Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hart Stebbins, Hernandez enter District 3 race

Two candidates jumped into the Democratic primary race for Bernalillo County Commissioner in District Three on Saturday.

Incumbent Maggie Hart Stebbins, who was appointed to the seat eight months ago, after Deanna Archuleta accepted a position at the U.S. Interior Department in Washington, made her announcement at the Carpenters's Hall in Albuquerque. Hernandez sent a message to reporters and friends using his Facebook page.

Hart Stebbins said if she is retains the seat she wants to make county government more accountable and responsive to our families and community. And will make "rebuilding and investing in our local economy" her top priority. She also told a crowd of about 60 supporters she wants to keep jobs in Albuquerque and protect natural resources.

“These are tough times, and the recession means we must be focused and aggressive in reviving our struggling economy. This is why I believe we must use our economic resources to invest in local businesses” Hart Stebbins said in a news release. “I strongly believe we have a responsibility to use our taxpayer dollars wisely. This means we must get rid of fraud and abuse that siphon money from crucial public services.”

Earlier this month, Maggie Hart Stebbins authored Bernalillo County’s new Anti-Corruption Law which makes reporting fraud and abuse easier for residents while ensuring worker whistleblower protections.

Since Hart Stebbins appointment in May, she has promoted smarter water use and helped pass the recent water reuse and conservation initiatives that save 400 million gallon of water a year; she’s made prescription medicines more affordable by restoring the Bernalillo County Prescription Drug Discount Card; to reduce drunk driving she’s worked with local businesses to expand the county’s Safe Ride Program; and worked to fix county jail problems and has worked with jail staff, community leaders and service providers to help break the cycle of crime and incarceration.

'Life revolves around serving communities'

Hernandez, who has been a member of the the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority for since 1999, also launched his campaign online Saturday.

In May, the Governor interviewed Hernandez, who co-authored the Middle Rio Grande Regional Water Management plan, as a possible replacement for Archuleta, but later picked Hart Stebbins.

"My life revolves around serving communities important to me. It is my passion," Hernandez wrote in his campaign news release.

In fact, Hernandez has been a neighborhood association president, was a founding member of Bike ABQ, was a community organizer in the Trumbull and La Mesa neighborhoods, and has been an advocate for alternative transportation.

He said he will continue to collaborate with other governmental agencies when elected County Commissioner.

"I've remobilized my supporters from the 2008 AMAFCA re-election campaign as the kernel for this County Commission race and I'm excited at the prospect of being able to help my communities."

Currently, Hernandez, who is currently working on dual masters degrees in Public Administration and Community and Regional Planning at UNM, chairs the graduate student government and serves on the Albuquerque Pride Board of Directors.

District 3, which includes the University of New Mexico, Uptown/Winrock, Kirtland Air Force Base, South East Heights and Nob Hill areas.

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