Ray Powell

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Ray Powell
Ray Powell.jpg
New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands
Former officeholder
In office
1994-2002, 2011 - 2014
PredecessorPatrick Lyons (R)
Base salary$106,050
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Campaign $$391,700
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of New Mexico
Master'sUniversity of New Mexico
Ph.D.Tufts University (1985)
Office website
Campaign website
Ray Powell is the former New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands. Powell served from 2011 until he was replaced by Aubrey Dunn (R) in January 2015. He previously held the office from 1994-2002. Due to term limits, he was unable to run for a third consecutive term in 2002.


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A veterinarian by trade, Powell has worked with Dr. Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research Education and Conservation. He served as president and vice-president of the 22-member Western States Land Commissioners Association from 1996-1998 and was State Land Commissioner from 1993-2002. Unable to run for a third consecutive term due to term limits, Powell went on to serve two terms as a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Committee on Foreign Animal and Poultry Diseases before being elected again as Land Commissioner in 2010.[1]


  • Ph.D., veterinary medicine, Tufts University (1985)
  • M.S., botany/plant ecology, University of New Mexico
  • B.A., anthropology/biology, University of New Mexico

Political career

New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands (1993-2002, 2011-2015)

Powell served as New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands from January 2011 to January 2015. He previously held the position from 1993-2002.[1]



See also: New Mexico down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Powell ran for re-election as New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands in 2014. Powell was uncontested in the primary on June 3, 2014. The general election took place on November 4, 2014.[2]


General election
New Mexico Land Commissioner, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngAubrey Dunn 50.1% 250,185
     Democratic Ray Powell Incumbent 49.9% 249,481
Total Votes 499,666
Election Results via New Mexico Secretary of State.

Race background

State recount

The New Mexico Secretary of State started a recount in the land commissioner's race on December 11, 2014. Challenger Aubrey Dunn (R) won the initial vote by a small margin over incumbent Ray Powell (D). State law requires a recount if the difference between the top two candidates for a seat is one-half of 1 percent. Powell initially challenged how state officials would test ballots prior to the recount, but dropped an appeal to the New Mexico Supreme Court after an agreement was reached over ballot testing. This was the first statewide recount since a 2008 law instituted the automatic recall requirement.[3] Dunn maintained his lead following the recount's completion on December 16, confirming his victory over Powell.[4]

Campaign themes

Powell's campaign website listed the following themes for the 2014 race:

In just three years we have put the State Land Office back on track and have made significant progress. I have a track record of helping to create thousands of new jobs for New Mexicans, generating more money for our schools, and healing and protecting our state lands. There’s a lot more work to be done, and I’m asking for your support — our vision for what the Land Office can do for New Mexico is well underway.

My Commitment

  • Keep working to create even more good jobs in the new energy economy that we laid the groundwork for in our first term
  • Build on the increases in school funding we have generated every year
  • Continue to restore integrity and set a standard for ethical and honest government – a standard I will maintain in the next term
  • Continue to hold users of our public land accountable – and increase safeguards to guarantee responsible use of the land
  • Responsibly use the extensive non-renewable resources we have been blessed with


—Ray Powell's campaign website, (2014) [6]


Powell won election as New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands on November 2, 2010.

Commissioner of Public Lands, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRay Bennett Powell 52.4% 308,033
     Republican Matthew D. Rush 47.6% 279,664
Total Votes 587,697
Election Results via New Mexico Secretary of State (dead link)'

Campaign contributions

Comprehensive donor information for Bennett is available dating back to 2006. Based on available campaign finance records, Bennett raised a total of $391,700 during that time period. This information was last updated on June 12, 2013.[7]

Ray Powell's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 NM Commissioner of Public Lands Not up for election $1,425
2010 NM Commissioner of Public Lands Won $293,747
2006 NM Commissioner of Public Lands Defeated $96,528
Grand Total Raised $391,700


Bennett won to the position of New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands in 2010. During that election cycle, Bennett raised a total of $293,747.

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See also

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Patrick Lyons (R)
New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands
Succeeded by
Aubrey Dunn (R)