Oilman and geologist Spiro Vassilopoulos announced today that he will enter the Republican primary for land commissioner.
“As a certified petroleum geologist and independent oil and gas producer, my domestic and international experience gives me considerable advantage over those with no such expertise,” Vassilopoulous wrote in an e-mail received by NMPolitics.net.
In 2008, Vassilopoulos, a political newcomer, campaigned briefly for Sen. Pete Domenici's seat after the six-term senator announced his retirement, but dropped out of the race after then Rep. Steve Pearce entered the race.
Vassilopoulos has hired Daniel Garza has his campaign manager, and Max Sanchez to be his treasurer.
Vassilopoulos said he's confident he will have enough petition signatures and will file with the secretary of state's office on February 9th.
In the Republican pre-primary race, Vassilopoulos will face Jim Jackson, who took a leave of absence from the state land office to campaign for the post, cattle rancher Matt Rush, retired law-enforcement officer Errol Chavez, and GOP activist Bob Cornelius in the state's pre-primary nominating convention on March 13 in Albuquerque.
Four candidates have entered the Democratic primary, including Santa Fe County Commissioners Harry Montoya and Mike Anaya, PRC Commissioner Sandy Jones, and former commissioner of public lands Ray Powell.