Soules (Doña Ana) – Win*
Southwestern NM
House of Representatives
HD 39 – Rudy Martinez (Doña Ana, Grant & Sierra) – Win
HD 51 – Denise Lang (Otero) – Loss
Grant County Commission
District 3: Alicia Edwards – Win
District 4: Marilyn Alcorn – Loss
District 5: Harry Browne – Win
*indicates that CVNM Verde Voters Fund, CVNM’s independent political action committee, engaged in the race.
Visit to read our full endorsement policy.
CVNM is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization connecting the people of New Mexico to their political power to protect our air, land, and water for a healthy Land of Enchantment. CVNM does this by mobilizing voters, winning elections, holding elected officials accountable, and advancing responsible public policies.
Contact: Liliana Castillo, 505-992-8683 or