New Leadership Takes Helm at Common Cause New Mexico

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  • Heather Ferguson

Common Cause New Mexico (CCNM) Executive Director, Heather Ferguson, was named this week to a national position at Common Cause, based in Washington, DC. Ferguson has been the Executive Director of Common Cause New Mexico since July 2018. In her new post, Ferguson will provide direct state support on campaigns, fundraising, policy, and program development for New Mexico, Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Nebraska, Oregon and Texas.

Mario Jimenez, III, currently the Campaigns Director, will become Executive Director of Common Cause New Mexico. Jimenez has led many legislative efforts in New Mexico, including election process reforms through his earlier work with the NM Clerks’ Affiliate, and since joining CCNM, he has led the state’s largest nonpartisan election protection program and lobbied to increase voter access to the ballot box. At the local level, Jimenez has led efforts to provide public education and implementation of Ranked Choice Voting in Las Cruces and Santa Fe.

Jimenez served as the county’s chief deputy clerk for six years in the Doña Ana County Clerk’s office. He previously served on the state’s Voting Machine Certification Committee and was also a certified voting machine technician. He also worked as the President and lobbyist for the NM County Clerk’s Affiliate.

“Safeguarding our democratic process and holding bad actors to account is as crucial as ever. I intend to work in partnership with good government organizations, community leaders, and well-intentioned elected officials from across the state,” said Mario Jimenez, III, rising Executive Director of Common Cause New Mexico.  “It is my goal to continue holding those in power accountable and increasing the public’s faith in our democracy through Common Cause’s nonpartisan efforts.”

Ferguson expanded Common Cause New Mexico’s office from a two-person staff to a four-person staffed organization with additional contractors and has added a Fair Courts program that is focused on ensuring our state courts’ judicial independence and expanding judicial public financing.  Under Ferguson’s leadership, CCNM passed a constitutional amendment to create a State Ethics Commission, advanced voter registration, overhauled campaign finance reforms, and created the nation’s first district court-level public financing program. She has built successful lobbying campaigns, election protection programs, local ballot measures, published research and reports, and worked with coalitions for democracy at both the state and local levels.

Ferguson says she will remain in the Land of Enchantment while working remotely and looks forward to working with Common Cause New Mexico’s new leadership, Mario Jiminez, III.