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Alexis Martinez Johnson speaks Monday in front of the Roundhouse to announce her candidacy for the 3rd Congressional District. She previously ran in 2020 but says a new redistricting map gives her a better chance.

Optimistic about the state’s new political boundaries following redistricting, Republican Alexis Martinez Johnson announced Monday she is making another run for New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District.

Long a Democratic stronghold, the newly configured district is now rated “highly competitive” by the political tracker FiveThirtyEight. While the district still encompasses all of Northern New Mexico, Republican-leaning areas in the southeastern part of the state, where Martinez Johnson was born and raised, were pulled into the new boundaries.

“I was not considering being a part of this race ... where the lines stood before,” Martinez Johnson, 40, told a small group gathered for a news conference outside the Roundhouse.

“I wanted to see another path of making a difference in New Mexico,” she continued, “but when I saw such disregard for the voters [during a special session in December on redistricting], I said, ‘You know, we cannot stand for that. We must stand up.’ “

The heavily Democratic Legislature approved the new boundaries in what is widely believed to be an attempt to win the Republican-leaning 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses the southern part of the state.

Martinez Johnson, an environmental engineer, ran unsuccessfully for the Congressional seat in 2020. While campaigning outside on the Santa Fe Plaza in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, police cited her for refusing to wear a mask.

“Laws were created where everyone should be masked outside, and we have now found out that the science just does not support that,” she said. “However, if I enter this building, I put a mask on.”

Martinez Johnson said she’s vaccinated against COVID-19 and “promotes” getting the vaccine.

“We shouldn’t be wrestling anybody on the ground over here per se, but I do believe that people need to speak with their doctor and, after consultation with their doctor, make that decision for them,” she said.

Martinez Johnson also ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Santa Fe in November’s election.

Martinez Johnson is hoping to make history as the first female Republican to represent the 3rd Congressional District.



The district has elected only one Republican, Bill Redmond in 1997, since its creation in 1983. Redmond, who won the seat in a special election to fill a vacancy, ran for a full term the next year and lost to Democrat Tom Udall.

Martinez Johnson, 40, said the mood among the electorate is changing.

“Nationally, you’re seeing with the Virginia election upset, the tide is turning,” she said, referring to Republican victories in that state during the November elections.

Voters are also concerned about inflation, she said.

“People are seeing those prices rise and rise, and they are seeing the gas increase, and we have these politicians that do not care,” she said.

Martinez Johnson also said her chances of winning the congressional seat are stronger now.

“I carried seven of the counties of the 16 that we had before,” she said. “We now have 18 counties, and I look to take Chaves, Eddy, Lea and increase the voting in McKinley County, in our Navajo Nation, as well as in our Jicarilla Apache Nation.”

Martinez Johnson said the district reflects her life. She was born in Portales, raised in Roswell, worked in the Permian Basin in Lea and Eddy counties and lives in Santa Fe.

“This district really encompasses my life experience,” she said. “This new district incorporating Hobbs, Artesia and the Permian Basin where I used to work in the energy industry, where I promoted environmental stewardship, is definitely going to be a boon in this race.”

The seat is currently held by U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández, who is serving her first term in Congress. Kyra Ellis-Moore, Leger Fernández’s campaign manager, did not return messages seeking comment.

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

(60) comments

Donald Apodaca

Alexis Martinez Johnson is a fighter, who won't be knocked out. I admire her. If Brian Ballard (lobbing group) decides to back her WE will have to address her as Congresswomen AMJ. Alexis has my attention. May have to give her a few thousand bucks.

Lupe Molina

So I got this bridge...

Mike Johnson

[thumbup]Ditto Mr. Apodaca.

Khal Spencer

I remember reading about Claire Chase but since that was not my district, didn't pay it a lot of mind. I wonder if she will toss her hat and checkbook into the ring.

Me? I have long railed about the GOP not contesting every race in New Mexico. Not because I would necessarily vote for their candidate, but because I think the public doesn't get a real shot of democracy, small d, if it is a one party situation. Parties cater to their activists in the primaries and the general public only gets to look at the choices made for them. So if there is not an ongoing dialog between competing ideas, both within the parties and between them, one gets farther into an insular bubble.

I probably disagree with a lot of what both Ms. Johnson and Ms. Leger Fernandez think but being a D, large D, I tend to agree with my own party's platform more than the other party's, which is why I remain a D. But I think both parties have both good and bad ideas and the ideas need to be tested against each other. Also, run past the quarter to third of folks who belong to neither party. That's the sad situation.

