2022 SUPREME COURT VOTER'S GUIDE

At the New Mexico Business Coalition, we understand that it’s important that each voter is educated in every election, so they can be well-informed, and vote correctly- the person and their positions are more important than the party.

We believe that it’s important that voter’s are careful who they vote for as decisions made by those in high-ranking Law Enforcement positions will have a major impact on all aspects of crime, from the criminals themselves, to the officers that serve and protect. So at NMBC, we encourage all voters to look at the qualifications, experience, and stated positions of each candidate, not their party affiliation.

SANDOVAL COUNTY SHERIFF

Jesse James Casaus (D)
Darrell "Keith" Elder (R)

EDUCATION/QUALIFICATIONS

  • 21 years of Law Enforcement experience
  • Awarded Certificate of Commendation for courageous performance under intense, dangerous circumstances in operation of taking an armed suicidal subject into custody in 2009
  • Over 35 Years of Law Enforcement experience
  • 2018 Alumni Leadership Sandoval County, Managing Police Discipline and Administrative Investigations Training
  • New Mexico State Police Recruit School- 1984

EXPERIENCE

  • Sandoval County Sheriff since 2019
  • Sandoval County Sheriff’s Deputy, Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office, 2008-2018;
  • Patrolman, New Mexico State Police, 2001-2008
  • Administrative Lieutenant, Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office from 2007 – 2019
  • Sergeant for Socorro from 1998 – 2005 
  • Senior Patrolman for Hobbs from 1995-1998
  • Agent for the Office of the Chief, Governor’s Security from 1991-1995
  • Patrolman in Vaughn and Santa Rosa from 1988 -1991
  • Junior Patrolman in Espanola from 1984 -1988

GOALS FOR POSITION

“Due to the legalization of Marijuana, Traffic Safety and Impaired Driving Drug Recognition (DRE) training for deputies will remain an immediate priority.  In the long term, maximizing grant potential by working with Sandoval County’s Grant Writers will focus on grant opportunities and federal financial assistance to support law enforcement and public safety activities.”

-Rio Rancho Observer Interview

My short term goal would be to analyze the budget and specific needs of the office.  I would re-establish communication and relationships with the law enforcement agencies within Sandoval County to share crime information for case resolution.  I will work with the various courts in the county to streamline the court process in using less man power for transports. 

Long term, I would be focusing on crime reduction, reducing response times and increasing the number of deputies to better serve the citizens of the county and to create a safer working environment for the deputies.  As with any beginning, there is always more to be accomplished!”

-Rio Rancho Observer Interview

SOURCES

BERNALILLO COUNTY SHERIFF

John Allen (D)

EDUCATION/QUALIFICATIONS

  • Associate Degree, CNM
  • Lead Instructor at the CNM Law Enforcement Academy.

EXPERIENCE

  • Worked as a patrolman with the NM State Police
  • Became a Supervisor for the BernCo Sheriff’s Office’s Homicide, Violent Crimes, Crisis Intervention Team, and Special Weapons and Tactics units.
  • Served with the FBI, the DEA, Secret Service and Homeland Security when crimes involved narcotics, gangs and other criminal networks.

TOP PRIORITY

“Violent crime is our most serious challenge. We must invest in focused and data-driven policing that keeps violent offenders behind bars. We also must overhaul and improve how BCSO works with APD and our law enforcement partners to communicate better, share resources, and allocate officers and deputies more effectively.”

-ABQ Journal Interview

SOURCES

Kaelan Dreyer (L)

BACKGROUND

  • Arrested in June 2021 for attacking the current Bern.Co. Sheriff

EXPERIENCE

UNKNOWN (No website, no accessible online presence, only a small Ballotpedia page)

GOALS FOR POSITION

UNKNOWN

SOURCES

Paul Pacheco (R)

EDUCATION/QUALIFICATIONS

  • Graduated from Valley High School
  • Attended CNM for 2 years

EXPERIENCE

  • Worked in Law Enforcement for 27 years
  • Served as a NM Representative for 4 years
  • Worked as an Executive for the NM Dept. of Corrections for 4.5 years 

TOP PRIORITY

“Not having enough uniformed deputies on patrol. The lack of deputies translates to little or no proactive policing or traffic enforcement being performed in the county. I will put more deputies on the streets to answer calls.”

