Still haven’t made it to the polls? No worries. Early voting continues through Nov. 1 and, of course, you can always go vote on election day. (That’s Nov. 4.)

For early voters, we published our

last week.

But if you want to keep it short and sweet, here’s the condensed version of our recommendations for Santa Fe County voters.


SFR Pick: Barack Obama, Democrat

The next president faces massive challenges at home and abroad. We are living in uncertain times and are in need of fresh perspectives, steady leadership and, perhaps most of all, inspiration. Barack Obama, whose life story reflects the best of America’s promise, already has brought these factors to the campaign trail. Now it’s time for him to bring them to the White House.

US Senate

SFR Pick: Tom Udall, Democrat

A former New Mexico attorney general who has represented the state’s 3rd Congressional District for five terms, Udall has proven he will stand up for his constituents and get things done.

US Congress, District 3

SFR Pick: Ben Ray Luján, Democrat

A commissioner on the state’s Public Regulation Commission, Luján is an enthusiastic proponent of the alternative-energy solutions the state and the nation need to embrace.

Public Regulation Commission, District 3

SFR Pick: Rick Lass, Green Party

Lass promises to put constituents, not corporations, first, and to fight for fairness in rate- and rule-making. Lass’ opponent, Democrat Jerome Block Jr., has failed to make his case to the voters and has been caught up in a variety of scandals leading into the election.

Judicial Retentions

Santa Fe voters will be asked to vote yes or no on the retention of one state Supreme Court Judge, one Court of Appeals judge and seven judges in the 1st Judicial District. These judges require 57 percent approval to be retained. Go to

to review their individuals evaluations by the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission.

SFR Pick: Retain All

Supreme Court Judge Justice Patricio Serna

Court of Appeals Judge Jonathan B Sutin

1st Judicial District Judges

Timothy L Garcia

Jim Hall

Raymond Z Ortiz

Steve D Pfeffer

Daniel Sanchez

Barbara J Vigil

Michael Eugene Vigil

Constitutional Amendments

Statewide, voters will be asked to weigh in on five constitutional amendments. You can read the full pro and con arguments in our story on


CA 1

SFR Pick: Reject

This amendment would expand school boards in districts with more than 200,000 people and allow mail-in ballots. By logrolling two unrelated actions together, it does a disservice to voters who might like one but not the other.

CA 2

SFR Pick: Reject

CA 2 would allow county commissioners to give themselves, and other county elected officials, raises mid-term. We think this is unnecessary and could create potential problems.

CA 3

SFR Pick: Reject

CA 3 would require a second confirmation by the state senate for governor-appointed cabinet secretaries. Talk about a waste of time.

CA 4

SFR Pick: Approve

This amendment would make it possible, down the line, for lawmakers to adjust election codes so non-partisan elections, such as those for school board and city council, can be held together. Ultimately, this would save money and promote greater turnout. The constitution doesn’t allow for this now because in the early part of the last century, school board elections were the only ones in which women were allowed to vote.

CA 5

SFR Pick: Reject

This would allow the governor to appoint a replacement for the lieutenant governor—something that might conceivably happen in 2009, but the constitution shouldn’t be tweaked to address specific political situations.

Money Questions

County Regional Transit Gross Receipts Tax

SFR Pick: Approve

This tax would go a long way in furthering important regional transportation in northern New Mexico, and it is worth the investment.

Santa Fe County Bonds

SFR Pick: Approve All

There are six bonds totalling approximately $35 million to improve open spaces, roads, fire safety, water projects, waste stations and to construct a new building for the Santa Fe County Agriculture Extension Program. These will not raise taxes, as old bonds are being retired at the same time.

New Mexico GO Bonds

SFR Pick: Approve All

Four bonds would generate approximately $223 million for senior centers, libraries, health facilities and schools. Property taxes would be raised by an average of $15.61 per $100,000 of assets over the next decade.