Civility. I had a Sig Lindell sign up in front of my house and did some activist work for her but still, when one of her opponents dropped by, walking the neighborhood, I was cordial, shared some of my thinking, we shot the breeze for a good long time, and I thanked the gentleman for his efforts and his ideas, some of which were dang good.

Politics is a continuum. If my fellow 3rd CD voters elect someone I voted against, that's just the way it works. Of course if someone wins who is vehemently opposed to something dear to me, or if a dishonest, corrupt, or inept candidate wins, the blood pressure goes up.

Let the campaigning begin! And keep the rotten vegetables for composting unless they are really needed!

Michael Marvier

Ah well, when you can't find a real job run for political office.

Khal Spencer

I tweeted her my own advice, i.e., appeal to the center, to moderate Republicans, and to independents. A far right candidate will stand as much chance in the 3rd CD as Custer at Little Big Horn.

Mike Johnson

[thumbup]And if she does that, she will be a true contrast and alternative to the extremist, left wing Leger woman.

Jim Klukkert

Mike, just repeating your exaggerated claim the Teresa Leger Fernandez is an extreme left wing socialist, will not make it so. As a socialist, I assure you that TLF is not.

The reason I bring this to your attention Mike, is that you very often have insightful comments to post. This sort of sniping is not at all insightful, and does nothing to make the world a better place.

In making the above remarks, I have to admit I have been guilty of similar behavior. I think it comes with being human.

Perhaps the two of us come ally in an effort to improve the depth of these discussions. Sincerely, all the best to you Mike, from your valley neighbor.

Mike Johnson

Understood Jim, and I should learn some restraint about politicians, but since I follow her on Twitter, and look at her screeds daily, I get very upset she is actually my Representative, and like my state counterpart, I am ashamed to have them representing me since they do not, in any way, shape, or form. They are the antitheses of my values, priorities, and principles. Think about how you felt when Trump was your President, then you can imagine my frustration and consternation at my situation when I see their names. But since I am just one person, disenfranchised in my district by more powerful political forces, I have very few ways to react to these kind of people except to express my contempt and lack of respect for them. One vote means nothing, and even that was taken away from me the last general election.

Emily Hartigan

[thumbup]

John Cook

Poor, sad, Mike. When invective is all you have, the prospects of your side winning are slim.

Jim Klukkert

John Cook, as much as you and I have more in common than we have, politically, than we have in common with Mike Johnson, I beg you to comprehend his literal disenfranchisement. That feeling of alienation is driving our culture in many ways.

John Cook

Now, see, I responded to your ugly comment about our Congresswoman without having read further down to see your nice reply to a comment of mine. I should always resist being nasty and too often don't. I apologize. You should be respectful of the woman who was chosen by her constituents to represent us.

Mike Johnson

Thank you Mr. Cook, but be aware that this woman no more represents me than Trump did you, think about that.

John Cook

Mike, when I referred to the former occupant of the Oval Office, I always said: 'President Donald Trump....' I nearly always followed that with criticisms that may have devolved into less civility than I would have liked. But I am an American who is proud of this country and its institutions. Hence, I refer to politicians by their titles.

Mike Johnson

OK, I have lost track of who said what about Trump, BTW I never called him "President" as he did not represent me in that office. I have no respect for politicians just because they get elected, that means nothing to me except that I am their boss, while most all want it the other way around and try to run my life. Politicians have to earn my respect, and very few have in my many decades of voting for them. Until they do, they are no better than I am and so I will not refer to them by titles that have no meaning or relevance to me. I am also proud of my country, its founding, its people, and its traditions. But I do not see the core foundation of America in politicians and government, that is reserved for the people IMO.

Jim Klukkert

[thumbup]

Khal Spencer

" I do not see the core foundation of America in politicians and government, that is reserved for the people IMO."

Yep. That is the bottom line.

Mark Specter

"Leger woman"? Who taught you manners? Middle school bullies?

Mike Johnson

The way I refer to people indicates my respect, or lack thereof, of them.

Lynn k Allen

Dems are spe ging taxpayer money on people. Republicans are spending taxpayer money on stupid conspiracy theories and hate campaigns. We do have a clear choice unless Republicans take out votes away in NM as they have and are doing in Texas etc.

No on all Republicans if we ever want to vote again or retain any personal freedoms. Where is her funding from - which shadey out of state PAC?

John Cook

It is very interesting that this article doesn't mention Claire Chase. She ran against Yvette Harrell in CD2 in the R primary in '20. Now she lives in CD3. She has big oil and gas money of her own to put into a primary against Martinez Johnson. But she got thumped by a Trump crazy in '20 and may not want that experience again. Still, the fact that this reporter doesn't mention her name is significant, I think. Because the reporter on this piece gets his news direct from Steve Pearce, it seems Pierce must hold a grudge against Claire Chase over challenging Pearce's candidate, Herrell.

