Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE – Former Sandoval County Treasurer Laura Montoya jumped into the race for state treasurer this week, contending she’s well-qualified for the office and ready to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle.
Montoya, a Democrat, served as treasurer for eight years in Sandoval County, giving her a strong background, she said, in taxation and handling public investments. She said her work helped the county obtain a clean audit opinion during her tenure.
“When we talk about experience, I definitely have that,” said Montoya, the first candidate to enter the race.
Montoya, 44, would succeed State Treasurer Tim Eichenberg, a Democrat now in his second term. He cannot run for reelection this year.
The State Treasurer’s Office functions a bit like a state bank. It manages and invests the cash used to operate state government and runs an investment pool for local governments.
The treasurer also serves as a member of the State Investment Council and Mortgage Finance Authority.
Montoya – who grew up in Las Vegas, New Mexico, but now lives in Rio Rancho – said her election would serve as an example to younger women in the state, showing they can “go from being the administrative assistant to being the boss.”
She worked as an assistant in the state Treasurer’s Office when Doug Brown held the position.
In college, Montoya said, she worked three jobs and obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, both from New Mexico Highlands University.
Montoya said she is eager to work with the Legislature on proposals to strengthen financial literacy among young people and tighten regulation of the payday loan industry.
As legislative chair for the state organization of county treasurers, she said, she worked with Democratic and Republican lawmakers to expand eligibility for a freeze on property tax assessments and to clarify a tax exemption for disabled veterans.
Montoya ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination to represent the 3rd Congressional District last year.
The state treasurer draws a salary of $85,000 a year.
New Mexico’s primary election is in June next year.
Voters will decide races for governor, attorney general, secretary of state, auditor and other offices.