WASHINGTON — The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is spotlighting 13 incredible Democratic candidates for the New Mexico House. These candidates represent the vast, vibrant diversity of New Mexico. This group of candidates brings the kind of policy-making expertise and drive for change that makes New Mexico the standard for Democratic progress nationwide. In 2022, holding the New Mexico House is a top priority for the DLCC.
“We are so excited to highlight these candidates as they fight to continue the progress Democrats have made in the Roundhouse over the last year,” said DLCC President Jessica Post. “While New Mexico Republicans catered to the most extreme flank of their party, Democrats passed legislation that cut costs and improved the lives of all New Mexicans – like creating a paid sick leave program, increasing teacher pay, and making college tuition-free for residents. These returning and future leaders will help fuel the progress Democrats are building in New Mexico and continue to act as a standard-bearer for state Democrats all across the country.”
The following Spotlight candidates have outstanding records of service to their communities and will be valuable assets to the New Mexico legislature:
- Cynthia Borrego (HD-17): Cynthia Borrego is a New Mexico native and a two-time UNM graduate. With nearly three decades of public service experience, Cynthia brings policy-making expertise from her time as Albuquerque City Council President and as a city planner to her run for the House. Cynthia will continue to work to build a robust economy for generations to come for Albuquerque, HD-17, and all of New Mexico.
- Meredith Dixon (HD-20): As a small business owner and current representative, Meredith Dixon knows how to enact policies that improve the lives of all working people. Her track record of fighting for New Mexicans has earned her a long list of endorsements, from the former HD-20 representative to U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich. Meredith is trusted by her community to fight for the issues that matter most, including increasing access to health care and strengthening small businesses.
- Marian Matthews (HD-27): A resident in her district for over 30 years, Marian Matthews spent her career as a prosecutor and educator fighting for her community. Throughout her legal career, Marian was a strong advocate for children with disabilities and worked to secure increased funding for special education services. As a representative, Marian has been a champion for progressive causes from affordable health care to education and women’s rights.
- Pamelya Herndon (HD-28): Pamelya Herndon is a lawyer and “everyday hero,” an appointee to New Mexico’s Litigation Division and New Mexico’s 2012 Public Lawyer of the Year. As a lifelong public servant, Pamelya has worked tirelessly to fight for women and families while employing her legal knowledge to bring about tangible change for all New Mexicans.
- Joy Garratt (HD-29): Joy Garratt is an education expert who taught for nearly three decades, helping students thrive from Pre-K to the university level. Joy brings her expertise to the legislature, serving on New Mexico’s House Education Committee and Legislative Education Study Committee. As a representative, Joy has helped students, parents, teachers, and all New Mexicans navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Joy is running for re-election to continue her commitment to serving her community and the legislature.
- Natalie Figueroa (HD-30): Natalie Figueroa has channeled her passion for working with young people and her community into a successful career in education and public service. Natalie is running for re-election to bring new jobs to New Mexico by supporting job-creating industries and apprenticeship programs. Natalie supports expanding access to health care and will take bold steps to safeguard vulnerable communities from gun violence and a changing climate.
- Candie Sweetser (HD-32): Candie Sweetser is the true voice of southwest New Mexico – not only as the representative of HD-32, but also as her hometown broadcaster for almost 30 years. After spending three decades as the voice of her community on the radio, Candie became a state legislator and began fighting to protect students, farmers, veterans, and small businesses. Candie prioritizes the needs of her community and is running for re-election to continue that effort.
- Nathan Small (HD-36): A third-generation New Mexican, Nathan Small is deeply committed to serving his community and protecting the state’s rich environment. As state representative, Nathan has made significant investments for New Mexico’s future through numerous environmental conservation efforts. Nathan is running for re-election to continue these efforts and to create economic opportunities, increase transparency in government, and improve health care access for all.
- Tara Jaramillo (HD-38): Tara Jaramillo’s New Mexico roots stretch back before the area was even a state. A speech pathologist and mother of four, Tara has spent her life serving the people of District 38 and Socorro County, including serving on the local county school board and chairing the county’s Democratic Party. She continues to build on her life’s work of serving the community with her run for state House.
- Rudy Martinez (HD-39): Born and raised in southern New Mexico, Rudy Martinez understands the needs of his community and advocates tirelessly for improvements to public safety, economic growth, and increased access to health care. A Vietnam War veteran and a member of IBEW Local 611, Rudy brings his lived experience to the fight for better benefits for veterans and working people.
- Kathleen Cates (HD-44): Kathleen Cates spent her career in non-profit advocacy advancing the rights of women, children, and the disabled. A resident of the Albuquerque/Rio Rancho area for 25 years, Kathleen brings a proven track record in small business and a commitment to protecting reproductive rights and expanding housing opportunities for all, to her run for state House.
- Willie Madrid (HD-53): Willie Madrid is an educator, youth mentor, and community advocate who has called HD-53 his home for nearly 50 years. After unseating a Republican incumbent in 2018, Willie has fought tirelessly for better education, infrastructure improvements, and expanded job opportunities for his community. Willie advocated for vulnerable student communities by sponsoring successful legislation to make school lunch free for all students who receive federal aid.
- Charlotte Little (HD-68): Charlotte Little has served her community as a small business owner, a Tribal Administrator, and an administrative officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Raised in San Felipe Pueblo, Charlotte is the daughter of a nurse and welder. Charlotte is dedicated to creating thousands of new jobs in clean industries and is committed to lowering the cost of living for families across the state.