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Make check payable to: Sandoval County Democratic Party
Mail check to:
Treasurer, Sandoval County Democratic Party
1380 Rio Rancho Blvd SE #292
Rio Rancho, NM 87124

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First Friday Luncheon and Other Announcements

Hello Sandoval County Democrats:

First Friday to feature Clerk Candidates

February’s First Friday lunch will take place on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020,  at 11:30 a.m. at the Range Café in Bernalillo.

The guest speakers will be Anne Brady Romero and Bob Perls, both of whom are the Democratic candidates for the Sandoval County Clerk.

Second Saturday Cancelled

There will be NO Second Saturday luncheon meeting n February as Ward Meetings are scheduled on the same day –February 8.

County Pre-Primary Convention meets Feb. 15

As previously announced the County Pre-Primary Convention for Sandoval Democrats will take place on Feb.15 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Viva Event Center in Bernalillo. Please reference the Democratic Party of Sandoval County website or email me at for further information.

Your Ward Meeting occurs Feb. 8 
Second Notice and Updates

Also as previously announced, the Ward meetings to elect delegates to the County Pre-Primary Convention will take place on Feb. 8.

Recent Precinct changes do not impact which ward you are in. Wards stay the same.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico instructed county parties to get their voter lists prior to county clerks making the precinct changes so that it would not disrupt the ward and county meetings.

For further information please check the County Party’s website or get in touch with your Ward chair.

Ward Meetings with time, place and contact information:

Ward A

Feb. 8 at 2:00 p.m. Bernalillo Town Hall Council Chambers at 829 Camino Del Pueblo, Bernalillo, NM.
Precincts include: 1, 2, 3, 4 in Bernalillo; 5 (Placitas), 6 (Algodones), 7 (Pena Blanca), 8 (Cochiti Pueblo), 9 (San Felipe Pueblo), 10 (Cochiti Lake), 14 (Zia Pueblo), 19  (Santa Ana Pueblo) 20 (Santo Domingo Pueblo), 28 (La Madera), 29 (Sandia Pueblo), 55 and 56 (Placitas) 74 (Bernalillo and Rio Rancho) 76 (Placitas) 78 (La Cueva), and 79 (Sierra Los Pinos)

For further information please contact Ward Chair Christopher Daul at

Ward B

Feb. 8 at 10:00 a.m. Corrales Senior Center at 4320 Corrales Rd., Corrales, NM.

Precincts include: 11, 12, 13, 53, 54, and 57 (Corrales), and 59 (Rio Rancho).

For further information please contact Ward Chair Theresa Trujeque at

Ward C

Feb. 8 at 11:00 a.m. 6374 Highway 550 , Cuba, NM, (next to Circle K).
Precincts include: 15 (Jemez Pueblo), 16 (Ponderosa), 17(Canon/Jemez Valley), 18 (Jemez Springs), 21 and  22 (Cuba), 23 (La Jara) 24 (Counselors Chapter House) 25 (Torreon Chapter House), 26 (Ojo Encino Chapter House), 27 (San Ysidro) and 77 (Jemez Pueblo).

For further information please contact Ward Chair Pat Gallegos at

Ward D
Feb. 8 at 3:00 p.m. Maggie Cordova Elementary School at 1500 Veranda Dr SE., Rio Rancho, NM.

Precincts include: 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 60, 61, 62, 72, 82, and 83 in Rio Rancho.

Please contact Ward Chair Oscar Solis at for further information.

Ward E

Feb. 8 at 12:00 p.m. Lincoln Middle School at 2287 Lema Rd SE., Rio Rancho, NM.

Precincts include: 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 52, 58, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73, 75, 80, 81, 84, 85, and 86 in Rio Rancho.

Please contact Ward Chair Deb Dapson at for further information.

Kudos to Volunteers

Shout outs this month to Delbert Schafer for making the newsletters more presentable and to Scott Lake for keeping up with an increased amount of website postings.

Tell why you are a Democrat

For this month’s Why I am a Democrat we present to you Karen Schafer of Rio Rancho. If you are interested in being profiled please get in touch with me at


John Sweda, Chair
Sandoval County Democratic Party




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Karen Schafer – Why I am a Democrat

Actually, there are four things in my life that inspired me to be a Democrat and then confirmed my commitment.

