Christine Chandler, Democratic candidate for NM House of Representatives, District 43, volunteering in Pena Blanca’s Community Clean-Up Day. Courtesy photo
As the Democratic Primary for New Mexico House of Representatives draws to its conclusion, I write to the citizens of District 43 to thank them for their interest, ideas and support as I campaigned across the District’s huge expanse of four counties (Los Alamos and parts of Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and Santa Fe).
Knocking on hundreds of doors in Los Alamos and White Rock reaffirmed what I have long known: public education is a key issue for Los Alamos residents. We want funding levels to meet educational needs, universal pre-K, local school board control, and support for boots-on-the-ground educators. We support plans to fairly compensate teachers and eliminate excessive testing (yes, get rid of PARCC); and implement teacher and school evaluation programs that actually measure what is relevant to improving student achievement. We want improved broadband services, wise investment in infrastructure improvements and improved access to affordable healthcare.
The rural areas are different of course but also similar. Parents in Cuba, Jemez Springs, Pena Blanca, Gallina and La Cienega want the same opportunities we all want for our children: a good education and a good job when they graduate. These communities also need access to reliable internet services to spur economic development and support other social needs.
Water projects are important in the rural parts of District 43. I met with many acequia members and local water authorities. These institutions play an important cultural and economic role in New Mexico’s rural communities. The state can help them by protecting their water rights and supporting efforts to modernize basic but critical infrastructure.
Whatever the outcome of the race, I have found the campaign to be a very rewarding personal experience, particularly the opportunities to talk with the residents of this remarkably diverse District. The League of Women Voter’s forum allowed us to answer direct and insightful constituent questions. Meet and Greets, canvassing, community breakfasts, and acequia meetings offered ways to connect with voters and their issues.
I thank the many organizations that endorsed my candidacy: The Albuquerque Journal (https://www.ladailypost.com/content/albuquerque-journal-endorses-christine-chandler-house-representatives-dist-43-democratic) NEA, AFT, and EMILY’s List. Many thanks to Senator Richard Martinez for not only endorsing me but also giving me the opportunity to work for the challenging New Mexico Senate Judiciary Committee these last several years. My campaign volunteers are awesome. Thank you all for your hard work.
Kudos to Pete for conducting an issue-oriented campaign. The candidates need to keep it that way through the General election. Lastly, I extend my heartfelt thanks to and admiration for Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard for serving the residents of District 43 with dedication and integrity. www.christine4statehouse.com
Early voting continues through June 2. Election Day is June 5.