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Candidate Statements: (as submitted by the candidates)

Doña Ana County Commission Districts #1 and #3

District #1 - Oscar Vásquez Butler (Dem) - John Zimmerman (Rep)

District #3 - Mark Haley (Rep) - Karen Perez (Dem)

State Representatives for District # 37 - NM House of Representatives

District #37 - Jeff Steinborn (Dem) - Scott Witt (Rep)

Candidate Statements - Forum Handout (pdf)

Local and Statewide Voter Information

Dona Ana County District Maps (pdf)

State House of Representatives District #37 Map (pdf)

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Doña Ana County Commission District #1

John Zimmerman
Republican candidate for the Doña Ana County Commission, District # 1

Website – none
Email –
Phone – (505) 523-0215

John Zimmerman has been a resident of Dona Ana County for over 39 years, having moved here after completing his Initial 6 year Active Duty Commitment in the US Navy. He attended NMSU majoring in Civil Engineering from Aug 1967 through Dec 1970. He put completing his degree on hold to support his growing family while working at White Sands Missile Range as a technician. Then from Aug 79-Dec84, he attended NMSU part time and where he received a Bachelor's Of Business Administration degree. He was converted to a General Engineer Missile Testing in 1988, and retired in April 2003. After completing his active duty in the Navy, he enlisted in the Navy Reserve and advanced through the enlisted ranks to Senior Chief Petty Officer before being commissioned as an Ensign in 1980. He subsequently retired from the Navy Reserve at the rank of Commander, and serving over 13 years of his commissioned service as Commanding Officer of Six Navy Reserve Units. After retiring from both Civil Service and the Navy Reserve, he decided to run for the County Commission District 1 seat in July of 2005. His concern was flooding and erosion in the Picacho Hills area, and the apparent lack of resources and attention being given by elected representatives. Major issues are: Controlled Smart Growth, Infra Structure (roads, utilities, etc), Flooding, Attracting Clean Businesses, Water, and Clean Economic Growth with better paying jobs.

Oscar Vásquez Butler
Doña Ana County Commissioner – District #1 (incumbent - Democrat)

Website -
Email -
Email –
Phone - (505) 647-7201
Phone – cell? 644-0718


This is to announce my re-election for County Commissioner District # 1. During my first term, I’ve worked hard to bring change County-wide by working with county management and staff on making it more accountable and responsible to community problems and to the voices of residents; represented the concerns of all residents on various issues by supporting county projects reflecting their interest for community and infrastructure improvements and in particular the County’s Rural (Colonias’s) Initiative; promoted comprehensive/ accessible health care, strategic planned community growth, increased pay/benefits for sheriff and fire personnel, regional and local rural transportation, termination of the Extra Territorial Act ( ETZ) and worked towards protecting our environment and quality of life.

I’ve also been honored to serve as president-elect for the New Mexico Association of Counties’ (NMAC) and recently appointed as chairman of the Gateway Subcommittee of the National Association of Counties’ and membership on NAACO’s Watershed Management Advisory Committee and presently serve as a board member of the New Mexico Water Dialogue Board, Lower Rio Grande Water Users’ Organization, South Central Solid Waste Authority, Extra Territorial Authority, Southwestern Area Workforce Development Board, and current president of the Dona Ana Mutual Domestic Water Consumers’ Association. In addition, I was vice-chairman of the Dona Ana County Board for Commissioners in 2004 and served on the NMAC Board of Directors and the NMAC Workers’ Compensation Board from 2003-2005

I hold a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California, attended one year of law school, and completed a Leadership New Mexico Program.

Response to Questions

Questions for the Candidates for County Commission – District 1
(4 questions, 50 words each)
(Candidates have the option to respond on another sheet of paper or via e-mail)

Oscar Butler

1. What aspects of your background, experience, and training qualify you for this office? Masters and Bachelors in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and retired with approximately 20 years of human resources experience. Presently, I am also the incumbent County Commissioner for County Commission District 1.

2. What do you consider the two most important issues facing the people of your district and the county, and how would you address these problems if elected, or re elected? 1. Growth & Drainage and 2.Water are the two primary issues. A Master Plan must be developed that balances growth, both residential and economic development, with available/ sustainable water. It must have a drainage conveyance and flood control requirement to ensure the protection of our natural resources, desert and landscape, farm land, open space and restrict development near or on arroyos to protect the safety and health of our residents.

3. There are major problems with traffic overload on arterial roads as well as inadequate and poorly engineered drainage countywide. How would you address these problems to achieve a long-term solution? Support a Master Plan that includes a traffic management plan that restricts further development adjacent to arterial roads and expand existing roads with center turn lanes; impose impact fees on developers to ensure required infrastructure for drainage and concrete curb and gutters are provided. Propose a Storm Water Utility District to plan, design and construct flood control and drainage systems that will convey water through storm drains either to the river or safely contained in earthen dams and retention basins.

