Candidates prepare for county elections

Mike Linn

The filing day for those wishing to fill two seats on the Roosevelt County Commission will be on Tuesday, and so far one commissioner has pledged to run for reelection and another is undecided.
Other open positions include Roosevelt County clerk, probate judge and treasurer. Those wishing to run for the positions can file in the Roosevelt County Clerk’s Office from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
Roosevelt County Commissioner Dennis Lopez of District 1, the city of Portales, said he will seek reelection. He said he has not heard of anybody seeking to run against him.
Republican Commissioner Chad Davis of District 2, which includes the Arch community, said he loves the job but hasn’t yet decided if he will run for reelection.
Former Roosevelt County Commissioner David Sanders, also a Republican, said he will run for the District 2 slot. If Davis opts to run for reelection, the two would face off in the June primary.
“So far I’ve really had a good time … I have a few days to make up mind,” Davis said.
Sanders said his past experience as a commissioner and his desire to make Roosevelt County a better place fueled his decision.
“I just felt like I could do a good job getting back on the thing,” Sanders said.
Sanders worked as a lobbyist for the county at this year’s Legislative session and serves on the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority. He served as county commissioner from 1990 to 2000, and said rebuilding the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds is a big priority.
“I think we need to lobby for money for the fairgrounds in Washington, not in Santa Fe,” Sanders said.

Other positions
• Probate Judge Nancy Gentry is completing her sixth year on the job said she will run for reelection. So far, Portales Municipal Judge Fred Arnold has verbally committed to run against her.
Arnold said he would hold both positions if elected.
Gentry said she defeated Arnold and three other candidates in the last election.
“What I like about the job the most is I’m able to help a lot of elderly people do a probate without spending a lot of money,” Gentry said.
• After some 31 years in the office, Roosevelt County Clerk Joyce Lee Fraze will resign at the end of the year. Deputy Clerk Janet Collins has verbally committed to run for the clerk’s position.
Fraze will have served 12 years as county clerk: Two two-year terms in the mid-80s and two four-year terms up to this point.
Collins said she enjoys helping people and serving the public. She said she especially likes helping people search records for distant relatives who may have homesteaded in Roosevelt County.
 • County Treasurer Nancy C. Belcher, a Republican, said she will seek another four years on the job. She said she hasn’t heard anybody planning to run against her.