Get to know the Democratic candidates in CD3 | KOB 4

Get to know the Democratic candidates in CD3

Chris Ramirez
Updated: May 15, 2020 04:49 PM
Created: May 14, 2020 07:42 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- There are seven qualified candidates running in the Democratic Primary Election for New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District, an area that makes up most of Northern New Mexico. They are hoping to replace Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, a Democrat, who is vacating his seat to run for U.S. Senate.  

The candidates are:

  • Teresa Leger Fernandez, an attorney specializing in tribal and environmental issues.
  • Laura Montoya, who is currently the Sandoval County Treasurer with nearly two decades of government experience. 
  • Marco Serna, who is currently the District Attorney for New Mexico’s 1st Judicial District, prosecuting cases in Santa Fe and Rio Arriba Counties.
  • Joseph Sanchez, who is State Representative from Espanola and once worked as an engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory and was a utility company executive.
  • Valerie Plame, is a former covert CIA agent, who made national headlines when the Bush/Cheney Administration revealed her identity as political retaliation against her husband. 
  • John Blair, who has spent 25 years working in federal and state government, mostly for elected officials. 
  • Kyle Tisdel, who works as an environment attorney fighting against fossil fuel exploitation. 

With such a crowded field of candidates, KOB 4's Chris Ramirez asked each of them what separates them from the pack and makes them standout for voters.

Teresa Leger Fernandez: My work over the last thirty years has been on federal issues-- voting rights.  I'm not talking about it on a theoretical level, I have legislated on voting rights.  I've been fighting for voting rights for the last 30 years.  

Laura Montoya: When you vote for me, you are going to have someone who has your best interest at heart in making the decisions that we have to make-- not just with finances.  We saw healthcare is really broken.  How are we going to fix and make sure everyone has access, affordability and not have surprise billing.

Marco Serna: I think I'm the best choice because I have a lifelong service to public service.  As soon as I was out of law school, I went into public service.  The majority of my career has been as a prosecutor.  I am an elected official and I have been heading an office, not only responding to constituent needs, but responding to tough decisions as the lead prosecutor in my district. 

Joseph Sanchez:  What makes me stand out is I'm a true blue Northern New Mexican.  I've witnessed a lot of issues first hand.  I have the education- two masters degrees and the professional experience. I've been an engineering manager at one of the top labs in the country.

Valerie Plame: What sets me apart is my national security experience, my leadership experience, crisis management in the CIA.  And look, it's not something I asked for, but I do have national recognition, I have a national platform and national megaphone and I want to use that for the good of New Mexico. 

John Blair: There are two things that really separate me from the other Democrats.  The first is my experience.  I am the only candidate to have Capitol Hill experience, working for Senators Bingaman and Heinrich and the only candidate to work for President Obama and in every branch of state government.  The second is-- my election would be historic.  I would be the first openly GLBTQ member of Congress from New Mexico.

Kyle Tisdel: What compelled me into this race was needing to eliminate our emissions and transform our economy to get off fossil fuels. That obviously has importance for this state because of the role fossil fuels play in our state budget.  New Mexico has a tremendous opportunity to be leaders in the cleaner economy of tomorrow. 

Chris Ramirez also asked the candidates to explain how they would help New Mexico’s economy rebound from the hit it took from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teresa Leger Fernandez: We really need an economy that prioritizes workers and small businesses, not mega corporations or billionaires.

Laura Montoya: I really believe one of the stimulus packages should include broadband because now people are staying home and figuring out a new way to be educated, learning trades.

Marco Serna:  We need to have multiple stimulus packages-- $1,200 is not going to get people out of this hole, I can guarantee you that-- especially for as long as people have been out of work.

Joseph Sanchez:  We really need to focus on our small businesses.  I'm hoping a lot of them are able to ride this wave, a lot aren't. That's sad because a lot of the people who are becoming unemployed work from those businesses, so we need support those individuals as well as the small businesses.

Valerie Plame: The first thing I would do as a member of Congress-- when we decide to open up our economy slowly, we must boost consumer confidence.  We must put into place free, robust, accessible (COVID-19) testing. 

John Blair: I would fight to continue putting dollars into the pockets of New Mexicans who have been furloughed by this.  A one-time $1200 payment is helpful, but if this goes on 6 months, 8 months, that $1200 isn't going to last.

Kyle Tisdel: I would focus on consistent monthly relief packages to individuals and help them meet mortgage payments and put food on the table.  That in turn that will grow our economic engine. 

KOB 4 invited all candidates to submit a one-minute video message to voters to state their case. 

Click on the following links to watch the videos: 

Kyle Tisdel
John Blair
Valerie Plame
Joseph Sanchez
Marco Serna
Laura Montoya
Teresa Leger Fernandez

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