4. Will you actively support initiatives to establish authorities to protect and enhance our natural resources, specifically water, open space and clean air? If not, what alternatives would you propose? I would strongly support regulatory authorities to protect our water resources and ensure open space and clean air. I support community initiatives that protect and preserve wild life, open space, agriculture and farm land, oppose uncontrolled growth, promote clean industries, advocate smart growth and unreasonable annexations with high density developments. Currently, I’m supporting the communities of Anthony, Mesquite, Montana Vista and Vado address concerns of ground water contamination and air pollution alleged by chemical plants and dairies, and previously supported the communities of Radium Springs, Fort Seldon and Leasburg oppose a rock quarry operation in Faulkner Canyon.

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Doña Ana County Commission District #3

Mack Haley
Republican Candidate for the Doña Ana County Commission, District # 3

Website – none
Phone (505) 522-2716

I am a native New Mexican and have lived in Dona Ana County a total of 31 years. I have been married to my wife Louise for 35 years. We have one son, a career military officer stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas.

I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering from NMSU as well as extensive experience in engineering, management, finance, and government relations along with a proven record of community service.

My priorities are high paying jobs for Dona Ana County, prudent management of fiscal resources, responsible tax and budgeting policy and a commitment to the highest ethical standards.

Karen Perez
Democratic candidate for the Doña Ana County Commission, District # 3

Website – none (via Progressive Voter Alliance –
Email -
Phone - (505) 522-3221
Phone – cell? 635-1797

I am a professional engineer and have worked on community development projects in Dona Ana County for over 13 years. Based on this experience, I have developed a keen interest in effective government and quality growth based on a clear comprehensive plan. I believe the following issues are critical to our county's future:

- managed growth, supported by investment in proper infrastructure

- water resource conservation and management

- targeted, industry-based economic development and workforce training

(and if you have room for a little more):

I have been a resident of Las Cruces for 17 years. I have a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from NMSU, and a B.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University. Before moving to Las Cruces, I served in the Peace Corps in Honduras and Ecuador for three years.

I have been married for 12 years and I have two sons (6 and 9) that attend Hillrise Elementary School.

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State Representatives for District # 37 NM House of Representatives

Jeff Steinborn
Democratic Candidate New Mexico House of Representatives District 37

Website -
Email –
Phone - 505-635-5615


Top Priorities

1. Expand health care coverage while managing costs

2. Raise the minimum wage

3. Continue to improve education, strengthen teacher training, school accountability, and raise student performance

4. Encourage regional planning and managed growth

5. Modernize our state’s water laws to encourage and expand conservation

6. Make New Mexico a leader of alternative energy usage and technology

7. Support our small businesses

8. Take care of our Veterans

Endorsed By (partial list):

Governor Bill Richardson

Lt. Governor Diane Denish

Las Cruces Professional Firefighters

National Education Association – NM

Conservation Voters NM

American Federation of Labor


Community Leaders

Scott Witt
Republican Candidate New Mexico House of Representatives District 37

Website –
Email –
Phone – (505) 496-3339


Scott Witt: Eagle Scout, 28-year Navy veteran, husband and father, business owner. I believe strong families, personal integrity, accountability, and self-reliance are the bedrock values that made America the vision that calls people from all over the world to this country.

I believe we can make New Mexico stronger by making New Mexicans stronger. We do that by giving them the tools they need – better education; quality health care; more job opportunities; more money in their pockets through less taxation; less government interference.

My priorities: Reduce our tax burden; fix education; affordable health care access for all.

Scott Witt
For State Representative, District 37

State Representative Priorities

Reduce taxes and fees; no new taxes Higher standards, better outcomes in education
Private enterprise solutions for health care Be a voice for veterans and retirees
Strong border security Promote opportunities for business success
Develop fair and rational land use initiatives Require fiscal responsibility in government
Bring honor and integrity back to government service

A Tradition of Community Service
Captain, U.S. Navy
• Served 28 years, in ranks from Seaman to Captain
• Cryptologist, interpreter, intelligence officer
• Commanded two naval units
• Held several senior leadership positions in the U.S. intelligence community
Eagle Scout
• Established a Boy Scout troop at the Children’s Asthma Research Institute and Hospital for children under chronic care at the facility
Internationally and nationally competitive martial artist
• Volunteer instructor for children, teens and young adults, teaching the value of perseverance, self-control, self-discipline, personal responsibility, and honor and integrity under pressure

Scott has
• Led men under fire.
• Managed and led large organizations worldwide in critical missions.
• Worked closely with Senators, Congressmen and their staffs on Capitol Hill in developing programs and funding for our nation’s critical needs. His practical experience with government is broad and deep.

Work Experience
• 1975 – 2002 U.S. Navy
• 2002 – 2004 Technical Director, Physical Science Laboratory, NMSU
• 2004 – Present Private consultant

• University of Washington, Seattle, WA: B.A. Experimental Psychology, Linguistics
• Diplomate with Honors (Russian), Defense Foreign Language Institute, Monterey, CA

Joyously married to Fran (retired Naval Officer). Two terrific grown children, Heather and Ben.

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