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Ezzell to run for re-election in 2020

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State Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell, holds up a “No” sign at a meeting of the Chaves County Federated Republican Women in March. The sign is a replica of one used by Ezzell, a member of the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, when she cast her vote against a gun safety bill that had come before the Committee. Ezzell announced Wednesday that she will run for re-election in 2020. (Alex Ross Photo)

Three months after the 2019 New Mexico Legislative session ended, state Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell, said Wednesday she will be on the ballot again in 2020.

Ezzell, who represents House District 58 in the New Mexico House of Representatives and is chair of the House Republican Caucus, announced her intention to seek a ninth two-year term at the monthly meeting of the Chaves County Federated Republican Women.

In an interview with the Roswell Daily Record Thursday, Ezzell said she opted to run for re-election in part to protect jobs in southeastern New Mexico, especially in the oil and gas industries.

“We have jobs down here in this part of the world, and these jobs are what funds the state. And we have too many people who do not understand the importance of oil and gas and our agriculture too,” she said.

Crime, security on the state’s southern border and Second Amendment rights are among the other issues Ezzell listed as concerns.

Campaign finance reports filed with the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office in April show Ezzell has $4,859.84 in her campaign account. She said she does not know if anyone plans to challenge her next year for the seat in the primary or general election.

Candidates can start to officially file to appear on the June primary ballot next March, according to the website of the New Mexico Secretary of State’s office.

A rancher and wife of T. Calder Ezzell Jr., a member of the Chaves County Board of Commissioners, Candy Spence Ezzell was first elected to the New Mexico House in 2004 after she beat incumbent Democrat Pauline Ponce and Libertarian George Peterson. She has not had a general election opponent since 2012.

Candy Spence Ezzell is not the only local legislator to have announced their intention to seek re-election in 2020. State Rep. James Townsend, R-Artesia, who is also the House Minority Leader, said in an April story in the Roswell Daily Record that he will run for a fourth term for his House District 54 seat. The District is composed of portions of Chaves, Eddy and Otero counties.

So far at least one Democrat, Jennifer Gose of Cloudcroft, has publicly said she will run in House District 54.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.