Mike Johnson

You have a good point there Mr. Cook.

Mike Johnson

Great to have a moderate/conservative choice to the socialist Leger woman. I would prefer a moderate/conservative Democratic challenger in the primary, I'll wait to see if one emerges soon.

John Cook

Well, Dr. Johnson, you really should preface all your comments about Congresswoman Leger Fernandez with full disclosure. To wit: she represented Indian tribes and pueblos and that is anathema to you because you failed to steal their water rights. You should mention that every time you rave about our congresswoman.

Mike Johnson

Yes, she along with other left wing politicians, like Ben Ray, Tommy, Marty, etc., sided with the rich, privileged special interests against the poor rural people who bought and paid for their lands and acequia and well water rights, and stole them from us to give those special interests (and not just the pueblos) our hard earned water rights. This theft was sectioned by political forces and the courts were bullied and bribed into accepting it. Someday we hope to get this before SCOTUS, where we will surely prevail on the facts. In the meantime, we will not forget or forgive those involved in this conspiracy and theft.

John Cook

Gonna be a little hard to appeal to SCOTUS. The case was settled by agreement of all parties to the suit. Settled cases are not appealable.

Mike Johnson

We are not thinking about appeals, we are thinking about a whole new law suit.

Tim Herrera

Well said Mr. Johnson. My family was affected by this theft of water rights. It’s a shame that one of the people that sold us out to big money was our very own neighbor, now Senator Ben Ray Lujan. But, if you ask him he can justify it in his own twisted way.

Mike Johnson

Yes Tim, families like ours saw billions of $$ in wealth transferred from us to the rich, elite special interests in that water theft. The scope of it was huge, and people who don't live here and/or were not impacted by the theft do not understand any of it.

Lupe Molina

But John, this time they're going to cry and stomp their feet, thereby making them much more convincing.

Lupe Molina

John, Mike's made his hatred of indigenous people well-known. Here are some of his comments from just a few months ago:

"The Spanish did much more than commit "genocide". Just as the Americans did. But you are free to live as your ancestors did, off the land, growing corn and hunting game on foot. Enjoy. I like modern life, that would not have happened without the incredible accomplishments of the Spanish, French, and Americans.

Lupe, name one modern technological invention that a Native American invented.....I'll wait......talk about stupid."

Mike Johnson

Wrong Lupe, that is not hatred, those are facts. And BTW, did you follow through on your threat to send letters about what I said to all my charities and organizations I support? I don't notice any changes in my relationships with them, so maybe you forgot?

Khal Spencer

[thumbup]

rodney carswell

DINOMike

Roy Chavez

Point two: re: inflation. I don’t see the prices of gases going up in my area. Matter of fact, I called friends in many others and the response is that prices of gas has been declining, similar to my area. I made it ok during the holidays and so have my friends in other areas across the US. The prices you see are temporary because of the problems of distribution due to the backlog caused by the epidemic. The more you cry about inflation, you’ll cause the inflation on your own. Merchants will have a reason to raise their prices because of the false expectations you and the Republicans are causing that the sky is falling.

Molly Mix

Worker shortage caused by "the sky is falling" narrative by the Left is a key player in current inflation, along with Biden dumping more money than has been made by God or Man into the economy in exchange for zero goods/services.

If the gov gets her way with the low-carbon fuel standard she's after you could see $.30/gallon increase here in NM. Whether you're for it or against it, that would be the reality.

Roy Chavez

Re: Martinez Johnson about the masks, you say consult with your doctor and make the decision? That sounds like a woman’s right to choose, after consulting with her doctor about her abortion rights- it’s between her doctor, her God, and herself. So, are you pro-choice then? You can’t have it both ways without being hypocritical. That’s point one.

Molly Mix

Someone should have the freedom to choose what vaccinations/medications they put into their body--Your body, your choice.

A woman may not choose to eliminate an unborn baby because they are an independent being with individual rights--NOT her body, NOT her choice. If you'd like to argue against that I'm all ears.

Jim Klukkert

Molly Mix– I look forward to seeing your citation of the US Constitution,

Article and Section, that recognizes a fetal right as independent of the mother.

You might want to at least glance at the The Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, unless you think we moved into Hand Maiden times.

Any government that mandates women to carry a fetus to term, is tyranny.

Margaret Eyler

If something needed to be cited in the Consititution to be considered just/true we would still have slaves. This is about what public policy should be.

We understand that new life/unique DNA is formed at conception, and as the age at which doctors can save prematurely born infants moves earlier and earlier you’re faced with the (harsh, apparently, for you) issue of “defining” when human life is worthy of protecting. Lemme know.

