Public Lands Commissioner 
Candidate Evaluation

Grading based on NMD4D's policies and candidate interviews, forums and debates.

Photo by Mike Lewinski
Clouds over the Dali Rocks

Public Lands Commissioner Grading

Stephanie Garcia Richard (D)

Overall Grade: C (76.5%)


Patrick H. Lyons (R)

Overall Grade: A (96.7%)


Overall Experience 

NMD4D Criteria

The Commissioner of Public Lands oversees 14M acres of state trust lands, leveraging those resources to generate billions of dollars annually for our state, public schools and beneficiaries each year.

NMD4D grading criteria:

  • Bachelor's degree or greater
  • Background in land leases
  • Understanding of oil and gas industries, renewable energies, utilities, National and State Forests, agriculture, ranching, water aquifers, state and federal land management and BLM.
  • Work experience: corporate or public land leases, management of operations, knowledge of management of wildlife, water rights, and public access to lands.

Stephanie Garcia 
Richard (D)

Category Grade: C

State Representative from 2013 to present; representing the Jemez Mountain Range and Los Alamos district.

Some of her proudest accomplishments and accolades are in environmental justice.

She is an educator and works as a curriculum coordinator for Pojoaque schools.

Attended Barnard College at Columbia University in New York.

Currently is the Chairwoman of the House Education Committee.

As an educator, Stephanie taught at a Bureau of Indian Affairs school, a charter school and within the public school system.

Patrick H. Lyons (R)

Category Grade: A

Patrick is a businessman - rancher & farmer. 

He has experience in land management.

Worked with: oil & gas, ranchers, renewables, private and public industries

Patrick worked within the Department of Commerce and Agriculture Bureau.

He served as New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands 2003-2010; and is the Present PRC commissioner of the 2nd District.

Patrick was a NM State Senator in 1992 through 2002.

He has degrees and a masters in Agriculture Economics from NMSU and Colorado State University.


NMD4D Criteria

Fracking is a process that has been used in NM in one form another since the 30's. Banning fracking would require New Mexico to replace 1/3 of our state's revenue generated from oil and gas. 

If the candidate supports prohibiting this energy and revenue source, what do they offer as a replacement?

NMD4D does not support a ban on fracking. 

We do support recapturing methane leaks, investing in infrastructure to minimize flaring, desalination technology, and clean water recycling technology.

NMD4D does not support allowing fracking near sacred lands or near freshwater aquifers.

Stephanie Garcia
Richard (D)

Category Grade: C

Stephanie supports fracking, but during the primary election, has said she would limit or plan to restrict fracking in New Mexico.

Currently, oil and gas extraction on state trust lands accounts for only 25% of oil and 35% of gas extraction in New Mexico.

When leased, state trust lands need to benefit the state as much as possible. New Mexico royalty is 18.75% for oil & gas generation.

Stephanie plans to champion legislation to raise state royalty rates.

She plans to generate more revenue from less extraction.

She will look to best practices in other states to incentivize investments into wind and solar projects.

Patrick H. Lyons (R)

Category Grade: A

The constitutional mandate for the State Land Office is to generate revenue for education and other beneficiaries in a sustainable way.

Patrick supports industries that will maximize revenue for New Mexico, including oil & gas and in the technology of fracking.

Patrick also supports the land office  optimizes revenues while protecting the health of the land and citizens through sustainable land management practices.

He's pro-business and has a proven record of bringing jobs to New Mexico.

Patrick also supports renewable investments; as Land Commissioner, he did the first wind generation lease on state trust land and brought in the Union Pacific railroad through a series of land exchanges.

He will continue to diversify the energy portfolio for the Land Office with more renewable energy projects.

As a PRC Commissioner, he has the proven experience to develop wind and solar projects and understands the transmission and storage needs of the energy industry.

State Investment Council (SIC)

NMD4D Criteria

As Commissioner, this candidate resides on the State Investment Council (SIC) board. 

What is the candidate's number one priority for these investment funds and why?

Would the candidate vote to invest 5% ($1.2B) of our $24B into New Mexico's economy, small businesses, agriculture, tech transfer, biotech, renewable energy, etc.?

Stephanie Garcia
Richard (D)

Category Grade: C

Stephanie would support investing our $24B fund where the SIC board determines the best return on investment is located.

Stephanie did not give any specifics where these funds should be invested to help grow New Mexico's economy.

She does support an additional 1/2% allocation of the Land Grant to be allocated for early childhood education.

Patrick H. Lyons (R)

Category Grade: A

Patrick supports investing more dollars into New Mexico's industry's to help create jobs and developed technology within biotech, tech transfer from our national labs, universities, and agriculture.

Patrick has sat on the SIC board under Governor Bill Richardson.

Patrick supports SIC investments and has a percentage breakout plan on how the SIC should be making invest.

He wants to review investment opportunities and wants to avoid poor investments made under the Richardson administration.

Early Childhood Education

NMD4D Criteria

NMD4D supports allocating an additional 1/2% from the Land Grant Fund valued at $15B to early childhood education.

Stephanie Garcia
Richard (D)

Category Grade: A

Stephanie supports allocating an additional 1/2% for early childhood education and has advocated for this as a legislator.

Patrick H. Lyons (R)

Category Grade: A

Patrick supports allocating an additional 1/2% for early childhood education, but want to be cautious.

Patrick first wants to ensure additional oil and gas surpluses are allocated or additional PED funds can be sourced before supporting the withdrawal of additional funds.

He believes by maximizing revenue from our land leases no additional allocation from the Land Grant Fund are required.


Together we can turn New Mexico around!