By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico
In the race for local state representative seats, incumbents Jose Campos and Anna Crook held onto their positions in the House, while newcomer Dennis Roch defeated his opponent to claim the third seat.
Roch, the assistant superintendent of Tucumcari schools, was elated Tuesday night at news of his victory.
A Clovis native and former Texico school teacher, Roch said he understands the issues that are important to eastern New Mexico.
He said he plans to make education his first priority with funding for rural schools.
“The number of rural schools that we have, it’s just crucial that we get the new funding passed. I really feel like education, especially in our rural schools can’t be short thrifted any further,” he said.
“We have education and roads, those are the necessities that need priority funding.”
But first and foremost, Roch said he plans to go away for the weekend with his wife, whom he said hasn’t seen much of him since the campaign started.
District 67, which Roch won, includes Union, Harding, and portions of Quay, Roosevelt and Curry Counties.
As of midnight, statewide totals showed democrat Campos with 60 percent of the votes, republican Crook with nearly 64 percent and republican Roch with a near 55 percent lead.
Campos, has served as the District 63 representative, which encompasses part of Curry, Roosevelt, De Baca and a portion of Guadalupe Counties, for five years.
Crook, who defeated Mario Trujillo 5,916-3,333 in Curry County, has held the District 64 seat since 1995.
District 64 consists of central Curry County.