Why I Will Vote For Leo Jaramillo For State Senate District 5

Letter To The Editor_Pongratz Endorses Chris Chandler For House District 43 Seat (7)


I will vote for Leo Jaramillo in the Democratic primary for Senate District #5.  Here’s why.

I have known Leo since he was a high school co-op student in our group at LANL over 25 years ago.  He came from a very poor family.  We encouraged Leo to go to college and supported his college education.  Since then he has had a very successful career at LANL working in ever more responsible positions.  More importantly, Leo is a humble, thoughtful person who cares about improving the lives of others.

Leo has already made significant progress in breaking down the old political power structure that has retarded progress in Rio Arriba County.  In 2018, Leo handily defeated long-time incumbent, Alex Naranjo, for Rio Arriba County Commissioner.  Leo went around to County agencies, especially those that help the less fortunate, to learn and to support them.  The people he met said they had never seen a County Commissioner engage like that.

Like all of us, Leo is not perfect.  When he was 18 during his first year in college, he made the mistake of drinking and driving.  Leo owned up to his mistake, pled guilty, and faced the consequences. This is far different from incumbent Senator Richard Martinez, who at 67 after a contentious legal battle was convicted of aggravated DWI and reckless driving charges for slamming his Mercedes SUV into a Jeep at an Española intersection, injuring two people.  

After graduating from college Leo returned to high schools in Northern New Mexico to talk about the impact of driving drunk and how a bad decision could change your life forever. These actions of a young man in his twenties clearly reflect Leo’s humility and concern for others.

That is the type of person we need in the NM Senate, someone who will take responsibility for his actions and learn from them. Leo will make a positive difference in the lives of people who most need help. Given the devastation wreaked by COVID-19, it is time for a caring leader who acts with integrity. 

Bill Wadt
Los Alamos