Matt Chandler running for state attorney general

Freedom New Mexico

Eastern New Mexico prosecutor Matt Chandler on Wednesday officially announced his candidacy for New Mexico attorney general.

Chandler, a Republican in his second term as 9th Judicial District attorney, said in a telephone interview he wants to bring more accountability to the AG’s office.

Specifically, he criticized former AG Patricia Madrid and current AG Gary King, both Democrats, for “not being more aggressive in rooting out corruption.”

His announcement took place in front of the Metropolitan Courthouse in Albuquerque, the center of a corruption scandal involving former state Senate President Manny Aragon.

Aragon was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office, receiving a 5 1/2-year prison term last year.

Chandler said King’s office should have been more involved in a recent national scandal involving state investments.

King, who has not announced whether he will seek re-election, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment early Wednesday night.

Chandler said he is the only GOP candidate who has announced plans to file for the office.

Nominating petitions for the June 1 primary must be filed by Feb. 9.

Chandler, 34, was first elected district attorney in 2004. The Clovis native ran unopposed in 2008.

He’s scheduled a press conference for noon today in Clovis in front of the Clovis-Carver Public Library, where he said he will talk about his plans for the office.