Candidates for the Democratic nomination for District 2 on the Santa Fe County Commission promised to devote their full attention to a “full-time job for part-time pay” at a forum on May 15 at party headquarters.

Vying for the nomination are educator and health policy analyst Lisa Cacari Stone, lawyer Scott Fuqua and former County Assessor Benito Martinez, bidding for a seat opened by the departure of County Commissioner Anna Hansen.

Topics ranged from how the county government can address climate change to the need for more bicycle trails to the importance of collaboration between the city and county governments on issues such as the condition of West Alameda.

None of the candidates failed to emphasize their people skills and experiences that have prepared them to take on the challenges of a County Commission post.

“The County Commission touches people’s lives in very real and very direct ways,” said Fuqua, who said his legal career has prepared him to resolve issues that arise on the County Commission. “I suspect if you ask most people who their county commissioner is, some people might know,” he added. “If you asked them how many people are on the county commission, few of them would know … But you’re here, demonstrating an interest in the democratic process and its results. And I thank you for that.”

“There is nothing new about politics to me,” Martinez said, citing his tenure in the assessor’s office, when he proved he was willing to challenge influential people in the community. “Whether or not I’m elected here I’m going to help people. Regardless. It’s the way I was brought up. And that’s the way I will do it until I die.”

Concluded Cacari Stone: “It’s not about me. It’s not just what I’ve done or where I’ve been or what I want to do. I’m not a career politician. This is about our communities and our diverse residents of District 2. I will be, and I’ve demonstrated already in the campaign to be, the commissioner that listens, the commissioner that takes action, the commissioner that’s inclusive of all people. … This is a commitment, and I’m ready to step in and step up and show up, for all of us.”