By Tony Parra
Democratic incumbent Jose Campos said the District 63 state representative election will come down to voters choosing which candidate is most effective. Republican candidate Russell Grider said he believes voters will choose a candidate who will do more for them and not for himself.
Voters from District 63, which includes precincts 6, 8 and 17 in Roosevelt County, will make the ultimate decision in Tuesday’s election.
Campos said he has worked for the last two years as a representative and, through legislation, has generated more money for the county than other Roosevelt County representatives — about $650 per registered voter, according to his statistics.
Grider doesn’t believe Campos is doing enough and said he has heard from his brother, Roosevelt County Commissioner Paul Grider, that Campos has not brought back any money to the county.
Campos said he has a proven track record and experience to help the counties he represents and said his opponent doesn’t.
“It’s about getting resources to eastern New Mexico,” Campos said. “My opponent has never been a county commissioner, a mayor or a legislative representative. I’ve been recognized by the New Mexico Association of Counties.”
Grider said he was on the board of directors for the Eastern Plains Council of Government and has worked as a lobbyist the last two years to create an agriculture task force to view the impact of federal laws that regulate agriculture.
“I think a contrast between me and my opponent is that I’m a problem solver and he is a party player,” Grider said. “He goes with what his party dictates and not with the people he represents.”
Grider accused Campos of not having a voice of his own and always following with Gov. Bill Richardson’s agenda. Grider said Campos votes more than 95 percent of the time in favor of Richardson’s bills.
“He is going off of the governor’s agenda,” Grider said.
Campos said Grider is misinformed and that he doesn’t always agree with Richardson on all of the issues. Campos said he was opposed to a Richardson amendment passed last year that reformatted the New Mexico School Board of Education. The amendment changed the number of school board members from 15 to 10. Richardson wanted the school board to serve as an advisory board, but Campos was opposed to it.
Both candidates said they are in support of interlock ignition systems for those violating DWI laws.