Crowder wins retiring lawmaker’s District 64 position

By David Stevens

Editor

dstevens@cnjonline.com

Randal Crowder says he has a lot to learn, but he could not ask for a more qualified teacher in Anna Crook, the retiring lawmaker whose shoes he is expected to fill in January.

“I have spent a lot of time with her the last two, three months,” Crowder said, “and it is absolutely amazing what she’s been able to accomplish and what she knows.”

Unofficial vote totals from the New Mexico Secretary of State’s website show Crowder trounced Republican opponent Wade Lopez in Tuesday’s primary election for state representative — 1,525 votes to 217.

With no Democratic opponent, the Clovis city commissioner is expected to begin his state schooling with the Legislature’s 60-day session in January.

At least one supporter said Tuesday he thinks Crowder will have an immediate impact in Santa Fe.

“In the Legislature, you almost need to become an expert on an issue to gain credibility. In Randy’s case, he will bring credibility with him right away because of his experience with the city council, but also because he’s served on the Interstate Streams Commission,” said Lawmaker Dennis Roch, R-Logan, who was unopposed in his race Tuesday.

Crowder said he’s hopeful, but not overconfident.

“Sometimes it seems like the more you learn, the less you know. But yes, I have had a lot of opportunity with the ISC and (other water authorities),” he said.

His initial weakness will be on education issues, he said, “but I will learn before January and figure out what I think is the right thing for District 64 and the people of Clovis and Curry County.”

Crook announced in February she is retiring after 20 years in the state’s House of Representatives.

She has said she will continue to serve on her legislative committees until her term ends Dec. 31.

George Dodge, D-Santa Rosa, will join Crowder in Santa Fe, having won re-election Tuesday without an opponent. He also offered advice for the soon-to-be freshman:

“Make sure you go before the session and familiarize yourself with the building and you will be miles ahead,” he said. “Know the building is No. 1. It is very easy to get lost.”