Sandoval County treasurer throws hat in ring
August 18, 2019
CLOVIS — Sandoval County Treasurer Laura Montoya has been busy visiting New Mexico communities, dropping by county fairs, chatting in coffee shops and more to get in touch with the citizens she hopes to one day represent in Washington D.C.
In her opinion, the divisiveness of the federal government has been distracting policy makers from what's really important: serving the people they represent.
With 17 years of government experience at the federal, state and local levels, Montoya decided to run for New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District in 2020. Montoya met with The News to talk about her candidacy on Friday during a visit to Clovis.
Montoya joins the race against six Democrats and a single Republican candidate, but among her competition, she says her direct work with constituents and her experience in the treasury office makes her stand out.
“I honestly believe I have the skills and the toolset to get the job done with all the years of experience I have,” Montoya said. “I have the built relationships to work and bring people together to get things accomplished.”
Born in Las Vegas, New Mexico, Montoya first became involved in politics in 2001 working as a ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. She went on to become a constituent service representative for U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman and later the executive assistant to State Treasurer Douglas M. Brown.
For the past six years, Montoya has served as legislative chairwoman for the Treasurer's Affiliate. She is currently the only treasurer on the New Mexico Policy Committee and the vice chair of Finance, Pension and Government Affairs.
If Montoya is elected to Congress, she has many goals she thinks will benefit the people of New Mexico and the rest of the country. Here are those she feels particularly passionate about:
• Campaign financing: With the current laws regarding political campaign financing in place, Montoya feels that the ability to run for office has become reserved for those who can afford it. She wants to work on reforms that would allow any candidate, even a working class person, an equal opportunity to represent their communities.
• Advanced refunding for municipal bonds: Restoring the ability for counties to issue one advance refunding bond per-tax exempt municipal bond at a lower interest rate would save tax payers million, according to Montoya. She says this process is in jeopardy of losing its tax-exempt status or being eliminated outright.
• Broadband access for everyone: With technology increasing at an ever growing pace, Montoya believes its the federal government's responsibility to provide access to broadband and Internet services to rural communities.
• Tying economic development to education: Coming from one of the poorest counties in New Mexico, Montoya believes that it’s important for people to be able to stay in their communities for both work and education. She hopes to work towards expanded avenues of education, whether that be on the college route or learning a trade.
She also wants to work towards bringing subjects such as art, music and PE back into the standard school curriculums to help students focus and find subjects they enjoy.
If elected, Montoya pledges to remain active and accessible to the people of New Mexico. She plans to maintain a strong presence in the state, especially the more rural areas.
She says that her chief concern while campaigning was to reach out to the rural communities before spending time in the larger cities like Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
“I love New Mexico and it'd be an honor to represent and serve all of CD-3,” Montoya said. “I want to represent everyone, especially Clovis and Portales.”
Montoya said that regardless of the election, she wanted to stress the importance of the upcoming 2020 Census. According to Montoya, a complete census bring more funding to the area and open up the potential for a fourth congressional seat to open.