Area will have four state races

Robin Fornoff

Eastern New Mexico voters will have a quartet of primary elections for the New Mexico Legislature, but only one contested race once the general election comes around.

Tuesday was the lone day to file for elections at the Secretary of State’s Office in Santa Fe and at county courthouses — only for legislators who would represent a single county — for the June 5 primaries.

There will be primary races for Senate District 7 and House Districts 63, 64 and 66, with only House District 63 holding both Republican and Democratic candidates. All other races are unopposed.

Senate, District 7: The only open seat in the region is a three-person race, with all three candidates running in the Republican primary.

Mark Myers runs a trucking company in Clovis.

Angie Spears is clinical director for TeamBuilders Counseling Services.

John Patrick “Pat” Woods is a fourth-generation farmer in the Grady and Broadview area, encompassing parts of Curry and Quay counties.

The position is currently held by Clint Harden, R-Clovis, who plans to retire after 10 years.

Senate, District 27: Republican Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, faces no challengers in the primary or general election.

House of Representatives, Dist. 63: Rep. George Dodge, D-Santa Rosa, is running for his third term.

Dodge, a restaurant owner and former educator in Santa Rosa, will be challenged in the primary by Jose A. Griego of Clovis.

Griego, a retired educator of 33 years, is a Clovis native who moved back five years ago for family reasons.

“The reason I got into politics is the fact that we’re in a pivotal time frame,” Griego said. “The best of ideas, I believe, are yet to be shared. We have many, many issues involving the Hispanic community. We haven’t participated, even yet. The reason I’m running is I want to serve, and I believe I have a gift and an (ability) to bring people together.”

Running unopposed on the Republican side is dairy owner Steven R. Hanson of Clovis. Hanson, who has owned Eldorado Dairy south of Clovis for 10 years, said he wants to help agriculture and small business.

“I noticed we’re getting to where we don’t have much agriculture represented,” Hanson said. “I feel we need to hear the farmer’s point of view on things. I hope myself being a farmer, if people have a question, they’ll approach a farmer about it.”

House of Representatives, District 64: Rep. Anna Crook, R-Clovis, will run against fellow Republican Wade Lopez, also of Clovis. The winner will face no Democratic opposition in the general election.

The seat covers Clovis and rural Curry County.

House of Representatives, District 66: Rep. Bob Wooley, R-Roswell, will run for his second term against a fellow representative.

Dennis Kintigh, R-Roswell, had served in District 57, but was moved to the district in redistricting.

Kintigh, a retired FBI agent, will be running for his third term. He said he wants to pursue tort reform and tax changes, along with harsher penalties for violent criminals and more cooperation with the oil and gas industries.

“There are some fundamental problems I see in New Mexico with the way the state continues to be functioning,” Kintigh said. “We need to make fundamental changes and I’m prepared to continue the fight to make those changes.”

Wooley, a pipeline safety inspector, was appointed to the position by Gov. Susana Martinez to fill the vacancy left by Keith Gardner — appointed to be Martinez’ chief of staff.

The seat covers Chaves, Lea, Eddy and Roosevelt counties.

House of Representatives, District 67: Republican Dennis Roch, assistant superintendent at Texico Schools, faces no opposition for his third term.

District Attorney: Matt Chandler will run unopposed for his third term. Chandler was elected to the office in 2004, after defeating incumbent Brett Carter in the Republican primary and facing no Democratic opposition. He has not been opposed in either a primary or general election since.