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Courtesy
State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard
Garcia Richards declares candidacy for state land commissioner

State lawmaker Stephanie Garcia Richard, a Democrat from Los Alamos, confirmed Wednesday she would be running for state land commissioner following an announcement by Democrat Ray Powell that he would be withdrawing from the race.

Garcia Richard, who represents District 43 in the state House of Representatives, said Powell called her to ask that she get back in the race. Powell had been state land commissioner for several terms. He announced that he would be stepping away due to health problems from an auto-immune disease.

Garcia Richard said she had contemplated running for the statewide post that oversees state trust lands for educational institutions earlier this year, but had decided to not pursue it when Powell announced he would run.

His announcement Wednesday changed that.

“He called me up and asked me to reconsider. This seat gives me a good opportunity to advocate for education funding, renewal energy resources and conservation,” Garcia Richard said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

An educator with three terms in the Legislature under her belt, Garcia Richard said she would have a unique opportunity to challenge the public’s perspective of “what the land commissioner is.”

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