Santa Fe Mayor David Coss will run for Speaker Ben Lujan's state House of Representatives seat. SFR spoke briefly with Coss this morning about his upcoming campaign.
"Santa Fe has always had a real strong delegation," Coss, referring to the area's representation in the Roundhouse, tells SFR. "It's very important to make it stay strong."
Coss cites his 10 years of public service, first as a Santa Fe city councilor, then mayor, and his 25-year involvement in local politics as some of his major strengths. He also brings up his work in organized labor and environmental issues, which he says he'll bring up as issues in this year's election.
"For me, it's very similar to the issues I've been bringing up as mayor: A strong economy, good government services and sustainability," Coss says.
If he wins a seat to the Roundhouse, Coss says he'll continue serving as mayor of Santa Fe.
For Carl Trujillo, the only other announced candidate for the seat, Coss may be the establishment candidate Trujillo's been waiting for. In his 2010 campaign for the same seat, Trujillo repeatedly labeled Luján as a part of the establishment and came shockingly close to upsetting the then 35-year incumbent in the Democratic primary.
In a recently issued a press release titled "So who's our opponent, anyway?" dated before Coss made his campaign public, Trujillo wrote, "the answer is, our opponent has been the same as it's always been: a political machine that believes that they decide who should hold public office, instead of the people."
Trujillo says he sees Coss as part of the political machine. He also says he views Coss' intention to stay mayor if elected as a "conflict of interest" since the state House district he's vying for contains parts of Santa Fe as well as turf outside of the city.
"I think it's a power grab," Trujillo tells SFR.
Coss says he's proud of his record and will work hard to run an organized campaign.
"I have a lot of respect for [Speaker Lujan] and the Democratic Party of New Mexico and our record of helping out working families," he says.