Jim Klukkert

Margaret Eyler –

Perhaps you need to revisit your study of our Constitution, Ms. Eyler. Slavery was specifically prohibited in the 13th Amendment.

No where are embryos, fetuses or what you call the 'unborn' granted rights as citizens or independent of the mother.

Again. Ms. Eyeler, you might want to at least glance at the The Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, unless you think we moved into Hand Maiden times. The government has no right to compel a woman to the involuntary servitude of carrying a fetus to term, should a woman not willingly agree to do so.

John Cook

If you don't vaccinate you flood hospitals and you spread disease. Individual rights? How about the individual rights of folks who need hospitals? Or who don't want to die from the disease you give them?

Lynn k Allen

👍 👍 👍 Republicans have a ton of lies to explain. Does she believe Biden won? Will this Republican want to restrict New Mexican's rights to vote as with other Republicans and Virginia?? Is she going to propose all those onerous Republican (?) Values on us? Is she a cohort of Valarie Greene? OMG, No, (NRA) - NEVER REPUBLICAN AGAIN.

Margaret Eyler

People that get fat, binge drink and smoke cigarettes flood hospitals (and cost three times as much as coronavirus patients EVERY YEAR, decades on end). So if you want to go down that road it’s a slippery slope of blame.

John Cook

Some folks have a religious belief that a splitting zygot is a human being. Some folks don't hold that belief. In matters of religion, individual choices should not be dictated.

Khal Spencer

Current law in the U.S. is that a fetus gains rights, with respect to abortion, at viability. That's the law. If you disagree, state chapter and verse in case law. As far as comparing abortion to vaccination, I find that to be a bizarre argument.

Mike Johnson

[thumbup]Exactly Khal, and "viability" is an interesting concept that seems to be an opinion at times, even though according to WHO, fetal viability is possible after 20 weeks of fetal life. Considering how many abortions are done after that period, estimated between 1-5%, are there any guidelines about any of that that is scientifically determined?

https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2021/12/14/how-a-mississippi-supreme-court-case-is-changing-the-abortion-debate

John Cook

The abortion debate originally was a religious question. And still is. The viability question was definitively answered by one of the great Catholic theologians, St. Thomas Aquinas. He said a fetus is not a human until it has a soul. He said boy babies get a soul at 40 days and girl babies at 80 days. Dr. Johnson is correct that this is a matter of opinion, not science. Aquinas is a definitive Catholic opinionizer.

Khal Spencer

Mike and John, I concur with both of your comments. My objection was to the original comment "...an unborn baby because they are an independent being with individual rights..." because that is too vague a statement to mean anything.

I have long thought that the government needs to keep its nose out of a woman's womb until the point where there is an unambiguous scientific, political, and ethical consensus on where to draw the line on when this becomes a "two person" issue. We clearly ain't there, even if we can detect brain waves or heartbeat. The viability standard, which is somewhat a moving target, is indeed the law of the land until it isn't.

Frankly, its too complex an argument to leave to politics (insert sarcasm icon here).

I'd have to go back and review Peter Singer's Practical Ethics chapter as well as Roe v Wade, PP v Casey, and Webster v Reproductive Health Services (I've read them all) to comment more fully. If anyone has stuff to add to the reading list, chime in. Maybe save that for tomorrow's rant.

Khal Spencer

Oh, boy. I can't wait till our politicians try to work the presence of a soul into the abortion laws. Given so many of them lack one of their own.

Emily Hartigan

Perhaps "viability" should be determined when the state will PAY for the fetus to be surgically removed and sustained by state resources?

Personally, abortion is anathema. Politically, it is so, so much more complex.

John Cook

Khal, if you are reading Peter singer as well as Roe, you are covering the ballpark! [thumbup]

Khal Spencer

"Personally, abortion is anathema. Politically, it is so, so much more complex."

I second that comment.

Khal Spencer

Hi John. Been reading Singer since he came out with Animal Liberation. Which is why I don't eat animals any more. I get kidded a lot for being the liberal vegetarian on the LA-SC Board of Directors.

Margaret Eyler

Can you imagine where we would be if we stuck with “current law” from the beginning?

Jim Klukkert

Molly Mix – you may be all ears when challenged, but apparently you have nothing to say when challenged regarding any Constitutional basis for your outrageous remarks!

Unless you are willing to engage, please desist from posting such scurrilous remarks.

Thanks Molly!

Khal Spencer

Hi Jim. Happy New Year!

Margaret Eyler

I have plenty of responses—I just don’t sit on my computer all day

Lupe Molina

Except every doctor recommends vaccines it makes. So she's lying and your point is just stupid.

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