Candidate profiles: Curry County sheriff

Doug Bowman Jr.
Party: Republican
Current position: Undersheriff

What is your background?

I am a lifelong, third-generation resident of Curry County and a graduate of Clovis High School. I have been married to Peggy Kelley for eight years and have a 2 1/2-year-old son named Logan. I have more than nine years of continuous law enforcement service to Clovis and Curry County; more than six with the Curry County sheriff’s office, the last 3 1/2 of those as undersheriff.

I have a family history of law enforcement. My grandfather retired after more than 20 years with the Clovis Police Department. I hold an academy-based criminal justice associate’s degree from Clovis Community College. I also hold an executive training certificate, the highest level of advanced training for law enforcement in New Mexico.

Why are you running for sheriff?

I have a passion for law enforcement, and I am dedicated and committed to the citizens of Curry County. I feel that as sheriff I can use my experience to implement programs and work toward making this a safer community. Law enforcement as a whole cannot solve all of the issues that face this community. We need to get the citizens involved. I want to implement programs in the community where the citizens can get involved and make a difference. As sheriff and working closely with the citizens, I feel we can make this a community people will want to call home.

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

I have more than nine years of continual law enforcement service to this community, and I know the issues and needs facing this community. During my tenure as undersheriff, I have had the opportunity numerous times to act as sheriff while the sheriff was out of the county. Serving in this capacity I have developed an excellent working relationship with this administration and the county commissioners, and I feel that relationship is very beneficial to Curry County.

One major responsibility for the sheriff is keeping the budget under control from a personal standpoint. I am a financially responsible person, and I keep all my affairs in order. This experience will be very beneficial for the Curry County sheriff’s office.

What unique things can you bring to the position?

I’m young and I still have a long career ahead of me. I feel my passion and energy for law enforcement can help me do great things for this community. My roots are here and I have no plans to leave Curry County. My history has proven this, and this is a great asset to the position.

What are your goals for the department? Are there any issues or needs that you hope to address?

My goals are to work to increase staffing and in so doing we’ll be able to address our drug problem more aggressively. We will also be able to give the citizens of Curry County better service. This issue goes hand in hand with working closely with the Curry County Commission and administration. They know the issues we are facing and I feel that this relationship is going to be beneficial in correcting the manpower issues. I feel that the process has already begun, and we are making steps toward addressing this issue.

I recently had an opportunity to serve as interim jail administrator and during that interim I learned exactly how severe our issues are in regards to housing prisoners out of the county. With this experience I feel that I can be beneficial in assisting the county and working closely with current jail administration to keep this as minimal as possible. Another goal of mine is that we are currently going into the schools at the sixth-grade level and putting on a drug and gang awareness program. I want to work to increase these programs to numerous grades throughout the schools. I feel that education and prevention in the future for our youth is paramount, and this is where we need to start. There are a lot of things I want to accomplish as sheriff, and I feel these things are just the beginning.

What do you see as the role of the sheriff’s department in the community?

The role is an office that the people can count on. We are here to help the citizens when needed. With our drug program we are here to help our kids learn and help them down the path to a bright future.

We are a group of people that the men and women of Curry County can look up to and depend on.

Talk about the side of you the public doesn’t see.

I’m an avid sportsman. I love to hunt, fish and shoot archery. I love sports — I play lots of softball, golf and racquetball. I also love to work on old cars. I have a 1968 fastback Mustang that I get out on occasion. I love spending as much time as I can with Peggy and Logan. We get out in the front yard and hit golf balls and kick balls around together. We just have a great time as a family. Logan loves horses so every chance we get we take him out to see horses and ride them. Logan absolutely loves riding his 4-wheeler — we’ve put many a mile on it in the driveway and front yard.

Matt Murray
Party: Republican
Current position: Patrol officer, Clovis Police Department

What is your background?

I moved to Clovis in 1976 and started my law enforcement career. I married my wife, Rhonda, the next year. I have two children: Jess, a sophomore at Eastern New Mexico University, and Josh, a sophomore at Texico High School. I have been in law enforcement for 21 years. I was the colonel over the Motor Transportation Division for the Department of Public Safety but resigned in order to run for sheriff. I am currently working for the Clovis Police Department as a patrol officer.

