SANTA FE, NM: Two state executive seats on the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission are up for election in New Mexico this year. The PRC is responsible for regulation of public utilities, transportation companies, transmission and pipeline companies, insurance companies and other public companies. While such commissions tend to draw little attention from the public in most states, New Mexico has been an exception.
Democratic incumbent Jason Marks has held the 1st District seat since 2005 and is prevented by term limits from seeking another term. The Democratic primary will be a three way race between current state Rep. Al Park, PRC staff attorney Cynthia Hall and Bernalillo County Assessor Karen Montoya. Attorney Christopher Ocksrider is running unopposed for the Republican nomination.
Incumbent Douglas J. Howe (I) was appointed to District 3 by Governor Susana Martinez on November 7, 2011 to replace Jerome Block. Howe, who was appointed as an Independent, originally said he would run for a full term as a Democrat, but changed his mind, stating, “I don’t know how to be a politician. I’m not one. I might be able to learn. But I need a lot more than two months to do it. I finally came to the conclusion that it is an insurmountable task.”
With Howe out of the race, the Democratic primary will be a five-way battle between Brad Gallegos, Danny Maki, Valerie Espinoza, Virginia Vigil and Ronald L. Rees. Martin Suazo was running as a Democrat, but as of this morning is listed on the Secretary of State’s site as not submitting nominating petitions. No Republicans filed in the race.