State Senator Seeks Democratic Nomination

GALLUP, NEW MEXICO – State Senator George Muñoz today announced plans to seek the Democratic nomination for Commissioner of Public Lands. Born and raised in Gallup and a lifelong New Mexican, Muñoz is a three-term State Senator who represents the constituents of Cibola and McKinley counties, and part of the Navajo Nation.

“For the past 9 years, I have worked to advance real solutions within the state legislature to improve education, create new jobs, and enhance the quality of life for all New Mexicans,” said Senator Muñoz. “As Commissioner of Public Lands, I pledge to bring that same experience and approach to the State Land Office and hold it accountable to the citizens of New Mexico.”

Muñoz will focus his campaign for Commissioner on identifying and securing sustainable ways to increase income for all of New Mexico’s public schools—from fully-funded early childhood education to the state’s colleges and universities. “The legislature has been unable to take care of our most vulnerable citizens, but if elected Commissioner of Public Lands I will work to find real solutions to help drive our state’s economy and ensure that our schools have the resources they need to give all of our children a bright future in New Mexico.”

Both as State Senator and as a voting member on the powerful Legislative Finance Committee, Muñoz has brought a common-sense approach and solutions to Santa Fe. “I fully understand the budgetary constraints New Mexico faces, which is why I support and encourage the development of renewable energy projects on state trust lands. Creating jobs and diversifying our state’s revenue is a win-win for kids and the economy,” said Muñoz.

“I support all forms of responsible energy production on state trust lands—it’s how we provide funding for our schools, teachers, and kids. But we must also look to the future and understand that New Mexico has unlimited resources in solar and wind. Together with oil and gas, we can provide long-term solutions to our budget concerns,” said Muñoz “I will work to encourage energy companies and utilities to develop these vital resources, create good jobs, and to invest in the future of New Mexico.”

The State Land Office oversees more than 9 million acres of surface, and 13 million acres of minerals that are intended to help public schools, higher education and other beneficiaries. Revenue from state trust land comes from oil and natural gas royalties, grazing rights and energy leases. The Commissioner of Public Lands has authority to allow activities on state trust lands and to authorize land exchanges when in the best interest of the trust.

Muñoz is an avid conservationist and sportsman, who understands the importance of protecting New Mexico public lands for future generations. In his work as State Senator, Muñoz has worked closely with the Navajo Nation leadership in finding solutions and building relationships that are beneficial for New Mexico. “As a lifelong New Mexican, I appreciate the rich diversity that makes our state unique and will build on those values as Commissioner of Public Lands.”

Muñoz is a successful businessman in Gallup and is married to Sharmyn, an educator in McKinley County. The couple are blessed with two sons, Zane and Landon. “My campaign for Commissioner of Public Lands starts today and I will take my economic, early childhood and income for public schools’ message statewide.”