Candidates discuss issues, goals

More than 100 Quay County residents attended a candidate forum Friday at the Nara Visa Community Center.

"The forum brings the candidates to the people," said Renee Rhinestine, coordinator.

Rhinestine said when the candidates would visit the area, it was during a time which the rural residents could not get out to see them.

QCS photo: Thomas Garcia

Nadine Angel speaks to the crowd as the remaining candidates wait on the bleachers behind her. The candidates were attending a forum Friday at the Nara Visa Community Center.

"These people can not take off work to make it to town to see a candidate," Rhinestine said. "Even if they did, there is no guarantee they would get any time to speak to the candidate."

A dozen candidates attended the forum, including; Rep. Dennis Roch, Quay County Commissioner Robert Lopez, Senate District 7 candidate Pat Woods and 3rd Congressional candidate Jeff Byrd. Roch, Woods and Byrd are Republicans, while Lopez is a Democrat.

Each candidate was given a chance to introduce themselves to the residents. They then took time to discuss their goals and priorities if elected to the office they seek.

"I want to thank the residents for giving us the opportunity to come into your community and speak with you directly," Roch said.

Lopez said he has enjoyed serving as commissioner for District I and working with his fellow commissioners to improve the quality of life in Quay County.

"With the support of the people I would like to continue serving the county's residents," Lopez said.

Lopez is the incumbent of District I and is running against Sue Dowell of Logan.
"There are good citizens in Quay County, who are dedicated and willing to work to improve things," Dowell said. "Citizens need to feel they are respected and their ideas are valued by government. Improvement in Quay county will come from our citizens being informed and actively involved."

Woods said there are many issues affecting all of the residents of Eastern New Mexico, such as the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System.

"We need to look at ways to make this project work," Woods said. "We need a plan which benefits all parties and keeps the water stays in Eastern New Mexico."

Byrd said much of the regulations being considered and passed in Washington, D.C. are not considering the effects on New Mexico residents.

"If they had it their way, it would be illegal for our children to work on our farms," Byrd said. "They would even try to fine us for having dust in our fields."

The residents listened to the candidates then had the opportunity to visit with them one on one.

Fast facts

The candidates attending the forum were:


• Nadine Ange (D): County Treasurer

• Sue Dowell (D): District I Commissioner

• Robert Lopez (D): District I Commissioner

• Mike Cherry (R): District II Commissioner

• Veronica Marez (D): County Clerk

• Timothy Rose (D): 10th Judicial District Attorney

• Donald Schutte (D): 10th Judicial District Attorney


• John Patrick Woods (R): State Senate District 7

• Thomas A. Garcia (R): State Senate District 8

• Dennis Roch (R): State Rep. District 67


• Greg Sowards (R): U.S. Senate

• Jefferson Byrd (R): U.S. Rep. Third Congressional District.

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