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Candidate: Arrest record gives him ‘unique perspective’

Santa Fe school board member and County Commission candidate Rudy Garcia, responding to a Journal article outlining his several arrests and jail time served over a 10-year period through 2008, says his past provides him with a “unique perspective” of what it takes to make positive changes and has made him passionate about serving the community.

“Indeed, many years ago, I made mistakes involving alcohol, and I took and continue to take full responsibility for them,” the longtime Santa Fe County employee wrote in a statement sent to the Journal.

“In the subsequent 10 years, I have matured and worked tirelessly to improve myself, as well as the lives of those around me.”

Rudy Garcia

Court and jail records show that between 1999 and 2008, Garcia was arrested seven times, with four DWI charges. Two of the DWIs resulted in convictions and two were dismissed. In one of the DWI cases, he was arrested again on a warrant as the case played out in court.

The outcomes for two other cases for which Garcia was booked in the Santa Fe County jail – an open container charge from 2003 and an assault against a household member arrest from 2005 – couldn’t be determined through available records.

Records from Albuquerque’s Metropolitan Detention Center show that in 2008 he served 16 days in jail for his second DWI conviction, according to a Bernalillo County spokeswoman. When first asked if he’d served jail time, he told the Journal, “I don’t remember if I did or didn’t.”

In his new statement, Garcia wrote that he has the “knowledge and experience to make positive changes.”

“It is my goal to impart this upon other people,” he added. “In addition, these experiences have fueled my drive to give back to my community, which I have done during my career as a public servant for over 25 years and will continue to do so.

“I will never claim to be perfect or that I have lived a perfect life,” he said. “Like any other human being, I make mistakes. However, I will promise to always be honest, to work hard and to dedicate my entire life to this community, whether it be through an elected position or not.”

Garcia was appointed by the school board in December of last year to fill a vacant seat on the board. Now, he is the Democratic nominee for the Santa Fe County Commission seat in District 3, which covers much of the southern part of the county. He faces former two-term commissioner Mike Anaya of Galisteo, a former Democrat who is running this time as an independent. The general election is Nov. 6.

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