Chavez announces he won't run for second term in state House

........................................................................................................................................................................................

After only one term in office, Rep. David Chavez (R-7), of Los Lunas, has announced that he will not seek re-election to the New Mexico House of Representatives.

After only one term in office, Rep. David Chavez (R-7), of Los Lunas, has announced that he will not seek re-election to the New Mexico House of Representatives.

Chavez said as a trial attorney, who deals primarily with personal injury cases, his business requires his full attention at this time.

"I have to dedicate myself to my practice and my clients," Chavez said Friday. "I am extraordinarily busy and have obligations to my clients."

Making the decision to not run again was "the hardest I've had to make," Chavez said. "My constituents have given me overwhelming encouragement and support to run. But they also understand that it is very difficult to be a small business owner and provide the efficiency that is necessary to serve in the Legislature. It's a full-time job."

Chavez said it's definitely time for the state to consider paying its legislators.

"Under the plan now, we pay in about $600 a year and at retirement, have a pension plan that's about $20,000 a year," he said. "If the state feels that is what it costs to pay a legislator, then we need to decide if it's a full-time or part-time position and pay them. This needs to be something that goes on the ballot and the voters decide."

When asked if he was considering a run for the Senate seat currently held by Michael Sanchez (D-29), Chavez said while it was always good to keep options open and he appreciated different experiences and challenges, but he wouldn't be seeking the seat "at this time."

Chavez said it has been a privilege to serve as a legislator.

"I truly enjoyed the opportunity of serving in the Legislature. I was really blessed with that opportunity," he said. "I am sure God will open up other doors for service in other ways."

During his two years at the Roundhouse, Chavez said he supported and worked diligently to vote for a balanced budget, repeal driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, reduce taxes, encourage economic growth and development, holding public officials accountable for public corruption offenses, reduction of property taxes, and for the reduction of less government and better services.

"I have attempted to locate funding and will continue to do so for a Los Lunas interchange project and a sewer and water system in Peralta and Bosque Farms," he said in a press release. "In the last 30 day session, I submitted capital outlay requests for Valencia County in excess of $38 million, which included these projects and many others in Valencia County.

"I look forward to continued service to our community and to our state."

In other legislative news, before Valencia County even got to know her, State Rep. Rhonda King (D-50), of Stanley, announced on March 7 that she will not seek re-election.

Due to redistricting of the House this year, King's district pushed into the eastern side of the county, picking up voting precincts in Rio Communities, Tierra Grande and Las Maravillas.

King, who has served for 14 years, said in a press release that it has been an honor to serve and work with the people of District 50.

"I am very proud of what we have accomplished together," she said.

She indicated that at this point in her life, she wants to spend more time with her family, including her young daughter.

On March 8, Torrance County Commission Chairwoman Venessa I. Chavez, from Tajique, announced her intention to run for the District 50 seat.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.