Activist Organization Criticizes Donations to Linda Trujillo, Endorses Opponent

Senate candidate Trujillo says contributions have no influence on her lawmaking

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As voters prepare to head to the polls tomorrow, an activist organization hopes to sway votes away from state Senate District 24 candidate Linda Trujillo by highlighting campaign contributions it says compromise her positions.

Trujillo is one of three Democrats running in the June 4 primary for the seat currently held by Sen. Nancy Rodriguez, D-Santa Fe, who is not seeking reelection. No Republicans or Libertarians are running for the seat in the general election.

Youth United 4 Climate Crisis Action members released a statement June 2 calling out Trujillo for accepting money from oil company Chevron and the New Mexico Association of REALTORS, an opponent of the legally-imperiled 3% excise tax to support affordable housing which voters overwhelmingly passed in the Nov. 7, 2023 municipal election—contributions members say don’t align with the state senate hopeful’s campaign promises and reveal “a politician deeply compromised by the very entities she should be standing up against.”

Zephyr Jaramillo, a YUCCA member who hails from the Isleta and San Felipe Pueblos, tells SFR Trujillo is accepting contributions from “the worst of the worst,” leading to much distrust from members.

“I don’t understand why, as a lawmaker, you would take money from an entity that does all of these harmful things,” Jaramillo says.

In response to the critiques, Trujillo tells SFR her record speaks for itself, saying “there’s nothing that would reflect in my votes and the way I represent this community that would be of conflict.”

The former representative has accepted $106,082 in total contributions to date, with Chevron identified as a top contributor on the New Mexico Secretary of State’s campaign finance website. Other supporters include District 1 Councilor Signe Lindell, City Manager John Blair and several political-action committees.

Trujillo says she accepted the maximum contribution—$5,500—from Chevron due to “some amazing projects regarding environmentalism” the company is leading in the Taos/Questa area.

“I’m really impressed with the green hydrogen program that they’ve got some grant money to get started up,” she explains. “So in that respect, I’m really excited about that relationship.”

However, Jaramillo says the organization holds “a very firm line in the sand” that hydrogen represents “a false solution,” and one that’s not good for New Mexico.

“It might burn clean, but the production of hydrogen is not,” they say. “It’s extremely land and water intensive, and that’s something that we just don’t have here. As an Indigenous young person, knowing that one of our policymakers is beholden to industry like that is disgusting.”

The $750 contribution from the New Mexico Association of REALTORS, on the other hand, Trujillo says, originates from “a longstanding relationship” that dates back to her five-year stint as the superintendent of the Regulation Licensing Department, when she also oversaw the Real Estate Commission under former Gov. Bill Richardson.

“I’ve worked within the real estate, the licensing of Realtors and the oversight for many, many, many years,” Trujillo says.

But monetary donations do not affect how she does her job, she emphasized.

“Let’s be really clear. Like really clear: Campaign contributions don’t buy votes. My votes are not for sale,” Trujillo says, noting Conservation Voters New Mexico highlighted her as a champion for environmental legislation in Santa Fe in 2019. “People can look back at my record and they can note that I have in fact supported legislation that supports environmental protections and housing.”

Jaramillo calls those explanations “bullshit,” adding they highlight “all the key points into why we are really concerned that we can’t trust her to represent our communities.”

“I think there’s a difference between saying things and then actually doing something,” Jaramillo says. “And we see that difference very clearly.”

In the same statement, YUCCA endorsed Veronica Ray Krupnick in the race, whose campaign “stands in stark contrast” to Trujillo’s, members say.

“As a queer Native American, she brings a deeply personal perspective to the systemic issues she seeks to address,” the statement noted. “Her lived experience within the communities most affected by these issues makes her a uniquely qualified candidate who truly understands the need for change from the inside out.”

Prior to her bid for the seat, Krupnick worked as a campaign assistant to House Majority Whip Rep. Reena Szczepanski, D-Santa Fe, and now serves as a leadership analyst and senate liaison for outgoing House Majority Leader Rep. Gail Chasey, D-Albuquerque. If elected, Krupnick will become the youngest person in New Mexico history to hold a Senate seat.

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