Want to represent ABQ’s Westside in the NM Senate? Nov. 10 is the deadline for applications.

By: - October 31, 2022 1:56 pm

What NM Senate District 26 will look like after 2024 race. (Courtesy of the N.M. Secretary of State’s Office)

Applicants can send a letter of interest and résumé to the following address or email:

Bernalillo County Manager’s Office

Attention: Julie Morgas Baca, County Manager

415 Silver Ave, SW, 8th Floor, Albuquerque, NM, 87102

Or via email to: [email protected]

The commission meets Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. to make the appointment.

Those interested in filling the seat left empty by New Mexico State Sen. Jacob Candelaria have until Nov. 10 to apply, a date established after tensions flared among the county board charged with replacing him. 

Sen. Jacob Candelaria, a Democrat-turned-independent, announced Oct. 19 that he would be resigning that day, which was two years before his term was up. Because District 26, which Candelaria represented, sits entirely in the county, the Bernalillo County Commission is tasked with naming his replacement.

The county announced Friday that commissioners will make the appointment Nov. 15. Those interested must be at least 25-years-old and live within the current boundaries of Senate District 26.

It took a heated debate to get there. Debbie O’Malley, a Westside commissioner, said she was worried the decision was being rushed to favor political insiders. The argument reportedly ended with O’Malley cursing at a fellow commissioner after the meeting, the Albuquerque Journal reported

Commissioners who were in favor of naming a replacement quickly countered that residents shouldn’t have to wait unnecessarily long to have representation in District 26.

Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, a Westside Democrat, announced that he had eyes on Candelaria’s seat hours after the senator’s resignation, and said that he would soon apply. He told Source New Mexico previously that he hoped the commission would act fast.

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Patrick Lohmann
Patrick Lohmann

Patrick Lohmann has been a reporter since 2007, when he wrote stories for $15 apiece at a now-defunct tabloid in Gallup, his hometown. Since then, he's worked at UNM's Daily Lobo, the Albuquerque Journal and the Syracuse Post-Standard. Along the way, he's won several state and national awards for his reporting, including for an exposé on a cult-like Alcoholics Anonymous group and a feature on an Upstate New York militia member who died of COVID-19. He's thrilled to be back home in New Mexico, where he works to tell stories that resonate and make an impact.