-ABQ Journal Interview

SOURCES

SANDOVAL COUNTY COMMISSIONER- DISTRICT 1

Katherine Bruch (D)
Jeanette Clark (R)

EDUCATION/QUALIFICATIONS

  • Served as County Commissioner since 2019
  • Attended The University of Texas (Austin)
  • Attended St. Edward’s University
  • President of the San-Bern FRW
  • Associates Degree in Performing Arts

EXPERIENCE

  • Bruch Family LLC- Small Business Owner, 1997
  • Operations, Human Resources and Corporate Training
  • State Party, Precinct Chair
  • State Party, Associate Ward Chair
  • JC Blinds- Vice President since 1998
  • Former Youth Program Development & Director of Programs with both the YMCA and the Girls Clubs of America.
  • Accomplished Country Music Artist

GOALS FOR POSITION

“I know we don’t always have the answers but working on reaching those goals is part of the experience and is everything I expect it to be for the people of District 1 and our beloved Sandoval County, and my goal is to be able go out and find solutions that will work for my constituents in the long run.”

-Katherine Bruch

  • Better Roads
  • Safer Communities
  • Higher-Paying Jobs
  • New Businesses

-Jeanette Clark

SOURCES

SANDOVAL COUNTY COMISSIONER- DISTRICT 3

Gregory Bennett (D)
Michael Meek (R)

EDUCATION/QUALIFICATIONS

  • Received a PhD in biomedical sciences
  • Received his Doctoral Degree in Chemistry from Washington State University, 1988
  • Worked at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in the Department of Genetics Cell Biology and Anatomy
  • Served as County Commissioner since 2019
  • Former Fire Chief for the Rio Rancho Fire Dept.
  • Current Chair for the Commission

EXPERIENCE

  • Worked with the Federal government to obtain grants and monies for specific projects for almost 30 years.
  • Volunteered in the Medical Reserve Corp (MRC), planning for possible mass-casualty disasters
  • Real Estate Agent for Asset Management
  • Volunteer Firefighter, until promoted to Chief Fire
  • Served as the Vice Chairperson for the Commission

GOALS FOR POSITION

“In the short term I would focus the County’s attention on small businesses. We need to provide more personalized help to these businesses – both new ones that are looking to relocate or start-up in the County as well as existing businesses that are looking to expand. We need to better invest in small business development centers where individuals can get the critical information they need to establish their businesses.

In the long term I believe infrastructure development and maintenance is an essential component of our current sustainability and future growth. The County’s roads and bridges are in need of repair and broadband is unequivocally inadequate. We need to bring more Federal money into the County to improve our infrastructure and to better serve the citizens of Sandoval County.”

“Paseo del Volcan (PDV) is the most important long term goal. Having a loop from I-40 to I-25 through Rio Rancho will bring many new companies to the area. They will be able to use the Double Eagle Airport and have a new industrial corridor to boost options in the metro area. The short term goals related to PDV are: 1. to complete the engineering  for the extension of King Blvd from Unser Blvd. to Rainbow Blvd. and, 2. complete construction of this section. We also continue to operate transparently for the better good of the citizens.”

