As the election grows near, voters want to know about their candidates. Over the next months the Observer will post a series of Q and As as responses come in. These are the candidates in Sandoval County.

Kathleen Holmes Cates (D): candidate for District 44 (Bernalillo) State Representative

Observer: What is your background with politics, community, and your education?

For over 15 years District 44 has been my home. A long-time resident of Rio Rancho, I know District 44 intimately: as a homeowner, a small-business owner, an executive for nonprofit organizations, a civic leader and as a parent.

Both of my children attended and graduated from Rio Rancho Public Schools. Raising them launched my participation in many local events and activities, which grounded my understanding of our community’s goals and concerns.

My career as the CEO of two nonprofits and my volunteer work as a member of the New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Council have expanded my knowledge of our community’s achievements and issues. This work inspired me to advocate for underserved and marginalized people, such as women diagnosed with mental health and substance abuse problems; individuals with disabilities seeking job opportunities; and children who have developmental delays or who are considered “at-risk.”

These experiences, as well as my active participation in the Rio Rancho Sunrise Rotary, showed me that community involvement promotes community achievement.


Observer: Why are you running for this position in particular?

My life is anchored in community involvement. For the last 15 years, my priorities and those of my family have focused on helping our community:  Working with elected officials to change policies or laws that impact veterans, individuals with disabilities, or children; fund-raising for Sandoval County school sports and arts activities; and actively supporting local nonprofits. These years of work and service have taught me the detailed needs of our community. I will advocate in Santa Fe  for my community and its needs. As citizens of the fasted growing county in New Mexico, we in Sandoval County need a strong advocate who will fight for our District.


Observer: What do you plan to do in the first year (if you are elected)?

Support a plan to increase funding for mental health programs; increase the number of law enforcement officers; secure our water for the future; fight for women’s reproductive rights; and ensure that every registered voter can vote without fear.