Behind The Scenes With Incoming Rep. Chris Chandler

Dist. 43 Rep.-elect Christine Chandler

 
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

Since winning election in November, Christine Chandler of Los Alamos has been involved in a whirlwind of preparations for her new role in the New Mexico House of Representatives.

“In December I joined other newly elected representatives for a two-day orientation set up by House Speaker Brian Egolf, which included ethics and sexual harassment training, legislative processes and procedures and a bill drafting overview,” Chandler said during a lunchtime interview last Thursday at the Blue Window Bistro. “I’ve also been conducting a series of outreach activities throughout the district.”

Chandler and other legislators from Northern New Mexico recently met with Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Thom Mason. She also met with officials in Santa Fe and Rio Arriba Counties, as well as leaders in Jemez Springs.

“I met with officials in La Cienega and attended a conference on the future of farming in La Cienega that was very interesting,” Chandler said. “To hear from constituents, I hosted a ‘Coffee with Christine’ in early December and am hosting another 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12 at Pig + Fig in White Rock.”

Chandler spoke of additional meetings she has attended since the election including those with the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association. She also met recently with the League of Women Voters Board to discuss their legislative agenda.

“I am participating with Senators Richard Martinez and Carlos Cisneros in the annual League of Women Voters Legislative Preview at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9 at Fuller Lodge,” she said.

Chandler is filling the Dist. 43 seat vacated by Stephanie Garcia Richard who was elected in November as the state’s first woman land commissioner.

Her intent in the state house is to champion initiatives that improve education, increase public safety and support healthy families, she said, adding that her four years of experience as a legislative analyst for Sen. Martinez will enable her to hit the ground running on day one.

The 2019 60-day Legislative Session begins Jan. 15 and concludes March 16 and Chandler is undertaking her new role with strong support from individuals, state and local leaders and many organizations.

Voters elected her by 62 percent over Republican opponent Lisa Shin. Chandler also garnered endorsements from the three papers that endorsed the District 43 race including the Albuquerque Journal, Santa Fe New Mexican and Santa Fe Reporter.

State and local leaders who endorsed Chandler include Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, Sen. Richard Martinez, Sen. Peter Wirth, Sen. Liz Stefanics, Sen. Daniel A. Ivey-Soto, Sen. Michael Padilla, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, Sen. Dede Feldman, Sen. Nancy Rodriguez, Sen. Jacob Candelaria, House Speaker Brian Egolf, Rep. Jim Trujillo, Rep. Moe Maestas, Rep. Andres Romero, Rep. Javier Martinez, Rep. Daymon Ely, Sen. Fred Harris, Los Alamos County Councilors Pete Sheehey, Antonio Maggiore, Morrie Pongratz and David Izraelevitz, Assessor Ken Milder, former Los Alamos Republican Party Chair JoAnn Johnson, Carolyn Mangeng, Patrick Soran, John Hopkins, Barbara Musgrave, Carrie Walker, Catherine Ozment, Dave Fox, Susan Seestrom, Mark Jones and Santa Fe School Board Member Kate Noble.

A plethora of statewide organizations and unions also endorsed Chandler including Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club, Conservation Voters of New Mexico, AFT, NEA, EMILY’s List, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), New Mexico Federation of Labor, Communications Workers of America, Local 7076, Plumbers and Pipefitters 412, New Mexico Building and Construction Trades Council, Animal Protection Voters, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, Ironworkers Local 495, Working Families, Equality NM, IATSE Local 480, Drug Policy Alliance and Environment New Mexico.

Chandler has lived in New Mexico for more than 30 years and recently retired from her career as an attorney and manager at LANL. She has dedicated many years to public service. In addition to being vice chair and formerly chair of the Los Alamos County Council, she is vice president of the Board of Directors of the First Born Program of Los Alamos and serves on the Board of The Delle Foundation.

Chandler graduated from Smith College with a degree in economics and earned law degrees from Boston College and Georgetown University. She is married to attorney George Chandler; they have three children and six grandchildren who live in Los Alamos, Carlsbad and Oregon.

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