Rick Lopez is running against Democrat Tim Eichenberg to be the first Republican state treasurer New Mexico has seen since 1948.
The treasurer serves as the state’s banker and is responsible for handling its finances and investments.
“Because there hasn’t been a Republican in there, to me, there have been no checks or balances,” Lopez said.
Lopez, 58, comes to the race with 27 years of state and federal government experience. He has held a variety of high level public service positions such as assistant land commissioner, director of the Tax and Revenue Department, state director for the Farm Service Agency, and is currently serving as a deputy director for the Santa Fe Civic Housing Authority.
“His work history and experience is diverse but all relevant and definitely contributes to the duties you look for in a state treasurer, “ said John Billingsley, a spokesman for the Republican Party of New Mexico.
Lopez says he believes holding these positions has helped him develop the skills it will take to successfully run and manage the state’s finances.
“I know government and I know workers. The state treasurer’s office only has a budget of about $3 million and about 35 employees, and I’ve managed organizations with at least $8 million and about 340 employees,” Lopez said.
Lopez’s résumé also includes three degrees.
He attended the University of New Mexico, where he served as a student senator and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business and master’s degrees in Public Administration and Business Administration from Anderson School of Management.
“Take a look at Rick Lopez’s résumé and sit down and talk with the man and he will have your vote,” Billingsley said.
Lopez is an Albuquerque native who grew up in the South Valley with his six brothers and one sister. He says his parents instilled a strong work ethic in them from a very early age. He says this work ethic is what will help him become the first Republican treasurer in 66 years.
“I had to overcome a lot to get to this point in life,” said Lopez.
Though the political cards look to be stacked against him, Lopez says he is confident he can take the office from the Democrats.
“I’ve sat back and watched the Democrats and how their policies are well-intended, but they don’t work. You look at all of our economically depressed areas, they’re all controlled by Democrats, and they’ve been controlled for a long time,” says Lopez, “ and because there hasn’t been a Republican treasurer since 1948, we don’t know if the Democrats run the office on automatic pilot or it’s just doing the basics.”
Democrat Tim Eichenberg, Lopez’s opponent, claims that Lopez will not bring enough transparency or experience to the treasurers office.
“Rick didn’t talk about transparency in his piece in the newspaper, he didn’t talk about the hard decisions you have to make when you’re the boss,” Eichenberg said.
When asked what he thought of his opponent Tim Eichenberg, Lopez said,
“I don’t run against my opponent in an election, I run for the position. There is not one individual organization or party that will benefit if I am elected treasurer, but rather all of the people of New Mexico.”[/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=”2885″][text_output]
Treasurer at a glance
Job description: Invest and manage state’s checkbook
Term: Four years
Incumbent: James Lewis