Victor Snover was elected to the Aztec City Commission about a year ago. Now he is considering running for a higher office.

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AZTEC — Aztec Mayor Victor Snover is exploring a 2020 run for U.S. Congress following U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján’s announcement in April that he would be vacating that seat to run for U.S. Senate.

Snover launched an exploratory campaign earlier this month and has created both a Facebook page and a website for his campaign.

He said he will officially announce whether he will run in the upcoming months, however he did not set a date for when that announcement could be. He said he is not required to file his candidacy papers until he raises $5,000.

If he chooses to run, Snover will face a crowded field in the Democratic Party primary. At least six other candidates have already launched campaigns for the seat.

In the meantime, Snover is talking to people and going to meetings throughout the Congressional district to see if his campaign can gain momentum.

“These opportunities don’t strike very often,” Snover said on May 20 following a budget workshop in Aztec.

He said Luján could have chosen to keep the seat for the rest of his life if he had wanted. Snover said this could be his only chance to run for Congress.

“Sometimes these opportunities don’t come around again,” he said.

Snover has been a controversial mayor

Snover ran unopposed for Aztec City Commission in 2018 and was then appointed mayor by the commission in a 3-2 vote.

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Snover’s time as mayor has been controversial, and many community members have expressed desire to recall him from his position on the City Commission.

This stems from his stance on gun control.

Snover voted against making the City of Aztec a Second Amendment Sanctuary City and supported the red flag bill that failed in the state’s legislative session this year. The bill would have allowed people to petition a judge to remove firearms from people deemed a threat to themselves or others.

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Snover: Teacher background sets him apart

His position on the City Commission is his first elected position, however he has gained leadership experience through the military and currently teachers JROTC at Aztec High School.

“Our Congress has gotten away from being represented by the working class,” Snover said.

He said as a teacher he understands the struggles to pay bills and the acrobatics people go through to make ends meet.

Snover said that understanding sets him apart from many of the other candidates who have already launched their campaigns for the seat.

Website outlines positions on various issues

On his website, Snover reaffirms his support for red flag legislation and expands on his positions on gun control. The website states he supports enhanced background checks and banning military-grade weapons like AR-15s.

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Snover’s website outlines his positions on various issues, including:

  • Environment and climate change: Snover supports the Green New Deal. He also supports reimplementing the methane capture rule that was implemented under President Barack Obama.
  • Health care: Snover supports universal healthcare, such as Medicare for all.
  • Immigration: The Aztec mayor has participated in several immigration rallies in the Farmington area. His website states Congress must implement comprehensive immigration reform that includes citizenship for DACA recipients.
  • Abortion: Snover is pro-choice.
  • Workers' rights: Snover opposes right-to-work legislation that prohibits employers from requiring employees to pay agency fees to unions. His website states he supports a $15 minimum wage.
  • Education: Snover supports making community college, trade school and four-year state colleges free for students. He also supports increasing funding for early childhood programs.
  • Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women: Snover’s website states addressing the high rates of missing and murdered Native American women should be a national priority. He supports increased funding for infrastructure to reduce emergency response time in Native American communities.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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