1) I joined the Young Democrats in college and found the meetings and participants interesting and fun.  Then came JFK’s presidential campaign.  It was my first time to vote and I liked what he said.

2) In the 70’s I spent a good portion of several years working to support the Equal Rights Amendment in Missouri.  Almost all the state legislators who supported it were Democrats.  That solidified my commitment.

3) Support for the ERA led me to work hard on Jimmy Carter’s campaign which led to a private tour of the White House and eventually my selection as Executive Director  and then Chair of the Democrat Party in Missouri.  By that time, I was a “yellow dog Democrat.” All that doesn’t really explain my commitment to the Party.  It is quite simple.

4) Democrats work hard for and believe in the same kinds of social issues and programs that are very important to me.  I believe that it is the responsibility of each person to try to help their fellow citizens at least in some small way.

Delbert, my husband, and I have raised two Democrat sons who married Democrats.  Now I am starting to work on my grandsons.

My support for Democrats comes with the hope that working together we can solve some of the critical problems our nation faces and that have been made worse by the current administration.

Karen Schafer lives in Rio Rancho and serves as Chair of Precinct 36 and as treasurer of the Sandoval County Federation of Democratic Women.

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NM Legislative Session

By Daymon Ely, Democrat, District 23 New Mexico House of Representatives.

The Legislature starts up again on January 21.  Every even year is a short session – 30 days.  Every odd year is a long session – 60 days.  In the long session, anything goes.   This means that there is no limitation on the type of legislation presented.  In the short session (which is this session), the Governor must include the subject in her message.  Otherwise, an individual legislator cannot introduce the bill, unless it involves taxes, the budget or a constitutional amendment.  So, for example, this year it is unlikely that the Governor will place “open primaries” in her message.  Open primaries allow independents or “decline-to-state” voters to vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary.  I support open primaries because it encourages more participation in the electoral process.  While I cannot bring a regular bill on this subject in this session, I am allowed to introduce a bill for a constitutional amendment that will permit open primaries.

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Sandoval County Democratic Party Second Saturday Luncheon

Sandoval County Democratic Party held its Second Saturday luncheon on Jan. 11 to a capacity audience. Updates on activities, presentations from candidates, and political socializing filled the agenda.

Ways to canvass voters provided the principal group discussion. The difference of canvassing for votes and listening to the potential voters concerns and issues was presented.

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Teacher Shortage Imperils State’s Public Education

By Charles Goodmacher

Jonny is a fourth-grader in a small, rural school in New Mexico.

His teacher lacks any form of teacher’s license. It’s common for long-term substitutes to teach for an entire year or more in this school.

Jonny’s class is reported in a statewide report that shows 644 teacher vacancies.

Daniella is a third-grader. Her school has two third-grade classes, each with 31 students.

Daniella’s teacher is an experienced, licensed teacher, so the report on teacher vacancies doesn’t count her class.

However, Daniella and her classmates receive less individualized attention because her class is too big.

Sophia is a junior in a small high school. Her math class has six students, but the teacher has zero prior teaching experience and takes night classes as required by her alternative license from the New Mexico Public Education Department.

None of the classes the teacher handles are considered vacant because she is “licensed.” Students like Sophia nonetheless suffer because their teacher comes with virtually no preparation.

“It’s very scary,” said Susan Brown, dean of the New Mexico State University College of Education. “We just don’t have qualified people in the classrooms across the state. It’s a crisis.”

Our legislators several years ago responded to the teacher shortage with a “stop-gap” measure dubbed “alternative licensure.” Adults with any college degree can become teachers without first undergoing serious professional preparation.

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An Editorial by Karen Schafer

To the editor of the Rio Rancho Observer:

Your cartoon making fun of Greta Thunberg in the December 29 edition was totally inappropriate and insulting.  This young woman has done more to bring awareness of the climate crisis than any other single individual.  To deny that there is a crisis in short sighted and aligns your newspaper with the oil and gas industry and those who claim it is not happening.

