Also On The Ballot

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We weren’t able to meet with the following candidates, and so can’t endorse in these statewide races. But here are some brief bios and links to their websites.


State Auditor

Job Description: Monitors how the state’s money, your taxpayer dollars, is spent and received

Term: Four years, limited to two consecutive terms

Salary: $85,000

Democratic incumbent Hector Balderas has pushed for tougher auditing laws, hired investigators to handle complaints and set up a hotline for citizens to report waste, fraud or abuse.

Republican challenger Errol Chavez is a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent. He’s campaigned on the idea of increasing collaboration with the Attorney General’s Office, state police and FBI.


State Treasurer

Job Description: Keeps track of billions. Prepares reports for the Legislature, the state auditor and the Board of Finance

Term: Four years, limited to two consecutive terms

Salary: $85,000

Democratic incumbent James Lewis says his goals over the last four years included restoring trust in this office and ensuring the safety of public funds. He was also state treasurer from 1985 to 1991.

Republican challenger Jim Schoonover is the clerk and administrator of the Village of Hatch and was also treasurer for Doña Ana County. He’s campaigned on conservative principals and says he would safeguard taxpayer dollars.

Candidate Q & A: State Treasurer Jim Schoonover

1. What qualifies you for this position?

I have 27 years of financial experience with NASA, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico State University, and Dona Ana County, including four years as Treasurer of Dona Ana County. I also have degrees from NMSU in Accounting, Human Resources and Management.

2. If elected, what are your goals?

To bring conservative principles to state government by securing and protecting taxpayers’ dollars; to maximize the rate of return on all state investments by investing with collateralization at 102%; to have full disclosure for all financial records to be open for public review, in an easily understandable format; to work for and be accountable to the People of New Mexico; and to improve communication with excellent customer service and an open door policy.

3. How can you assure constituents that your office would be run ethically?

In my life I believe in honesty and integrity, no matter what the situation, whether professionally or personally.

4. How do you ensure sound investments and fiscal responsibility?

By investing all state investments with collateralization at 102%, while maximizing the rate of return on the investments; therefore ensuring fiscal responsibility while securing our financial future.

5. What challenges do you foresee in the coming years?

The same great challenges will continue to face the Office of the State Treasurer as they have over the past few years; while the country continues to experience an economic downturn like we haven’t faced in generations. Many situations will arise with regard to state investments which will require immediate action to “Secure Our Financial Future.” I will watch our investments on a daily basis and require collateralization at 102% while maximizing our rate of return. I will not allow our state to lose our tax dollars on bad investments.

6. What do you think of your opponent?

The major difference between my opponent and myself is that I am not a career politician. I am running on my financial experience, my education, my honesty, and most of all my integrity. I feel by being a member of the working class I can truly understand the needs of the residents of New Mexico.

7. Why do you want this job?

I am running for this position so that the residents of the State of New Mexico may be served with the honesty and integrity they so richly deserve. I truly gain great personal satisfaction in knowing that I am helping other people. This keeps me motivated to do an excellent job for the residents of New Mexico.
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