Candie Sweetser, Representative for NM House Dist 32
January 27 ·
So proud to introduce three Deming High School SkillsUSA students and their advisor on the NM House floor this morning. Joining me (l-r) were Nayeli Chavez, Alissa Chavez, SkillsUSA NM President Alexis Trejo, and Mary Anderson, who received a standing ovation for her 46 years of teaching in Deming Public Schools. #nmleg #dist32rocks
Here's how Luna County races panned out in 2020 General Election
Here's how Luna County voted
DEMING – Luna County voters were out in force Tuesday for the 2020 General Election in Deming and Columbus, NM. A total of 8,160 turned in ballots from 12,889 registered voters.
Democratic incumbent Candie Sweetser and Republican incumbent John Sweetser presented an election dynamic in Luna County for the 2020 General Election. State Representative Candie Sweetser (D-Deming) won a second term in Santa Fe when she defeated candidate Scott Chandler (R-Deming) in a race that pitted two Deming residents on totally different platforms.
John Sweetser defeated challenger Ruben Javier Diaz to secure another term on the Luna County Board of Commissioners District 3 seat.
The Sweetser's are husband and wife who show that unity can work despite being on opposite sides from the two major political parties.
Candie Sweetser held steady in Luna County with a clear record of past accomplishments that directly benefited agriculture, education and water conservation in Luna County.
Chandler based his campaign on “change.” He planned to serve as a steward for turning the state “Red” (Republican) and viewed his challenge for State Representative as a key step in accomplishing his goal.
Candie took 53 percent of the Luna County vote to Chandler’s 47 percent, and that came in a county that voted “Red” in 2020.
Luna County’s testament to Red came in several key New Mexico races. Republican incumbent Donald J. Trump carried Luna County by 10 percentage points (54-44) over Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the Presidential Race. Biden won in New Mexico, 54 percent to 44 percent.
John S. Sweetser (R-Deming) held his District 3 seat on the Luna County Board of Commissioners by defeating Ruben Javier Diaz (D-Deming), a former county commissioner who served two terms from 2008-2016.
General Election is Nov. 3rd
DEMING – Two individuals familiar with one another are seeking your vote for the District 32 (Luna, most of Hidalgo and a precinct of Grant counties) seat as your state representative in the upcoming November 3rd General Election.
Incumbent Candie Sweetser (D-Deming) won the seat in 2016 and is planning for a second term in Santa Fe.
Scott Chandler (R-Deming) lost a close race in 2016 to Vicki Chavez during the Primary Election.
Chandler has hit the campaign trail hard in Luna County on a ticket of turning New Mexico “Red” by filling Republican seats in the Roundhouse in Santa Fe.
Who has a plan?
As member of the House Appropriations and Legislative Finance Interim committees, Sweetser has been deeply involved with the state’s budget during the New Mexico Legislative Special Session.
“We had decent money, good reserves, and were in really good shape when we left there in mid-February, and then two weeks later, we are starting to see the affects of the pandemic,” Sweetser said. “…Three weeks later, the world shut down.”
Sweetser returned to Santa Fe in special session to continue work on the reserves available to the budget. “Because we had really good reserves we didn’t have to make as deep of cuts as people may have feared,” Sweetser said. “I really want to give credit to Sen. John Arthur Smith for watching over that budget process.”
Chandler’s bid as a candidate came from what he has seen over the past two years. “This really wasn’t on the radar for me, but when I saw what was happening in our legislature – and in a big way – the progressive side in our state is affecting rural lifestyles as we know it,” Chandler stated.
By tossing his hat into the ring Chandler is hoping the Republican Party can take back the state and change what he sees as an extreme liberal pattern of decision-making in Santa Fe.
“I want more conservative values to lead this state,” Chandler said.
Oil & gas, and tourism
With the oil and gas industry and tourism taking a hit, Sweetser is happy to report both have rebounded a little – enough to avoid the deep cuts prognosticators anticipated. “My concern is next year’s budget without Sen. Smith shepherding that budget for reserves,” Sweetser said. “I Will be a strong advocate for keeping those reserves up.”
Rooted in Luna County farming, she views the committee work as hugely important. “Water is life in New Mexico, and we have so many lawsuits and pending lawsuits facing the water issues in our state because of our debts to Texas and concerns with Arizona and the Colorado River coming down, along with our drought conditions,” Sweetser explained. “Water is hugely important to my district.”
Chandler sees a different direction for both these industries as they pertain to Luna County. “Pro-rural communities need oil and gas and tourism to flourish but they are over-regulated with agendas out there that are suppressing us rather than helping us come up,” he said.
Jobs and water
Sweetser views economic development and employment as the most important issues facing the tri-county area. She is the vice-chair of the House Agriculture and Water Committee in Santa Fe and on the interim, she is also a member of the House Natural Resources and Water Committee – the two committees work hand-in-hand.
“The water issue is a close second because we have a lot of farmers that may be looking at hard times ahead with the water tables dropping and other issues,” she said.
