Heather Benavidez is running to be the next Treasurer for the State of New Mexico, and if elected, would have the distinction of being the first woman elected to this statewide office. Heather grew up in Belen and graduated from Belen High School. During high school she worked in the kitchen of a nursing home facility and after graduating, worked at the local RAKS building supply. She had her daughter, Maddy, while working in the information technology industry and, like too many women, had the unfortunate experience of being laid off upon returning from maternity leave. At 25, with a newborn daughter, she began working for the Thirteenth Judicial District Court. Heather completed her Bachelor’s degree in 2010 when Maddy was 7 years old. Heather married the love of her life, Joshua in 2015, and received her Master’s in Public Administration at UNM in 2019 while working as an Executive at the Treasurer’s office under current State Treasurer, Tim Eichenberg.
Heather has served New Mexicans for 18 years on the local and state level, including being appointed by Governor Lujan Grisham to serve as Magistrate judge in Valencia County, and was elected two terms as municipal judge for the City of Rio Communities.
With her history working for Treasurer Eichenberg, Heather understands the office and the position better than any other candidate. Her work for the Treasurer’s office includes lobbying for financial education programs for underserved communities, helping implement the RFP vendor selection process by working closely with the General Services Department, and managing the Alternative Dispute Resolution program, and worked with law enforcement agencies to coordinate the Forfeiture program. She understands the position, and has established important relationships with numerous agencies and community partners -- the relationships a Treasurer needs to succeed.
Her proudest accomplishment is launching the ABLE program to help individuals with disabilities save money without losing public benefits. Currently, the program has helped close to 1,000 individuals find the respect and financial dignity that they deserve. She's established national coalitions and collaborated with other States to help grow STABLE accounts across the country. The program currently manages over $203 million in assets.
Heather serves in volunteer positions on the 100% Community Housing Taskforce, as a member of the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Taskforce, the DWI Planning Council, the Juvenile Justice Board, and her local Rotary Club. From 2008-2016 she served with the Pilot Club of Belen where she helped fundraise for projects that promote inclusivity and community well-being. She is soon to graduate from Emerge NM, an organization specializing in recruiting and training women leaders.
A vote for Heather is a vote for New Mexico families. She will help build the foundation for better futures by offering Child Development Savings Accounts to all children born in NM. Heather will strive to improve financial literacy for those who need it most, and will champion the shift to more equitable and inclusive strategies that prioritize investing our state dollars into companies working towards environmental and social justice. She will implement Work and $ave, a retirement vehicle accessible for New Mexicans who haven't had the opportunity to save for retirement in a pension or 401k. She will continue to protect our financial assets, just like every New Mexican does for their own household. With your support, as State Treasurer, Heather will invest in our future by investing in our people.