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Fiduciary, former Airman is first Republican to join race for state treasurer

Jason Hessler, a financial planner and attorney from Artesia, is launching a campaign for state treasurer this week, aiming to become the first Republican to fill the office in more than a decade.

Jason Hessler

Hessler said his background in finance makes him a natural fit for an office that invests public money, manages the state’s operating cash and provides banking help for state agencies.

He said he works as a “fiduciary” in his banking job, meaning he looks out for his clients’ best interests rather than trying to sell them products before moving on to the next customer.

“I have no reason to enter this campaign other than to do what’s best for the people of New Mexico,” Hessler said in an interview Monday.

Hessler, 41, is the first Republican in the race.

The incumbent treasurer, Democrat Tim Eichenberg, plans to run for re-election. Before winning office in 2014, Eichenberg worked as a property tax consultant and real estate broker, and he won elections as Bernalillo County treasurer and to the Albuquerque area flood control board.

Hessler is seeking an elected office for the first time.

He said he was introduced to New Mexico when he was assigned to Holloman Air Force Base after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Hessler was an undergraduate student at Purdue University – and a member of the Indiana Air National Guard – when he was called out of class the day of the attack and activated for Air Force service.

Military training, Hessler said, taught him to work under pressure and take the emotion out of tough decisions.

“It gives you perspective,” he said.

Only one Republican has occupied the Treasurer’s Office since the 1960s – Douglas Brown, who served in 2005-06 after he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Robert Vigil, who resigned as a legislative panel considered impeachment.

Vigil and his predecessor, Michael Montoya, each spent time in federal prison after facing corruption charges.


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