Alexis Martinez Johnson, who ran as the Republican Party candidate in the race for the 3rd Congressional District, said she plans to file paperwork to register as a mayoral candidate on Thursday. She’ll also begin the process of collecting enough nominating signatures and $5 contributions to meet the city’s candidate qualifying requirement.
“I believe in the potential of this city, but only if we abandon the divisive rhetoric and join under common goals like having safe infrastructure,” she said in a statement. “As the next Santa Fe Mayor, I will prioritize safety, responsible modernization, and cultural heritage.”
Martinez Johnson is the second person to announce a run against Webber, who defeated four mayoral candidates in 2018. Earlier this year, City Councilor JoAnne Vigil Coppler said she would forgo a reelection bid in District 4 to pursue the Mayor’s Office.
While Johnson is a Republican, candidates in city elections don’t run under party affiliations.
Johnson, who declined to give her age, was an underdog candidate throughout her bid for the seat in the 3rd Congressional District vacated by Ben Ray Luján, who successfully ran for U.S. Senate. Despite receiving only 11% of the delegate vote at the state party convention, Johnson prevailed in the June primary. Though she lost to Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez in November, she garnered 41.4% of the vote — the third-highest percentage of the vote by a Republican in the general election in the 38-year history of the congressional district.
Born in Portales and raised in Roswell, Martinez Johnson attended New Mexico Tech, graduating with a degree in environmental engineering. She spent most of her career working in the oil-rich Permian Basin.
Martinez Johnson said her career experience will allow her to jump into the mayor’s seat with a transparent, cost-effective and science-based approach.
Now retired, she and her husband own homes in Santa Fe and Las Vegas, New Mexico, where they also operate a ranch. They have three children — all under the age of 8.
While she advocated for responsible mask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson was cited by Santa Fe police in July for not wearing a mask while campaigning on Santa Fe’s downtown Plaza.