By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer
Charles Bennett wants to give back to the county he raised his children in, while Bill Cathey vows to do the best job he can, but only one will win the race for Roosevelt County Commissioner for District 3 in November.
The commissioner candidates were some of the candidates who discussed community members’ concerns during a candidate forum Tuesday night in the Memorial Building.
“My vision for the county is to improve the relationship between the county and the city,” Cathey said. “Make improvements in the county to benefit the residents.”
Bennett, who owns Vista Nueva Realty in Portales, said the number one complaint he has heard from people is the amount of trash dumped on the county roads.
“Let’s come up with cost-effective ways to clean up the trash and pick up the trash from the county roads,” Bennett said. “A central point to dump the trash.”
Neither Cathey, a Republican or Bennett, a Democrat have a challenger in the June primaries so they will face each other during the November general election.
The commissioner candidates also addressed priorities for the county budgets.
“The sheriff’s department, roads, road equipment, county fairgrounds and jail,” Bennett said. “The county has to put money into fairgrounds. Roosevelt County deserves better fairgrounds.”
Cathey agreed with Bennett on the county priorities.
“I agree with Charles, road, road equipment, detention center and sheriff’s department,” Cathey said. “There’s a lot of areas that need improvements. We need help.”
Jane Martin, Roosevelt County magistrate judge, is running unopposed in the primary and the November general election. Martin, a Democrat, explained what she believed to be the role and responsibilities of a magistrate judge.
“To respect and obey the laws,” Martin said. “To perform the judicial duties without bias.”
Martin went on to say that she feels it’s important to be direct and straight-forward with the people. Martin said she would like to see drug rehabilitation addressed in eastern New Mexico.
“We do have a bad drug problem in the county,” Martin said. “We need more counseling and more rehabilitating.”
Tex Belcher, a Democrat, is also running unopposed for the county tax assessor’s spot.
“I’m a lifelong resident of Roosevelt County,” Belcher said. “I’ve been in the assessor’s office (working as an employee) for almost eight years. It’s really been enjoyable. I’m where I like to be. When people tell you something, you can take it to the bank.”
Incumbent Paul Grider, a Democrat, is running unopposed for the District 5 county commissioner spot and incumbent Gene Creighton, a Democrat, is running unopposed for the District 4 spot.