EDITOR’S NOTE: Three more candidates will be profiled on Wednesday and this story will be updated.
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) — Seven candidates are vying to be Las Cruces’ next mayor.
Election Day is Nov. 7.
The candidates are:
Mariah J. Hernandez
Eric Joseph Enriquez
Kasandra A. Gandara
Alexander Paige Baca Fresquez
Eugenia “Gina” Montoya Ortega
Mike A. Tellez
For Fresquez, Ortega, Solis, and Tellez, it isn’t their first time running.
Las Cruces business owner and current Dona Ana County Assessor Eugenia “Gina” Montoya Ortega is running for mayor for the third time. She said she is focusing on Las Cruces youth.
“And I see that it’s worse for the kids nowadays and I’m really concerned about them. So I would like to give them the opportunity. I would like to give the people of Las Cruces back their voices. Right now, you go to City Council meetings and you have seven people up there making the decisions for the whole city,” Ortega said.
For Las Cruces businessman Mike Tellez, it’s his second time running for mayor. Tellez is the founder of the Dream Center, which serves youth in the community.
Tellez said he would like to see an amusement park be built in Las Cruces and would like to see “controlled drag racing” out at the Las Cruces airport if elected.
“What I’m looking to do is, I’m looking at crime, safety and getting things for people to do around here too, try to cut down on their mischievous behavior and try to get them into things that are more positive,” Tellez said.
Former Dona Ana County Commissioner Isabella Solis is throwing her hat in the ring for mayor for the second time. Her top priority is public safety.
“Public safety. I believe that we need to be able to hire good, qualified officers and to make it a professional career once again, where officers can own that career for themselves. We need to bring trust back into that department,” Solis said.
Candidate Alexander Baca Fresquez has a background in after-school programs for youth and conservation. He tells KTSM he has plans for water conservation in Las Cruces, and says he won’t take home the whole mayoral paycheck if elected.
“I said multiple times throughout the campaign to donating half of the mayor’s annual salary to direct services. So the mayor gets paid $80,000 a year, and I’ve already committed to donating 40,000 of that annual salary,” Fresquez said.
Tune in to KTSM 9 News at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24 to hear from other candidates Mariah J. Hernandez, Eric Joseph Enriquez and Kasandra A. Gandara.
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