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Three candidates announce school board runs

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Filing day for local elections starts today

Two incumbents and a newcomer may file today for two seats on the Roswell Independent School District’s school board.

Hope Morales
District 2 candidate

In total, two positions for District 2 and 4 will be up for election on Nov. 5 for the RISD school board. This will be the first RISD election aligning with the Local Election Act passed by the state Legislature last year.

Filing day is today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Chaves County Courthouse for school board positions for Roswell, Artesia, Hagerman, Lake Arthur and Dexter and other local races such as the college board, soil and water, and for judges and councilors in Hagerman and Lake Arthur.

Write-in candidate filing day is Sept. 3, with early voting starting Oct. 8 and ending Nov. 2. Chaves County registered voters over 21 years and older are eligible to run, according to the County Clerk Dave Kunko and Casey Higgins, Chaves County Bureau of Elections chief.

Dr. Kathleen Pittman
District 2 incumbent

There are five RISD districts and the terms of board member Mona Kirk in District 1, President Alan Gedde in District 3, and board member James Edwards in District 5 will expire in 2021.

District 2 is roughly between West Berrendo Road and West Second Street, ending at North Brown Road to the west and bordering to the east along Railroad Road, between East Country Club Road and East Second Street.

District 4 is predominately east from South Virginia Avenue, extends beyond the Pecos River and covers south past YO Road.

A graphic showing all five districts can be seen at risd.k12.nm.us/schoolboard/Roswell_Schools_Board_Districts_2012_Map_letter.pdf.

For District 2, Dr. Kathleen Pittman, incumbent and current board secretary, and Hope Morales, state director for NM TeachPlus, announced their first runs for public office at the Chaves County Federated Republican Women’s monthly luncheon Aug. 21.

Ruben Sanchez
District 4 incumbent

Both Pittman, 73, and Morales, 35, are running for public office for the first time.

In 2017, Pittman was appointed to fill the seat for Nicole Austin, a board president who stepped down.

Morales wrote in a statement that she has chosen to run because she has “high expectations” and belief in RISD students to “do and achieve great things.”

She called herself “a living example” or how having a “quality education” changed her life. Graduating high school with honors, going to college, earning master’s and bachelor’s degrees were a first for Morales and her family.

“… Education is much more than a career for me; it is my passion,” Morales said. “As a former classroom teacher, I understand the potential that lives inside each student and the challenges that face our community. I won’t allow obstacles to be an excuse for failure, but rather a reason for success. …

“As a school board member, I promise to serve Roswell as an active partner in helping to improve education for our students, and my children.”

District 4 Incumbent Ruben Sanchez, board vice president, confirmed his intention to run for re-election on Monday with the Daily Record. Sanchez, 39, wrote in a statement that he intends to be the voice of the voters regarding “everyday challenges and success stories” in the community.

At this time, no one else has announced to contest his seat.

“My passion to serve RISD is led by the success of our community, in the hands of our committed and amazing educators,” Sanchez stated. “They are the backbone of this community and my goal is to continue to be the voice for them.

“Where would we be without our kids? It’s about our kids’ success — every day,” Sanchez continued. “This starts with the first day of pre-K to walking across the stage at graduation. It is my duty to ensure that every kid in this district has the opportunity to become successful in life, no matter who you are, or where you come from. Becoming a graduate is the first door that opens to a path with endless opportunities. …”

Special projects reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.