SANTA FE – The long-time mayor of Red River on Thursday announced her candidacy for the state House of Representatives.
Republican Linda Calhoun, mayor of Red River since 2006, will run for the District 42 seat currently held by Taos Mayor Dan Barrone, a Democrat.
Barrone was appointed to the seat in December by the Taos County Commission after it was vacated by Roberto “Bobby” Gonzales. Gonzales was appointed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to fill the open Senate District 6 seat held by Carlos Cisneros, who died in September.
Calhoun said her experience as a mayor, which is a nonpartisan position, will help her reach across party lines to solve issues, including shortcomings in the public education system, which she says is the biggest issue in the state.
“We just need to continue to work on education to make sure New Mexico is better for our kids,” Calhoun said in a phone interview.
Calhoun, who has lived in Red River for 42 years, said she still plans on being mayor if she’s elected, saying other people have served as both mayor and a member of the Legislature, including Barrone.
Calhoun and her family own several businesses in Red River, including a real estate company, a gift shop and a grocery store. She and her husband are also business partners in the 2-year-old Red River Brewing Company and Distillery. Her oldest son and his wife run the place, she said, and her oldest grandson is the head brewer.
Democrat Kristina Ortez, who also applied for the District 42 seat when Gonzales vacated it, is also planning to run for the District 42 seat.
Barrone, who has not formally announced that he’s running for the seat, could not be immediately reached Thursday.