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DOÑA ANA COUNTY COMMISSION

Three commission seats, county clerk, treasurer are on the November ballot

Posted

Candidate information comes from campaign websites, other candidate sources and Bulletin files.

Democrats will retain control of the Doña Ana County Commission no matter what happens on Nov. 3, but Republicans are hoping to reduce the Democratic majority. Democratic incumbents also hope to hold the county clerk’s and treasurer’s offices, as they face Republican challengers in both races.

Two Democratic incumbents are not on the ballot this year, and there is no Republican running in the district two commission race, so Democrats will have at least three seats when commissioners are sworn in next January to begin four-year terms.

Here are the county races.

  • County clerk. Incumbent Democrat Amanda Lopez Askin is opposed by Republican Cheryl De Young. Both candidates are from Las Cruces.

Lopez Askin was appointed clerk by the county commission in September 2018. She defeated one opponent in the June 2020 Democratic primary. From 2005 until becoming clerk, Lopez Askin was a school mental health advocate for the New Mexico Department of Health. She is a graduate of Oñate High School, with a bachelor of science degree in family and child science, a master’s in family and consumer sciences and a doctorate in educational leadership administration, all from NMSU. She is a former NMSU student regent. Visit www.facebook.com/alafornm.

De Young is a native of Las Cruces. She has worked as a volunteer elections official over the course of 30 years. She has a bachelor of science degree in elementary education and was a long-time educator. De Young was a supervisor for Tresco, Inc., served as vice chair and board member for Doña Ana County Senior Olympics and currently serves on the city Senior Programs Advisory Board and the county Election Advisory Council. De Young is a volunteer at Gospel Rescue Mission. Visit www.cdyoungforclerk.com.

  • County treasurer. Incumbent Democrat Eric Rodriguez is seeking a second four-year term. His opponent is Republican Bernadette A. Dorazio. Both candidates are from Las Cruces.

Rodriguez spent a year as chief deputy treasurer before being elected county treasurer in 2016. He was born in eastern New Mexico and raised on a ranch on the New Mexico-Texas state line. He graduated from Tatum High School in 2001, has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from NMSU and has 10 years’ banking experience. He is chair of the county Investment Advisory Committee and vice chair of the New Mexico Treasurers Association. Visit rodriguez4treasurer.com.

Dorazio was raised in a Philadelphia suburb and has a bachelor of science degree in behavioral science from Neumann University. She has more than 30 years of financial experience in the banking, insurance and mutual fund industries. Her two most recent positions were at the Vanguard Group and Bank of America. Dorazio said her platform consists of fiscal responsibility, economic growth for the county and a “Treasurer’s Treasures” program to teach children about the basics of money. Visit https://bern4dact.com/.

  • County Commission District 2. Anthony, New Mexico Mayor Diana Murillo-Trujillo defeated incumbent Ramon Gonzalez in the June Democratic primary. She has no opponent in November and will be sworn in as the new commissioner next January. Murillo-Trujillo is a life-long resident of Anthony. She has a degree in government from NMSU and was elected mayor of Anthony in 2016. Find her campaign Facebook page at Mayor Diana Murillo-Trujillo County Commissioner District #2 for the people.
  • County Commission District 4. This is an open seat, with three candidates in the race: Democrat Susana Chaparro, Republican Stacie M. Durham and Libertarian Buck Bonner. All are from Las Cruces. Incumbent Isabella Solis was elected to the seat as a Democrat in 2016. She switched parties to Republican in 2019 and filed to run for state representative instead of seeking re-election to the commission. Chaparro and Bonner live in Las Cruces. Durham lives in Organ.

Chaparro, a former county magistrate judge who resigned in 2006, won a three-way race in the June 2020 Democratic primary. A native of Las Cruces, Chaparro is a certified court interpreter and owner of a local interpreting and trial consulting firm. She serves as board president of the nonprofit La Casa Inc. domestic violence organization. She is also vice chair of the county Democratic Party. “Now, more than ever, we need dedicated and experienced leadership to guide our community as we help businesses reopen and work to create new jobs,” Chaparro said. Visit susanadistrict4.com.

Durham defeated two opponents in the June Republican primary. She has a bachelor of independent studies degree with disciplines in business, anthropology and museum conservation. Durham has lived in Doña Ana County for 25 of the past 40 years, also working for 15 years in the travel and hospitality industry in California. With her tourism background, Durham said she wants to “bring in a revolving economy to boost recreation and hospitality in the Mesilla Valley,” and will focus on public safety and making transportation and government programs, including libraries, more available in rural areas. Contact Durham at durham_stacie@hotmail.com.

Bonner did not respond to an email message or a cell phone text from the Bulletin, and no website or Facebook for his campaign could be located.

  • County Commission District 5. Incumbent Democrat Manuel Sanchez is opposed by Republican Robert Bruce Flora.

Sanchez, of Las Cruces, was appointed to the commission in March 2019, when Karen Trujillo resigned to become secretary of the New Mexico Public Education Department. Sanchez, who lost to Trujillo in the 2018 Democratic primary race for the seat, was unopposed in this year’s Democratic primary. A native of El Paso who grew up in Anthony, New Mexico, Sanchez has a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from MIT. He has worked for General Electric in aviation and power for 19 years and currently serves as technology and productivity manager. Visit www.manny4dac.com.

Flora was born in Elwood, Kansas, and raised on a farm near Kansas City, Missouri. He served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, where he was an electronics technician trained on F-4 jets, a broadcast television engineer and a certified master technical trainer. Flora also trained broadcast engineers and technicians in the private sector in the United States and overseas. He retired after more than 19 years as an electronics technician for NMSU. Flora has lived in Radium Springs for more than 25 years and has 18 grandchildren. Visit www.RobFlora.com.

For more information, visit donaanademocrats.com, https://rpda.us/ and www.facebook.com/LibertarianPartyofDonaAnaCountyNM.