SANTA FE – Two Republicans are vying for the nomination to challenge Democratic state Rep. Marian Matthews, a retired lawyer and educator who has represented the area in Northeast Albuquerque since 2020 – a seat expected to be among the state’s most competitive this fall.
Facing off for that nomination are Robert Godshall, a Department of Homeland Security retiree who worked in Border Patrol and as a special agent dealing with immigration, and Elisa Martinez, who owns a consulting business, in House District 27.
It’s a newly redrawn district with a 1.8 percentage point lean toward Republicans, according to analysis by Research & Polling Inc., the state’s redistricting contractor.
Godshall says his background in law enforcement and business makes him the right choice to take on Matthews. “I think this state can be so much better …,” he said in an interview.
Martinez, a frequent presence at the Roundhouse, where she has backed anti-abortion bills and opposed clean-fuels legislation, said her experience would serve the district well. “I’m not afraid to stand up for what’s right and speak out against the current last-place, one-party, failed agenda in Santa Fe,” she said.
Godshall describes himself as an unabashed supporter of the free market and limited government. “I have plenty of compassion, but we have to raise the level of expectation for people in our state,” he said.
Martinez, founder of the anti-abortion New Mexico Alliance for Life, said she has a strong background in public speaking, advocacy and working at the Roundhouse to “defeat the leftist agenda.”
She said she is well prepared to address inflation, high crime rates and poor educational outcomes – all important to district voters – and has built good relationships with legislators in both chambers.
“We all deserve to have safe communities, quality education, upward mobility – everything our neighboring states are enjoying,” said Martinez, who has a sizeable financial edge over Godshall, according to campaign finance reports.
Martinez has raised about $22,000 in recent contributions and has $14,000 in her campaign account, while Godshall has raised some $5,000 in recent contributions, with $8,600 in his account. Matthews, a moderate Democrat, has raised about $52,000 and she has about $68,000 in her account.
House District 27 covers areas near Albuquerque Academy and the CNMCC Montoya campus.