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Barrone bows out of House District 42 race

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – Taos Mayor Dan Barrone said Friday he would not run to retain his seat in the New Mexico House of Representatives.

Barrone said the decision was, in large part, due to the COVID-19 outbreak and a desire to see his community through a difficult time.

“I serve as the mayor of our community, and I think I have a responsibility to my constituents here in my community,” he said. “I need to try to figure out, when the coronavirus is all over, how we’re going to put our community back together, how we’re going to continue to put our businesses back together.”

His decision comes nearly five months after the Taos County Commission appointed Barrone to fill the District 42 House seat after Roberto “Bobby” Gonzales left the seat to replace the late state senator, Carlos Sisneros.

The announcement also came days after candidates were required to submit their campaign finance reports on April 13. Barrone said he only used personal funds and took no donations during the campaign, and will donate remaining personal money he had planned to spend on his campaign to local food banks in Taos.

“Generally, when I run a campaign, very seldom do I go out and ask people for money,” he said. “Usually I try to do it out-of-pocket.”

The House District 42 race is now left between Democrats Mark Gallegos and Kristina Ortez, along with Republicans Paul Anthony Martinez and Linda Calhoun.

Ortez raised the most money of any candidate at nearly $20,000. Calhoun was the next highest at more than $3,000.

Barrone will still serve in the House until 2021, but said he is committed to helping Taos recover in his capacity as mayor.

“If, in the event the coronavirus wasn’t affecting us, if we were in our normal everyday life, I would have run,” he said. “Because I feel an obligation to my constituents, I figure it’s better if I’m right here with them.”

Primary elections take place on June 2.