Home News Local News Nine people file for five seats in Chaves County

Nine people file for five seats in Chaves County

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The town clerk’s office of Dexter sees three candidates file Tuesday for 2018 municipal elections. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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The mayoral race in Lake Arthur and a council seat in Hagerman will give voters in those communities a choice of candidates, while Dexter incumbents will be seeking re-election to their positions.

Write-in candidates have until Jan. 16 to announce their intentions to run in the March 6 local elections, but the deadline for having names on ballots was Tuesday.

So far, four people have announced that they will run for mayor in Dexter, Hagerman and Lake Arthur, while five people have filed for five council seats, according to town clerks.

Dexter

Mitch Daubert explains Wednesday that he has chosen to seek re-election as Dexter’s mayor partly to oversee the completion of some infrastructure projects in the town. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Dexter Mayor Mitch Daubert, owner of Daubert Oil and Gas, is running unopposed at this point for another two-year term for the area of about 1,264 people.

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A Dexter native who said he has served as a council member for 12 years before becoming mayor four years ago, Daubert said he thinks that he things are going well in the town and would like to remain in office to see some infrastructure projects completed.

“There a lot of projects in Dexter that I would like to finish,” he said, listing those as improvements to Lake Van docks, a water pipeline installation project and street resurfacing.

“Everything is running real smoothly right now and I would like to keep it running smoothly,” he said. “I am from Dexter, and I would like to see more improvements.”

He said he also thinks the police and fire departments are functioning well now.

In 2015, Daubert placed the Dexter police chief, Mario Contreras, on administrative leave. Contreras was relieved of duties after he was charged with crimes, and he later entered an Alford plea to misdemeanor counts of stalking and battery.

Dexter has two of its four council seats open, each with four-year terms. Incumbents Ron Chambers Jr. and Justin Powell filed to run for re-election to their seats and are without challengers for now.

Hagerman

In Hagerman, a current council member, Tony Garcia, was the only person to file Tuesday for mayor. The position would be for four years.

A public defender working in Roswell, Garcia has been a council member for the rural town of about 1,244 people since 2016.

“People have approached me in the community that I should be mayor,” he said. “Being on the council, I have learned how the community is run and what it takes. I just want to make a difference. I grew up in the area, and why not be part of the system?”

He said the major issues he would be concerned with if elected to the town’s top position would be continued improvements to the water system and streets.

Cliff Waide, the current mayor who also previously had served as a town council member, did not file for re-election by the end of Tuesday. He has been the top elected official of Hagerman since 2005.

Hagerman also has one of its four council seats open. The position has a four-year term. Incumbent Andrew Rodriquez, in office since 2013, will be running against challenger Chris Villa.

Lake Arthur

The mayoral race in Lake Arthur, which has a population of about 433 people, will be a contested one.

Incumbent Ysidro Salazar, who was not able to be reached for comment by press time, will be challenged by Fred Chavarria for the two-year seat. A newcomer to the area who describes himself as a longtime friend of Salazar, Chavarria said he does not have an agenda against his friend’s time in office.

“I am disabled and I want to do something that will keep me busy. I just work 20 hours a week right now,” Chavarria said, adding that he is a candidate for public office for the first time. “There is a lot of potential in that little town. They need someone who can run it who is going to have time to see what the people need. I am going to be out there for the people, not for myself. I want to hear what they suggest, what the town needs.”

Lake Arthur also has both of its two council positions open in the 2018 election year, each with four-year terms. But by the end of the business day on Tuesday only one person, Irma Salmon, had filed for a seat.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached by 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.