Liz Stefanics, New Mexico, 1992
Liz Stefanics (D)
Born November 9, 1950
County Commissioner, District 5
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Elected State Senate November 1992
Elected County Commissioner June 2008
Essay by Liz Stefanics and Linda Siegle for Out and Elected in the USA
We’re at it again!
Linda is serving a six-year term as an elected official on the Santa Fe Community College Board of Trustees (April 1997 – March 2003) in an uphill battle to change the old ways. Liz is running to regain her old state Senate seat covering parts of six counties in New Mexico which she held from 1993–96. She lost her bid for reelection by 54 votes in 1996.
In 1998 Liz tried her hand at a newly created position on the Public Regulation Commission which covered ten counties in the state. For two weeks she won the election but more ballot boxes kept emerging and she eventually lost that election by 4 votes. This is a phenomenon that happened twice to her in her political races.
Linda has accomplished much in her two years at the Community College – policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and inclusion of domestic partner benefits.
While Liz was in the Senate she was the sponsor or cosponsor of legislation for nondiscrimination, fair housing, hates crimes, right to die, choice, and many other progressive issues. Running in a primarily rural area she has a family agenda, a community agenda, and a civil rights agenda.
One or both of us has been running for office or serving in public office since 1992. Campaigning for office is very stressful on any relationship, but politics has become ingrained in our partnership.
Liz’s first race truly tested our young relationship. Our time together was limited and power issues arose constantly. For Linda it was as if suddenly she was a nonentity as people were only interested in the candidate and then the senator. A period of living apart (4 house away) brought us back together with an even stronger commitment to each other and our work.
Our work encompasses a belief in service to community and the high ideas of justice and equality for everyone in this country. That translates into Liz’s work with the elderly and poor by bringing services to people in their homes. Linda is a lobbyist in the New Mexico Legislature who represents primarily health and social service organizations and progressive agenda’s like pro-choice and gay rights.
The roller coaster ride of emotions of five election cycles is not easy on relationships, but we continue to flourish. The joy of winning and the satisfaction of breaking new ground while serving the needs of constituents have made it worth the effort.
We’ll probably be at it for awhile!