Ray Powell Ends Bid For Land Commissioner-Endorses Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard

by Staff Reporter / Nov 15, 2017 / comments
Ray Powell and Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard. Courtesy

Ray Powell Ends Bid For Land Commissioner-Endorses Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard

Submitted by Carol A. Clark 

ALBUQUERQUE – Former Land Commissioner and current Democratic candidate for Land Commissioner Ray Powell today announced his decision to end his bid for Land Commissioner and endorsed State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard who represents Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval and Santa Fe counties.

Powell released the following statement:

“New Mexico’s land, animals, and working families are my love and passion. Working to protect their well-being is the reason I decided to run again for New Mexico State Land Commissioner. I want to let you know that I recently learned that I have a rare auto-immune condition called myasthenia gravis. While there is a very good probability that with treatment I can live an active life, I cannot sustain the intensity of effort that New Mexico needs and deserves.

In the past when faced with challenges and adversity I just worked harder. Regrettably, that is not an option in this case. Therefore, I have reached a very difficult decision that I will not continue my run for Land Commissioner for 2018. This is in my family’s and my best interests.

I want to wholeheartedly thank all my friends and supporters, and I will continue to look for ways to work for New Mexico’s lands and working families!

As I step away from this race I am appreciative that an extremely well-qualified leader is willing to take up the cause. Stephanie Garcia Richard is one of us, a fighter with a strong history of standing up for New Mexico and its people. Stephanie is a native New Mexican with connections to the land from her family’s ranch in La Garita. Her years fighting for working New Mexicans in the State Legislature and as an educator has proven she is the leader we need at the Land Office. 

Just as I have done, Stephanie will demand public lands stay in public hands, work to increase support for public schools and early childhood education funding, and make renewable energy one of New Mexico's top priorities again.

I hope you will stand with me in support of Stephanie Garcia Richard for Land Commissioner.”

Garcia Richard today released the following statement:

“I chose to run for State Representative to help make New Mexico a better place for our kids and families. I have been privileged to serve as a legislator and Chair of the House Education Committee, where we have fought to keep public lands in public hands, invest in renewable energy and restore public education funding.  But we can do more and part of that starts with the office of Land Commission.

Earlier this year I had examined entering the race because the State Land Office is where we make the important investments to fund public education and sustainable energy projects as well as whether to sell off our land and finite resources to the highest bidder.

It's a great office to make a difference in the lives of all New Mexicans, but another qualified candidate was running, so I opted to stay in the legislature. It was a difficult decision to make when Ray Powell asked me to run, but I know that the land office provides me the chance to further our goals of improving New Mexico's schools, improving our economy, and restoring the projects our current Land Commissioner has abandoned.”

Garcia Richard, a Democrat who represents Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval and Santa Fe counties is a three-term legislator who chairs the House Education Committee and has extensive experience with state revenues and the state budget process. She has built a strong reputation working to improve education, economic development and protecting public lands for the people of New Mexico.

Along with her accomplishments as a 18 year long educator, Garcia Richard also is the only candidate in the race with a tangible track record of fighting the oil and gas special interests, standing up to the NRA in support of closing the background check loophole, and demanding funding for early childhood education.

If elected, Garcia Richard would be the first woman ever to serve in the office of State Land Commissioner in New Mexico.