Experience drives Eichenberg on campaign trail
This is not Tim Eichenberg’s first rodeo.
After a short hiatus from state politics, the 62-year-old Eichenberg is looking to make his return to the political arena. The Albuquerque native is the 2014 Democratic candidate for New Mexico State Treasurer.
Eichenberg, a former two-term Bernalillo County treasurer, is on the campaign trail promoting his experience. The state treasurer’s job is much like the work he did for the county, investing and managing taxpayer dollars.
In 1994, Eichenberg was elected to the board of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority. The AMAFCA is responsible for handling flooding problems in the greater Albuquerque area. He has since been re-elected to the AMAFCA board three times. Eichenberg is currently the board’s assistant secretary and treasurer.
Jerry Lovato, the executive engineer of AMAFCA, said he thinks Eichenberg would do well as state treasurer.
“He’s very clear on where he wants to go,” Lovato said. “It’s not a dictatorship. He takes everyone’s opinions and moves forward.”
Lovato added that Eichenberg’s experience with AMAFCA has prepared him for the treasurer’s office.
“When we hit the recession, AMAFCA was one of the only government agencies without fiscal problems,” Lovato said.
After his terms as county treasurer that began in 1974, Eichenberg entered state politics in 2004, when he was appointed to be the director of the Property Tax Division by Gov. Bill Richardson. In 2008, Eichenberg was elected to the state Senate for District 15 and served one term.
In 2012, Eichenberg didn’t run for re-election, instead choosing to focus on the health of a few close family members.
“One of my brothers told the family that he had been diagnosed with cancer in December, 2011, and my brother Mike had a heart attack in March, 2012,” Eichenberg said. “It was a very difficult decision. I loved being in the Senate, I loved what I was doing and I loved the process of being a senator. But those two older brothers were the ones taking care of my mom. It was time for me to step up and spend the time with my mom.”
Eichenberg said that his experience is an advantage for him, especially considering that his opponent, Republican Rick Lopez, has never held public office.
“I’m approaching this campaign a little differently than Rick,” Eichenberg said.
Eichenberg has lived his entire life in Albuquerque. Still, he said that he will be able to relate to rural New Mexicans.
“My four years as a state senator got me to all four corners of the state,” Eichenberg said. “And in my four years as the state’s property tax director, I traveled to all 33 counties, because I supervised all the county assessors. So in that supervisory capacity, I had to go see what their county looked like, what their tax roll looked like, and what their community looked like.”
Eichenberg has plenty of goals for the treasurer office should he be elected. According to Eichenberg, this list of goals ranges from taking measures to ensure the growth of business that have five or fewer employees to approving “seeders” that would allow small local banks to more safely accept large deposits. One of his personal goals, however, is to pass his life experience on to the next generation in an attempt to make them more fiscally responsible.
“A young lady in Moriarty asked me about financial education,” Eichenberg said. “I would like to see the state treasurer actually go on a crusade around the state to all of the high schools, talking about how to open a checking account and how a checking account works.”
Eichenberg said he’d also emphasize saving money.
“The thing is that young people don’t save. So with the financial education that I could supply to young people, I’d also talk about savings,” Eichenberg said.[/text_output][share title=”Share this Post” facebook=”true” twitter=”true” google_plus=”true” linkedin=”true” pinterest=”true”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][image type=”none” float=”none” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” src=”2877″][text_output][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]