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While no one is out and about shaking hands, Democratic candidates who have announced to replace State Senator John Sapien, not seeking re-election to the Senate District 9 seat, are Ben Rodefer, Kevin Lucero and Brenda McKenna of Corrales.
Senate District 9 covers all of Corrales, Placitas, Bernalillo, Algodones and parts of Rio Rancho and Sandia Pueblo.
Democrat Jodilynn Ortiz of Placitas recently withdrew from consideration, claiming in a statement that “…one of my opponents, Brenda McKenna and her team, challenged some of the signatures in my nomination petition form, and because of that, a judge decided that I did not meet the minimum requirement to have my name appear on the ballot.”
McKenna responded that her “campaign team looked at Ms. Ortiz’s signatures and she only filed 180 signatures (the threshold was 176). The rest of the candidates in SD-9 filed over 300. When we looked at who signed her petitions there were several registered Republicans and many people who signed from outside of District 9. All candidates for office have to abide by the same rules and the judge agreed.”
She added that she, “along with wonderful volunteers, worked hard to secure over 300 signatures and I will work with the same tenacity for the people of District 9.”
McKenna had just posted on her campaign website an endorsement by Congresswoman Deb Haaland, representing New Mexico House District-1, for whom McKenna has worked as a field representative. Haaland said in part, “I’m excited to endorse Brenda McKenna for State Senate. Brenda is a lifelong Democrat and proud Pueblo woman. I’ve seen her work ethic and determination firsthand. I know Brenda will fight for all of us in the State Senate.”
As Ortiz withdrew from the District 9 primary race, she endorsed Rodefer. “I will be supporting Ben Rodefer as I believe he is the progressive voice of the remaining candidates in this race.”

Rodefer served in the N.M. House of Representatives from 2008 to 2010, and twice was president of the Renewable Energy Industries Association of New Mexico. While  in the state legislature, he was rated as voting 100 percent with the Conservation Voters of New Mexico, the Sierra Club and animal protection advocates.
He has founded several companies, including the solar energy firm Rio Grande Renewables, GoBox Software and Vibeway Games. He grew up in Corrales.
Lucero, a member of the Corrales Village Council, is a fourth-generation rancher/farmer in northern Sandoval County, “who grew up in Sandoval County and knows Senate District 9. He has 27 years of public service experience in city, county and state government.” He has had a career in law enforcement.
Republicans seeking the District 9 seat include Tania Dennis of Corrales, described as a business owner and member of the board of Family Promise of ABQ, a transitional shelter for homeless families. taniadennisfornm.com/
John Stahlman Clark of Placitas is also listed as running, but appears to have no web or Facebook presence.
Bridget E. Condon of Rio Rancho has worked for former Congressman Steve Pearce, and also the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce.
The 2020 primary is June 2. For those interested in voting absentee, visit the N.M. Secretary of State’s website. You may request such a ballot through May 28.
The Republican Party of NM, as well as Republican House and Senate caucuses, filed a motion March 31 to block the mail-in effort for the June primaries. The State Supreme Court set a hearing on this for April 14.
Long-time Corrales Republican Jane Powdrell-Culbert survived a challenge to her petitions last month in her bid for re-election to represent N.M. House District 44. She has no opposition in the June 2 Republican primary, although she will face Democrat Gary Tripp and Libertarian Jeremy Myers in November’s general election.

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