Farmington state rep takes on extra campaign duties

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FARMINGTON — State Rep. Rod Montoya, R-Farmington, may be running unopposed in the November general election, but that doesn't necessarily mean he won't have a busy campaign season.

Montoya represents District 1 in the New Mexico House of Representatives. He also serves as the House minority whip.

No other candidates have filed to run for the District 1 seat, but independent candidates can file to run in the November general election in June following the Democratic Party, Republican Party and Libertarian Party primaries. So Montoya still may face a challenger at that point.

And when House Republican floor leader Nate Gentry of Albuquerque announced that he would not be running for re-election, Montoya took responsibility for many of the duties Gentry previously oversaw.

This includes helping Republican candidates with campaign advice, which is something Gentry had voluntarily done in the past.

Montoya said Gentry has spearheaded Republican fundraising efforts and has been active in helping new candidates campaign. Gentry had to take on additional responsibilities at his family-run law firm after his father got sick.

Those efforts to get Republican candidates elected were something that Montoya said could not be put on the back burner.

The election offers a chance for Republicans to reclaim a majority in the House of Representatives. The GOP lost control of the House during the 2016 election.

“If you’re going to win these races, you have to give these candidates as much help as you can,” he said.

Montoya said scheduling is one of the hardest challenges new candidates face.

“Most of the folks who run are fully employed,” he said.

He said he has helped candidates create schedules, and he has provided guidance on fundraising.

“You don’t win by hoping and praying,” he said.

Gentry’s decision not to run again also will mean that the floor leader position will be open in the Legislature. Montoya, who is the Republican House whip, said he assisted Gentry during the last legislative session, and he believes he has the leadership experience to take on the role. He said he plans to submit his name as a potential successor to Gentry.

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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