“We have high levels of unemployment. We do have issues where people are making more on unemployment benefits,” Sweetser said. COVID-19 has also impacted the workforce in the tri-county area,” Sweetser added.
Chandler is rooted in ranching and has taken his campaign on the road with a series of Republican Party rolling rallies. His platform covers Second Amendment rights, economic development, jobs and agriculture.
“There has been a massive shift in the values of our state regarding these issues and I have a sense of urgency to bring our values back to the rural communities that depend on jobs, agriculture, water and the peace-of-mind regarding their Constitutional rights,” Chandler stated.
Education in New Mexico is a frustrating process in Santa Fe, according to Sweetser. “COVID has turned everything on its head. The Governor and PED (Public Education Department) Secretary had a lot of things they thought would be effective in raising the overall base scores in the state, and Deming was one of their star communities because they did K-5 Plus, and they did extended learning. COVID has put everything in turmoil.”
Chandler wants to see local school boards govern themselves. “I would love to see more power put back into the local school boards when it comes to public education in our state,” he said. “I think that over time, we have eroded that, and I think the closer we can get that back to the local school boards. Local communities know what is best for that community.
“That’s why you elect people at that level – to make decisions for what’s important for the schools, instead of having a state power making decisions for communities.”
Chandler sees securing the border in New Mexico is key for rural communities. “Deming and Luna County had challenges in 2019 with the influx of migrants that came across the border. I thought they handled it well. The only thing I would have done differently was to turn the spigot off.
Chandler used his influence as a board member for the nonprofit Adelante and helped secure $10,000 in a short time to aid the migrant shelters.
Trade issues are a big concern across the border. Chandler would like to see a level playing field when it comes to beef, and hay crossing the border and being packaged over New Mexico’s beef and hay. “This undermines our local agriculture industry,” he said.
Sweetser has a theory on the border. “I think Washington DC and Mexico City have no idea how the border operates,” Sweetser explained. “But for someone who has lived near the border for 30 years, I can see we have a wonderful relationship with people across the border. It has changed – gotten tense at times – but our communities co-exist, and I try and tell people that when I am in Santa Fe. If you let the border work on border issues, we would probably be fine.”
The General Election is slated for Tuesday, Nov. 3rd, 2020. Early voting is underway, and you can call the Luna County Clerk’s Office (575-546-0494) for times and days. The polls on Nov. 3rd will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at three Voter Convenience Center locations:
• Holy Family Parish Center (615 S. Copper St.)
• Mimbres Valley Learning Center (2300 E. Pine St.)
• Columbus Village Library (122 W. Broadway Ave. in Columbus, NM)
Bill Armendariz can be reached at 575-546-2611 (ext. 2606) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau
January 28 ·
This bill is straight from our policy book! We love that it appropriates:
* $150,000 for NMDA to develop and promote market opportunities for farmers, ranchers and agribusiness in NM
* $1,250,000 for NMSU to maintain 12 ag experiment stations
* $450,000 for eight 4-H staff positions
and other worthwhile initiatives that support our state's agricultural community. Please join us in supporting this bill and thanking the sponsors.
Melanie Stansbury for NM
Representative Gail Armstrong
Candie Sweetser, Representative for NM House Dist 32
State Rep. Kelly Fajardo
Representative Rebecca Dow
. Read the whole bill here https://www.nmlegis.gov/.../20.../bills/house/HB0253.pdf
Candie Sweetser, Representative for NM House Dist 32
January 28 ·
Excellent meeting of the Deming Silver Spikes with NM Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham this afternoon. So appreciative of the many businesspeople and public servants who are in Santa Fe advocating for Luna County. #nmleg #dist32rocks
Candie Sweetser, Representative for NM House Dist 32 New Mexico House of Representative
January 21 · Santa Fe ·
Ready for the Opening Day of the 2020 New Mexico Legislature. Honored to have Luna County Commissioners (r-l) Linda Smrkovsky, Barbara Reedy and John Sweetser join me on the House Floor for the State of the State speech. #nmleg #dist32rocks
Santa Fe – Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed three bills that support New Mexico’s economic development, infrastructure, and jobs. House Bill 165, the Modifying High Wage Jobs Tax Credit Act, sponsored by Rep. Candie Sweetser (D-Deming); House Bill 176, the Broadband Telecomm Facility Gross Receipts Act, sponsored by Rep. Jim Trujillo (D-Santa Fe) and Sen. Carlos Cisneros (D-Questa); and House Bill 184, the Apprenticeship Program Income Tax Credits Act, sponsored by Rep. Linda Trujillo (D-Santa Fe).
House Bill 165 amends the high-wage jobs tax credit, which was changed in numerous ways during the 2016 special session to modify the credit. This bill will reduce the percent value of the credit from 10 percent to 8.5 percent but increase the annual per-job maximum by $750, and removes all business eligibility requirements other than eligibility for the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP). The bill also reduces the number of weeks a job must be held from 48 to 44, and makes minor modifying language. House Bill 165 also removes most of the current restrictions preventing businesses from using the credit if they shed other jobs, and it reduces from five years to two years the restriction on claims by companies that previously ceased business operations.
