Bill Armendariz, Deming Headlight 3:31 p.m. MDT July 6, 2016
NM State Rep. race
DEMING - Democratic candidate for New Mexico representative in House District 32, Candie Sweetser, now has a clear-cut opponent for the November general election. Republican Vicki Chávez was affirmed her party's winner following a state-mandated recount of ballots that was held on Friday in front of the NM Secretary of State Brad Winters at the Luna County Courthouse. A difference of 16 voted favored Chávez over rancher Scott Chandler, and the vote count stayed the same.
"I have always considered that I am running for the office – not against any one person – so from that standpoint, my strategy for campaigning doesn't change," Sweeter said on Tuesday, following a weekend campaign trip to the boot heel region of the state.
District 32 incorporates Luna and Hidalgo counties, and a portion of Grant County. Dona Irwin (D) retired from her seat in the House after 18 years, leaving the seat vacant for the general election.
Sweeter says she will carry a strong voice for the agricultural community and small business. “I think the important thing for District 32 is to have solid agriculture and business representation. I will take that to Santa Fe.”
A managing partner for KDEM-FM and KOTS-AM radio stations in Deming, Sweetser, 53, has lived in Luna County for more than 25 years and has strong ties to broadcasting, agriculture, education and small business. 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.
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.
"I will admit it is intimidating to be looking at all the money and influence that has already been flowing to Vicki to defeat her political opponents – first Scott, and now me," Sweetser said. "It is like a steamroller heading my way. But I have confidence in the voters of Luna, Hidalgo and Grant counties and I trust they stand with me in my belief that this office is not for sale."
The general election is November 2.
Bill Armendariz can be reached at 575-546-2611 (ext. 2606) firstname.lastname@example.org.