Yours truly will be moderating a candidate forum for sheriff and county commission candidates of both parties on May 27 at 6 p.m. at the Mesquite Fire Station at No. 1 Fire House Rd. The event is being sponsored by the Mesquite Community Action Committee.
Traditionally the sheriff's race gets more votes than any other, including President, in Dona Ana County. One of the largest counties in the state, the only law and order in large parts of the county are the sheriff's deputies, and voters have always taken this position very seriously. Many people remember that the legendary Pat Garrett was sheriff of Dona Ana County, and law enforcement issues, while changed from the days of Billie the Kid, are still with us. This year the spillover of violence into the South Mesilla Valley may well become part of the debate in that race, as well as the spillover from the Arizona movement to demonize undocumented migrants and censor Mexican American studies.
The county commission is important since it is through these (there are two that go into the South Mesilla Valley and one that is exclusively in the South Mesilla Valley) that a $150 million piece of pie is divided throughout the county. Since the Southern part of the county is the fastest growing part of the county, voters should be paying close attention, even though they often don't.