Anyone who has survived the hurricanes, tornadoes, violent snowstorms, and flooding knows that the changing climate is bringing disaster to people all around the world including in the U.S.  Our government and citizens must step up to the plate and embrace alternative energy and conservation of resources.  Your editorial cartoons should not be promoting denial of this crisis.

Karen Schafer

(Unfortunately we are unable to find a link to this cartoon. The cartoon showed a drawing of Greta and it was making a claim that climate change is not real. )

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Rosella Gonzales – Why I am a Democrat

John’s invitation to speak to why I am a Democrat brought to mind a Ward D meeting where we discussed the need for a concise presentation on what the Democratic Party stands for.  I took the invitation as an opportunity to write what the Democratic Party means to me and to address the Ward D need for a concise presentation of our values and foundation.

The following is my first attempt at a concise presentation of what the Democratic Party stands for.  I consider it a work in progress as I believe it can yet be more concise.


  • Democrats take on the challenging to ensure a livable, inclusive future.
  • Democrats do the work of the people by leveraging knowledge and science to inform government policies and practices.
  • Democrats promote a government that seeks fairness and equality through policies aimed at strategic stewardship of the future and correcting the effects of past injustices.
  • Democrats believe in and strive for a balanced government, one that builds collective strength by encouraging and supporting individuals and that protects individuals from governmental excesses and the exploitative practices of others.

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Genia Chavez – Why I am a Democrat

Being a democrat has been a piece of a three part story that make up my identity-my past, present, and future. My past is largely influenced by stories of my maternal grandfather. He was a Mexican-American veteran who had a hard time keeping his mouth shut in the face of injustice and adversity. Appropriately named Refugio, he instilled several truths I still adhere to today. These ideals frequently coincide with what we, as Democrats, are up against with our opposition.

Presently, I am a special education teacher. This means that if I were to be a Republican, I feel as though I would be aligned with a philosophy and set of beliefs that do not coincide with my purpose as an educator. Working in Rio Rancho, this often puts me in the minority with my colleagues. It’s insanely frustrating to think that so many men and women vote against their own interest, particularly in a field that requires compassion and understanding! The future, in respects to being a Democrat, has everything to do with my children and the world I want for them. A world where basic human rights are observed and preserved in a manner that promotes the growth of humankind in facets of life.

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David McGuffie – Why I am a Democrat

Imagine a world where healthcare and education are privatized leading to rising costs, many animals are now extinct, hordes of people are on the streets, begging for a dime, no public lands as they are now all in the hands of multimillionaires; and an earth that is scorched causing famines leading to mass immigration. If this sounds familiar, these things are all courtesy of the GOP. That is why I am a democrat. I am fighting for those things to NOT happen. I feel the Democratic party best exemplifies the best of humanity and most aligns with my core beliefs of caring for my fellow man and providing a hand up not a hand out.  I, also, feel it best defends the Constitution and the dreams for our country by our forefathers who wrote it.

I am a Democrat because I believe in HOPE and FREEDOM! We are the party with HEART, not the party of GREED! We embrace everyone. I am progressive because I believe we can do better as a party and I sincerely care about the future of our children, grandchildren and the future of our planet. I believe in universal healthcare for all, a plan that doesn’t distinguish us by income inequality. I am Pro-Choice. I believe in equal pay and support enacting laws that will stop violence against women, promoting equal rights for women and electing more women to public office, because I believe for way too long women have been treated as second-class citizens. Only Native Americans are natural Americans. The rest of us are all immigrants. We should treat all immigrants as we hope and believe our ancestors were treated. I am a Democrat because I believe in America and the Constitution that allows its melting pot of citizens to have rights that allow the people to live in peace due to the protections in a framework of laws that apply to everyone. The most important being Separation of Church and State that has allowed us to be a successful country by not allowing religion to sideline our laws.

I am a Democrat because we DO NOT support Racism! Nor would Democrats ever nominate a racist candidate for any office. I support FREE COLLEGE for ALL because if we are going to be the leader in technology, we need to educate our youth to be better than what we were. It’s my understanding that’s what every parent’s hope is for their children. I support raising wages for the working class thus closing the wealth gap as America prospers when we all prosper. Healthy, financially secure and stable workers are much more productive. But most importantly, I am a Democrat because I believe in FREEDOM!
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