A Republican member of the state House of Representatives is considering a run for governor in 2022.

“I’m not saying yes, and I’m not saying no,” Rep. Rebecca Dow of Truth or Consequences said Wednesday.

“I do think New Mexico trusts women in leadership roles, and they have demonstrated that with the last two governors they’ve elected and the number of women they’ve elected to the House,” she said.

“I am not ruling out exploring the idea.”

Dow, 47, said she will not make a decision until after this year’s 60-day legislative session, which is slated to begin Jan. 19.

“I’m focused on the 60-day session,” she said. “But I see some need for strong leadership at the state level with a comprehensive approach to COVID and COVID-related recovery — economic, education.”

Dow, who calls herself a “compassionate conservative,” was born in Cushing, Okla., but moved to Truth or Consequences when she was in fifth grade. She has lived there ever since.

She won her District 38 House seat in the 2016 election and took office the following year.

She was reelected last year in a campaign against Democrat Karen Whitlock.

Whitlock filed a complaint with the New Mexico State Ethics Commission, accusing Dow of violating conflict-of-interest and financial disclosure rules in seeking state grants for the nonprofit AppleTree Educational Center.

Dow founded the faith-based early childhood education center more than 20 years ago.

Dow said the charges were “false and baseless” because she did not run or own AppleTree but merely wrote grants for it.

Though the commission did not make its findings public, Dow’s lawyer, Pat Rogers, shared a letter he received from the commission with The New Mexican in October, saying all but one of the allegations had been dropped by the commission.

The one outstanding charge, according to the letter, referred to a July 1, 2019, Children, Youth and Families Department letter notifying AppleTree of a department grant coming its way. But the letter said that because the contracts signed for that award occurred before July 1, the complaint “likely” would be dismissed.

Late last year, Dow questioned an internal Children, Youth and Families Department memo saying the number of pending cases involving at-risk children was dropping.

She said she was concerned the drop in reports during the pandemic did not equate to a drop in situations where children were in danger of abuse or neglect.

Dow and her husband, Aaron, have two adult children, Seth and Jaylah. Dow said she has talked with her family members about her possible run.

“We deeply love New Mexico and are concerned about where we might be as a state as we come out of COVID,” she said.

“I haven’t made a decision — it’s definitely exploratory,” she said.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat midway through her first term, said in December she plans to seek reelection.

General Assignment Reporter

Robert Nott has covered education and youth issues for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is assigned to The New Mexican's city desk where he covers a general assignment beat.

(11) comments

Mike Johnson

The only one that could be worse than the one we have now as Guv. would be Cruella De Vil......

Peter Wyman

So you devote half the article on rehashing a campaign DIRTY TRICK promulgated by a desperate opponent. Even respected, longtime local Democrats chastised Karen Whitlock for her failed attempt. Looks like you're already sharpening your journalistic knives in an effort to continue your biased reporting against anyone one smidgeon to the Right of the Far Left.

"When I saw the false advertising, lies, and misinformation about Rebecca Dow, I had had enough. I can’t believe my friends in the Democratic Party have stooped so low.

Many of you know me as a lifelong Democrat who has been an outspoken critic of many Republican Party policies, ideas, and candidates. I disagree with much of what Republicans say or do on a national level and somewhat so on the state and county level here in New Mexico.

I have known Rebecca Dow for twelve years in my roles as an AmeriCorps Program Director, the Director of Development at Aldo Leopold Charter School, and as a resource development consultant. Although I disagree with some of Rebecca Dow’s political positions, I admire her work on behalf of under-resourced rural communities. In particular, the programs that support teens and early childhood education.

In any other world, Rebecca would be celebrated for her leadership and capability, helping the Appletree Educational Center secure resources and implement early childhood development programming. My hunch is that if Karen Whitlock is sincere in her stated support for early childhood education programs that she and Rebecca would be allies in their desire to increase funding and expand services.

I know firsthand Rebecca is a tireless advocate for children, youth, and families. I am disappointed that Karen Whitlock has to resort to lies and misinformation to sway voters. I thought my fellow Democrats would do better.


David P. Chandler

Silver City, NM"

Khal Spencer


Khal Spencer

The NM GOP needs to run good candidates for public office. Or, we need a third party on the moderate right to balance the left. I'm happy to consider a Republican depending on the qualifications, political positions, and ideology of the individual Republican, not based on Trumpism.

That would be my message to this lady. Nothing in this article alarmed me.

Robert Fields

Always remember the “American carnage” brought to us yesterday by Donald Trump and his republican enablers, sycophants, and cronies. I can’t think of more than a handful of republicans who haven’t endorsed Trump loudly and on his command at some time during this debacle.

Republicans have split this country. They have poisoned the political environment and compromise. They have polluted the earth, poisoned the water and air, and champion rampant carbon emissions. They rob the citizens of this country. They lie, cheat, and steal.

I will never support a republican for any office ever again. I urge others to consider doing the same.

Red Eagle

Generic treatment of all members of a class or group based on impressions of a few, I thought that was what Democrats were trying to eliminate in this country. The concept of racial bias applies across more than race. Read your own words and think about that. Judging individuals on their merits is where we all need to be. Let’s stop dividing our nation by doing the bidding of those who want us to be divided.

Robert Fields

After all of those responsible for yesterday’s violence are paying for their crimes, after all republicans disavow Trump and pledge to stop the corruption, fraud, pollution, and dirty tricks, after republicans get on board with masks, distancing, and quarantine, and after republicans start being honest with Americans instead of riding coattails of political ambition, we can talk.

Until then, republicans are not a race, sex, religion, or disability. In fact, those are all groups republicans attack, denigrate, and try to disenfranchise.

They will get respect when they deserve it. Right now very few are even worth spitting on.

Richard Irell

Virtually no Republican has repudiated Trump until the last day or two. Rather, they have enabled his un-presidential, in-democratic, un-American behavior and speech. So, yeah, I am going to condemn the whole lot of them for the damage they have done to this country.

Red Eagle

This paper is so biased! Is the “scandal” posed during a re-election campaign the only thing you can find to write about. How about just providing proven facts, such as voting records during her tenure in office. The media is mind controlling this nation, wake up America and New Mexicans, think for yourself, it’s our only salvation.

Lee DiFiore

Agreed. This article headlines a Republican possibly running for governor in 2022 but the majority of its content talks about old, unfounded claims made by a political opponent in the last election cycle.

Karen Herrera

Thank you. The media has become less than journalists. They are about manipulation and control. All individual 'journalists ' enabling this behavior have lost their way.

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