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Democrat Rob Apodaca joins 3rd CD race

Journal North

SANTA FE – Rob Apodaca, who has held local, state and federal government positions over his career, announced this week that he is joining the crowded Democratic field of candidates for the U.S. House seat in northern New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District.

Apodaca currently owns the Motiva Corp. consulting firm in Santa Fe, where he works with nonprofits, small businesses, tribes and government entities on finance and operations management and other issues.

Rob Apodaca

Five other Democrats and a Republican have previously filed to be candidates next year for the 3rd CD seat now held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of Nambé, who is running for U.S. Senate in 2020.

Apodaca was born in Española, grew up in the Taos area and graduated from New Mexico State University.

During the Obama administration, Apodaca served for about 2½ years as assistant chief of the West for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

He previously had held jobs as a budget analyst and deputy director of General Services with Santa Fe County; business manager at the city of Santa Fe’s Genoveva Chavez Community Center; and director of the Local Government Division of the state Department of Finance and Administration.

“I have lived in New Mexico my entire life,” Apodaca said in a news release. “Like many of the residents of this district, we grew up understanding the value of hard work while also building strong communities and taking care of each other.

“I have lived my life doing what I can for my family, my community and my state. Whether it has been serving in local, state or federal government, I have dedicated my career to working with local communities, to provide them with critical infrastructure, health care and other economic development needs. I love this state and everything it has to offer. I will never stop fighting to make our home a better place to live and I can’t imagine a better place to do just that than in Congress.”

Democrats who already have officially filed to run for the 3rd CD House seat next year include State Rep. Joseph Sanchez of Alcalde; Santa Fe attorney Teresa Leger Fernandez; former CIA operative and author Valerie Plame; District Attorney Marco Serna; and Gavin Kaiser of Santa Cruz.

Serna said he will formally announce his candidacy today at his mother’s jewelry story in Española.

The 3rd CD includes Santa Fe, Española, Los Alamos, Taos, Rio Rancho, Farmington, Raton, Las Vegas, Gallup, Clovis and surrounding areas.