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The field is set for the House District 43 race as incumbent Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Sandoval) and Republicans Geoff Rodgers, the Los Alamos County Council chair, and Vince Chiravalle, a former councilor, filed their paperwork in Santa Fe Tuesday.
Rodgers and Chiravalle will face off in the primary June 3. The winner of the primary will face Garcia Richard in the general election Nov. 4.
“I have worked tirelessly for the residents of our district and the outpouring of support shown from voters spanning the entire political spectrum, proves just that,” Garcia Richard said.
Garcia Richard was required to submit at least 60 registered Democratic voters’ names in support of her re-election campaign and far exceeded that number with over 350 Democrats — as well as numerous Republicans and independents.
Rodgers, meanwhile, said he entered the race for a number of reasons.
“I don’t accept that New Mexico has to be on the wrong end of just about every list that matters,” Rodgers said. “We are blessed with rich culture, history, natural resources and a work force that wants to go back to work. We need people in Santa Fe that are willing to break from the decades old failed philosophies and policies that got us here and chart a new course.”
Rodgers then turned his attention to high school graduation rates.
“Our statewide high school graduation rate jumped 7 percent to reach 70 percent and that still puts us in last 10 states for graduation rates.
“We have a statewide poverty rate that exceeds 20 percent that puts us ahead of only Mississippi,” he said.
Chiravalle, meanwhile, said he is drawing from his experience of being a county councilor from 2008-2012.
“As a state representative I would apply a common-sense conservative approach that reflects core Republican principles and puts state government on the side of our citizens, Chiravalle said.
“I would work to create a more efficient state government, one that promotes private enterprise, supports our public schools, and protects life.
“…I learned that being a leader and shaping government policy requires that one take a stand for what is right, independent of political concerns. I have never shied away from a position that I felt was in the best interests of our citizens even in the face of strong opposition. I have always worked to champion issues that favored the needs of working people, families and small businesses, and I would continue my commitment to these issues as state representative. I believe that government can be a positive force for creating opportunities, and should not be an obstacle through excessive regulations.”
Also filing Tuesday was Democrat Karyl Ann Armbruster for Public Education Commission District 4. She will be running unopposed.
Armbruster spent 39 years of her professional life to public education, served as President of the American Federation of Teachers from 2002-2008 and is an active member of the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation, League of Women Voters and Northern New Mexico Central Labor Council.
“I do know that I have support from Independents, Republicans, and Democrats in all of District 4 (which includes all of Los Alamos, some of Santa Fe, Sandoval and Bernalillo counties). At least that was my thought when I began this process.”