State Representative, District 47
SFR Pick: Brian Egolf Jr., Democrat
The seat: District 47 is one of Santa Fe’s two main legislative districts, and encompasses much of the city’s east side. Within the district, approximately 64 percent of voters are registered Democrats, and 16 percent are registered Republicans. Of the remaining voters, 17 percent decline to state party, and 2 percent are registered as “other.”
The history: The seat was previously held by now state Sen. Peter Wirth, a Democrat who replaced long-time lawmaker Max Coll.
The freshman: Egolf, a 34-year-old lawyer, has continued the District 47 tradition of advocating for environmental causes, but also has distinguished himself by pushing for greater use of local banks. Egolf serves on a variety of committees, including Appropriations and Finance, and Energy and Natural Resources.
The local bank thing: During the 2010 session, Egolf proposed a law--which garnered national attention--that would have increased the state’s use of local banks and credit unions for state funds. Egolf plans to reintroduce the bill, and also push forward a proposal to create a “state bank.” This proposal is modeled on the state Bank of North Dakota. For what it’s worth, North Dakota is one of the few states not currently in a big financial hole.
Brigette Russell: Republican Russell is a first-time candidate who has made government inefficiency a cornerstone of her campaign. Russell’s other main focus is education reform. A former teacher, Russell is a proponent of New Mexico adopting some form of the changes made in Florida, under Gov. Jeb Bush’s A plan.
The bottom line: Santa Fe is lucky to have Egolf, a responsive and hard-working lawmaker who understands the district and has, in just two years, made an impact with his ideas and energy. We find Egolf to be well-informed and committed to the issues about which his constituents care: the economy, education and good government.
Read SFR's pop quiz for District 47 HERE.