Alibi V.28 No.34 • Aug 22-28, 2019 

New Mexico News

En El Norte, Parte Segundo

As one vanishes another appears

Gavin Kaiser
Candidate Gavin Kaiser at the Roundhouse
courtesy Oratory of Mystical Sacraments

There’s one surefire way to get a candidate for office interested in what you are writing about them and that’s to misidentify their current position as an elected official.

On Friday, a representative of Sandoval County Treasurer Laura M. Montoya—a recently declared candidate in the upcoming 2020 multi-Democrat US District 3 Congressional election—called to tell me that I had gotten her title wrong. And sure enough, there it was in print. We called her the County Manager. She’s the Treasurer. Just remember what we’re trying to keep track of in that district.

With the fact of that race’s long-in-the-tooth appearance at such an early age complicating matters, it’s true that the primary election for this soon-to-be epic contest of Democratic wills—and perhaps a good, old fashioned demonstration of the damaging internecine conflicts, pitting progressives against moderates, that plague Democratic politics in this state year after year—is still nine months away.

It’s almost a certainty that some of the candidates we’ve listed will drop out. Certainly, only one will win. And though we probably won’t endorse in this race until it comes closer, we already have some ideas of who is going to prosper and who will be left to consider other political pathways in the coming months.

With that said, here’s a look at the remaining candidates for US Congress in District 3 in the fabled Land of Enchantment.

Donkey Number Five

Six days ago as you read this, Democrat Rob Apodaca, from Española, N.M., one of Obama’s political appointeees, dropped out of the District 3 Congressional race.

In a prepared statement, Apodaca told the press, “I decided to run for Congress with one goal in mind – to help the people and our communities of northern New Mexico. I love this state and I especially love this district. It has been an honor to be supported by the many people who have stood behind me and I owe so much to them and the people of this district. I had hoped that my work would continue in Congress, but unfortunately that cannot happen at this time.”

Donkey Number Six

Although Cameron Chick was initially listed as a candidate in District 3, further research shows the very conservative Democrat from Belen running in District 1, which is currently represented by Deb Haaland.

Since this is the only time you’re likely to hear about Chick—his Facebook page is nearly blank and the only other information currently available about the candidate stress that he is using crowdfunding to drive his bid—here’s a choice quote: “I hope to accomplish both little and big things.” Indeed.

Donkey Number Seven

And while two sink, yet another rises. This past weekend, Kyle Tisdel, an environmental lawyer officially filed as a candidate for the job of repping District 3.

Tisdel is running as he acknowledges the climate emergency, which he told the local daily represents “an existential threat to people across New Mexico, our country, and the entire planet.”

The candidate’s recent legal work includes interactions with Dine interests that are committed to protecting tens of thousands of acres of national forest from oil and gas development activities. In particular Tisdel’s firm effectively blocked federal approval for fracking permits across the Chaco Canyon area.

Donkey Number Eight

And they keep coming. This afternoon while fact-checking this clearly breaking news story, yet another Democrat threw their hat into the District 3 ring.

Longtime Democratic operative John Blair—who has had heck of career working for the likes of Obama, Heinrich, Bingaman and Balderas—told the citizens of Nuevo Mexico in a press release dated Aug. 19, “The families I grew up with on the south side of Santa Fe are getting shortchanged by Republicans in Congress and I refuse to stand by and watch it continue.”

Hats off and flame on, sir.

Donkey Number Nine

New Mexico freshman House Representative Joseph Sanchez was the first Democrat to announce their candidacy for the above referenced position in El Washington. He made his intentions clear back in April.

Sanchez is a scientific type from Alcaldee, N.M. who works at Los Alamos National Labs. Although he’s an advocate for Michelle Lujan Grisham’s renewable energy gambit, he still thinks fossil fuels, where a developed infrastructure helps guarantee revenue, can continue to play an important part in this state’s economy and culture. He shown a willingness though, to work with renewables advocates, co-sponsoring a solar improvements bill with Rep. Abbas Akhil (D-Albuquerque).

The 10th Donkey

Okay, so the final candidate being ever so briefly profiled here, ahead of 2020 mind you, is Gavin Kaiser, the founder of an organization called the Oratory of Mystical Sacraments. And yes, he’s a Democrat.

Though details about his exact personage and platform remain sketchy, an ever so brief perusal of the organization’s website reveals the following data. OMS is a religious organization that uses peyote, marijuana and psilocybin as sacraments.

Be Seeing You

So that’s that; from former spies to lifelong political operatives to community activists to space hippies from another land—adjacent to, but in an oblique dimensional shadow distinct from the reality that is District 3—it’s gonna be a long nine months until the primary election comes along and sets things straight. The fact is, one of the best ultimately rise and continue to hold back the Elephantine hordes of District 3.

Just promise us you won’t cast your lot with those elephants when the time comes.