Why are you running for sheriff?

Because of the community and the citizens of Curry County. My family is in this community and has been in this community. Law enforcement has been my career. This is a way I can use my career to make Curry County a better place for them to live and for all our children to raise their own families in.

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

My experience and my knowledge of law enforcement; also the ability to get along with the other law enforcement agencies within the county.

What unique things can you bring to the position?

One unique thing is my ability to get along with all the other agencies. Also I bring experience in budgeting gained as colonel of transportation when I managed a budget of approximately $15 million.

What are your goals for the department?

My first goal is to stay actively involved in the Major Crimes Unit. Secondly, I want to have more of a focus on criminal investigations and that would include narcotics and investigation of burglaries. I want that focus to be there.

Are there any changes or needs that you hope to address?

When I first get in there I will evaluate where the department is and I will address those needs and the needs of the community with the resources available. I think one of the most important things is 24-hour protection and drug interdiction with a focus on criminal investigations. That will be the priority of the sheriff’s department.

What do you see as the role of the sheriff’s department in the community?

I see it as being education, protection and enforcement. As far as education goes, deputies need to be involved with the schools and the community with programs as well as being involved in community policing in the county. The citizens of the county need protection around the clock, and the state laws and statutes of the state of New Mexico need to be fairly enforced.

Talk about the side of you the public doesn’t see.

I exercise quite regularly. I enjoy being with my kids and interacting with them through their academic and sports endeavors. I like camping and fishing; I do them as often as life allows me to. I like roses and I plant quite a few roses.

Wesley Myers
Party: Republican
Current position: Farmer and rancher

What is your background?

I am a third-generation Curry County man. My granddad came here before it was a state. I have lived here all my life. I went through the Clovis school system, and graduated from Clovis High School. I have served two terms as sheriff of Curry County. I was a Curry County sheriff’s deputy, the chief of investigation on the Intensified Narcotic Enforcement Team out of Albuquerque, and I worked as an investigator at the New Mexico State Auditor’s office, investigating Medicaid fraud. I am married to the former Sonja Madera. We have three adult children, two daughters and a son, two living in Curry County, one in Lubbock. I am a farmer and a rancher.

Why are you running for sheriff?

The No. 1 reason is this meth that we’re seeing. It is in epidemic proportions, and with the training I have had in narcotics I thought somebody needs to make an effort to stop it as best they can. Manufacturing is going to suburban areas because law enforcement (in rural communities) is traditionally not as sophisticated.

And No. 2, my neighbor and I never see any patrols out in the county. When I was sheriff previously, we had six deputies; they have 15 now and we had 24-7 patrols. It’s just a matter of priorities and scheduling. If I’m elected, the only requirement to get a deputy out will be to call and he’ll be on the trail.

I just felt like I could make a difference in those two areas.

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

The basis of my experience and training. I will make sure we have 24-7 coverage, if somebody calls, we go. That’s the reality of what I was doing before when I was sheriff. That would be one of the first priorities. With meth in epidemic proportions, I know that I could make a difference. I would give the people their money’s worth. That’s not just a campaign promise; that’s what we did before.

What are your goals for the department? Are there any issues or needs that you hope to address?

To serve the people of Curry County like they deserve to be served — like I would like to be served if I were not a candidate. You pay your taxes and you deserve service. We’re accountable to the taxpayers for a duty and a service. I will also have an open-door policy with the community where people can approach me with their concerns.

There is an adequate number of deputies to do what is required. Our priority is to serve the people in the county through patrols and investigation of illegal narcotics.

What do you see as the role for the sheriff’s department in the community?

The sheriff’s office is the chief law enforcement office in the county. His responsibility is to patrol the ranches, farms and areas outside the city limits. The duty is to get off the highways and see who’s stealing calves and causing problems for the farmers and to give service to the county 24-7, not just when it’s convenient. The people in Grady, Field, Melrose, Texico and all outlying communities pay taxes just like everybody else, and they deserve to have their roads patrolled.

Talk about the side of you the public doesn’t see or may not know.

I am a life member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. I’ve roped calves professionally since 1968. I’m also a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. I love to hunt and love to shoot.