-Michael Meek Interview

SOURCES

BERNALILLO COUNTY COMISSIONER- DISTRICT 1

Barbara Baca (D)
Michaela Chavez (R)

EDUCATION/QUALIFICATIONS

  • Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Board Member At Large, 2018-present
  • Director, City Parks & Recreation Department, City of Albuquerque, 2009-2014
  • Master of Science in Recreation Administration, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1983
  • Bachelor of Arts, Recreation, from University of New Mexico, 1982
  • Graduated from Sandia Prep, 2000
  • Some college – DeVry University

EXPERIENCE

  • Open Space Planner, Division Manager for Recreation and Conservation & Social Services, City of Albuquerque, 1983-2014
  • Senior Social Services Division Manager, Albuquerque/Bernalillo County, 2001-2009
  • Outdoor Recreation Planner, National Park Service, Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program under the Clinton Administration, 1991-1993
  • David Chavez CPA, Bookkeeper, 2011 – Present
  • Barrett Foundation, Executive Assistant, 2006 – 2012
  • La Familia, Inc., Human Resources Assistant, 2003 – 2006
  • RGMD Professional Services, Administrative Assistant/Billing Coordinator, 2001 – 2003

THEIR PRIORITIES

  • Public Safety- a stronger partnership between the City and the County is a first step to reducing crime. 
  • Homelessness and Behavioral Health- expanding the County’s mental and behavioral health programs and facilities to reduce addiction, homelessness, and crime.
  • Supporting Local Businesses and Workers- expanding apprenticeships and worker training programs. 
  • Protecting our Natural Resources and Investing in Needed Infrastructure- advocate to protect our open space, water, and other natural resources, while investing in our existing neighborhoods, and needed infrastructure like roads. 

-Barbara Baca

  • Economy- pro small business and anti-big government, believing that through capitalism, opportunity, and competition, that our state will reach its true potential.
  • Crime- believes in investing additional funds, prior to the egregious “catch and release” movement, in order to recruit and hire additional police officers to keep our streets safe.
  • Education- we must begin the process of dissembling this school system and establish multiple school systems that can best represent the needs of schools in a more targeted areas of the city
  • Water- emphasize conservation, sustainability, and strong relationships with private and public, local, state, and federal agencies.
  • Voter ID- laws that ensure that security of voting needs to be of the utmost importance. 
  • The NM Exodus- New Mexico has fallen victim to a whirlpool affect, in that there are no opportunities here for our young people, forcing them to leave while at the same time, one of the reasons commerce is fearful to invest in New Mexico is due to a lack of a healthy work pool to fill their job requirements.

-Michaela Chavez

SOURCES

BERNALILLO COUNTY COMISSIONER- DISTRICT 5

Eric Olivas (D)
Judy Young (R)

EDUCATION/QUALIFICATIONS

  • Graduated from Sandia High School
  • Bachelor’s degree from UNM in Chemistry & Biology the University of New Mexico in chemistry and biology
  • Master’s degree from UNM in biology
  • Undergraduate from West Texas A&M
  • Master’s Degree from Columbia University
  • Post Master’s  Education at UNM

EXPERIENCE

  • Owner/operator of Olivas Enterprises LLC landscaping & plumbing.
  • Worked as a licensed mechanical contractor and journeyman plumber/pipefitter.
  • Served on the ABQ Civilian Police Oversight Board including service as board chair for 2 years.
  • Served as chair of the Northeast Heights Community Policing Council for 2 years.
  • Volunteered for Animal Humane of N.M.
  • Wrote many grants for UNM 
  • Partnered with Assistant Chief of Police, Phil Chacon, in starting first publicly funded Domestic Violence Program (eventually, every state adopted this program)
  • Worked with Frank Crosby starting the first Home Show & Sports Show in NM
  • Worked at South Texas Intermediate Sanction Facility and MDC
  • Worked as a counselor and educator for highly at-risk teenagers in Houston

TOP PRIORITY

“Crime is the biggest issue in District 5 and the county. The behavioral health crisis and the crime we see are related. In addition to the need for more police and sheriff’s deputies, we need increased crisis triage beds, shelter capacity and substance abuse treatment.”

-ABQ Journal Interview

“Push back hard on crime by: 1. Supporting all law enforcement fully. 2. Engaging all law enforcement to work cooperatively. 3. End drug and criminal sanctuary status by implementing tough Metropolitan Detention Center policy. 4. Implementing policy to protect the lawful and impose consequences for the unlawful.”

-ABQ Journal Interview

SOURCES