House Bill 176 proposes a gross receipts tax and compensating tax deduction for the value of broadband telecommunications network facilities components. The purpose of the deduction is to promote the deployment of broadband telecommunications services in the state. The deduction is to be separately stated, but there is no penalty for failure to separately state the value of the deduction. The Tax and Revenue Department is required to gather the data and report annually to the legislature as to the cost and benefits of the deduction. The technical requirement is that network facilities must meet or exceed the federal communications commission “connect America” standards. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2019. The provisions are repealed as of July 1, 2028.
House Bill 184 creates apprenticeship program income tax credits applicable to both the Income Tax Act and the Corporate Income and Franchise Tax Act. The credit allowed per “qualified apprentice” is $1,000 for a full year or $2,000 for a full year if the qualified apprentice received a high school diploma or high school equivalency credential less than four years prior to the apprenticeship. If the qualified apprentice is employed for less than the full taxable year but was employed for at least seven months during that year they are eligible for the credit but can only claim part of the credit based on the amount multiplied by the fraction of the full year the apprentice was employed.
“We have an opportunity to expand job training and apprenticeship programs, create jobs, and invest in our local communities by expanding broadband which we need to compete in today’s job market,” said Chairman of the Taxation and Revenue Committee, Rep. Jim Trujillo (D-Santa Fe). Our state’s economy is at a turning point, and we must invest in our state and people if we want to see things turn around. I am optimistic that these measures will make it through the Senate and will help enact the positive changes that our state needs.”
House Bill 165, House Bill 176, and House Bill 184 now head to the Senate for consideration.
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Saturday announced the introduction of legislation that will leverage state broadband development funds to attract additional private investment in order to dramatically expand the state’s digital infrastructure.
HB 9 creates the Broadband Infrastructure Development Fund, enabling public agencies to enter into public-private partnerships for the development of broadband infrastructure across the state and providing $10 million for the awarding of grants and loans to local governments. Introduced by Reps. Candie Sweetser and Anthony Allison, the legislation addresses a pervasive issue across rural New Mexico, where the vast majority of our neighbors there lack access to high-speed broadband, and specifically ensures the inclusion of tribal nations and pueblos, which are plagued with some of the lowest internet access rates.
“Investments in broadband will be an incredible boon to rural New Mexico,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “Public-private broadband partnerships will expand this essential element of a modern, efficient and effective infrastructure system. I’m thrilled we can take action here and, as a result, see improvements in education and public safety while also boosting productivity and incomes across the state.”
“Broadband expansion for border and rural communities is essential for economic development, education, and security,” said Rep. Sweetser. “This legislation is a critical step forward to expand opportunities and ensure the success of workers and businesses throughout New Mexico. I am proud to work alongside the governor and all stakeholders to advance this initiative and invest in rural New Mexico.”
“New Mexico is a vast and diverse state, and expanding access to broadband will connect New Mexicans to new and exciting opportunities,” said Rep. Allison. “This legislation will improve internet reliability – especially for Native American communities – so that New Mexicans won’t have to drive miles to access the internet. It is time that we close the digital divide so that all our communities have the tools they need to thrive.”
Headlight Staff Reports Published 6:30 a.m. MT Jan. 30, 2019 Bills move to House Appropriations and Finance Committee
SANTA FE, NM – Rep. Candie Sweetser’s (D-Deming) bill to expand economic development opportunities passed the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee. House Bill 126 provides a $1.5 million appropriation to the economic development grant fund to help create jobs and grow the economy in all parts of the state. “By promoting economic development in communities across the state – including here in southwest New Mexico – we are growing the economy and creating jobs for New Mexico families,” said Rep. Sweetser. “In order to have long-term success, we must continue making these smart investments to increase opportunities and ensure economic security.”
Her home town of Deming ranks among the most economically depressed counties in New Mexico.
HB 126 appropriates $1.5 million to the Economic Development Grant Fund to provide funding for local and regional economic development organizations to hire economic development professionals, which would enhance local economic development job creation efforts. Although the Economic Development Grant Fund was created in 2014, it has never been funded.
House Democrats understand that local development organizations are often the best advocates for their communities, and this appropriation provides the needed resources and tools to empower them.
House Bill 126 now heads to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.
Sweetser also introduce a bill last week to provide food and agriculture education to New Mexico students passed the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee. House Bill 125 would create an appropriation for agriculture education and experiential learning grants to school programs.
“In New Mexico, we know how important it is for young people to have every opportunity to succeed,” said Sweetser. “We also know that getting agriculture literacy throughout our state is crucial for students to remember where their food, fiber, and fuel originates. This is a community-driven program that connects our students to their land and the deep roots of our state.”
House Democrats understand the vital contributions of rural communities, farming and ranching to New Mexico and this bill serves to protect and expand youth’s awareness of food and agriculture. House Bill 125 also moved to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee for consideration.