Sweetser, Chavez point to November
Headlight Staff 4:39 p.m. MDT June 9, 2016
DEMING - In one of the tightest races in recent Luna County history, Vicki Chávez defeated Scott Chandler to claim the Republican nod for State Representative in District 32.
The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that a recount will be in order for this Republican race. Following Tuesday's New Mexico Primary, Chávez held a 12-vote lead heading into the canvassing. The recounts still must be authorized by the New Mexico State Canvassing Board.
While the numbers did change slightly, Chávez is still declared a 16-vote winner over Chandler by an 892-876 margin in the tri-county area. District 32 encompasses Luna, Hidalgo and a portion of Grant County. Chávez is executive director of the Southwest Regional Education Cooperative in Deming.
The Democratic side of the race was not as close, as Candie Sweetser ran away from Frederick Sherman, claiming 61 percent of the vote to punch her party's ticket for State Representative, District 32. Chávez will face Sweetser for the seat being vacated by Rep. Dona Irwin, D-Deming.
"I have the utmost respect for Vicki as a Christian and an educator, and look forward to what I hope will be a clean race based on our experiences, our shared love for southwest New Mexico and the issues affecting District 32," Sweetser said on Thursday.
Sweetser is a managing partner of KDEM-FM and KOTS-AM in Deming and has lived in Luna County for more than 25 years. She has strong ties to broadcasting, agriculture, education and small business. She describes herself as someone running without a pre-set agenda who would simply like the opportunity to give back to the community.
“Southwestern New Mexico has been so good to my family and me, and I am eager for a chance to represent my friends and neighbors, and carry our local issues to the state level,” Sweetser said.
Sweetser said she has been interested in serving in the New Mexico Legislature for many years, but felt the area was well-represented by Irwin and her predecessor, the late G.X. McSherry, so never felt compelled to run until now.
“I am not a politician, but I have great respect for our democratic system of government,” she said. “I believe in good, open, honest government.”
Sweetser has a master’s degree in communication studies from New Mexico State University, and a bachelor’s degree in radio/television broadcasting from Eastern New Mexico University. In addition to her broadcasting work, Sweetser teaches public speaking for Western New Mexico University in Deming and Lordsburg.
Sweetser has served as president of the Deming Rotary Club, has been active in Silver Spikes, and served on the boards of the New Mexico Broadcasters Association and the New Mexico Foundation of Open Government. She is active in First United Methodist Church of Deming.
She is married and has two children.