Candidate Profile: Shirley Hooper

Shirley Hooper is campaigning for the Democratic nomination for secretary of state against Mary Herrera, Stephanie V. Gonzales and Letitia Montoya in the June 6 primary.
The position is currently held by Rebecca Vigil-Giron.
Bio: Hooper grew up in Lovington, and has lived and worked in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Portales and Hobbs.
She served as secretary of state from 1979 to 1983, Lea County clerk from 1987 to 1991 and Santa Fe County deputy clerk in 2005.
She is a member of the National Association of Secretaries of State. Hooper currently serves as vice president of the New Mexico School for the Deaf Board of Regents. She is one of the founders of the International Association of Parents of the Deaf.

Q. What is your stance on open government?
A. All records are open to the public. The secretary of state serves as ethics officer for the state, receiving financial statements from elected officials. People are entitled to know where the funds elected officials are using come from.
If elected, I plan to have an open-door policy. I also rely on the media to inform the public so they must have immediate access to information.

Q. What unique tools do you bring to this job?
A. The biggest thing I have to offer is my unquestionable record. I have integrity. I am a problem-solver, not a problem-maker.

Q. What is your highest priority if elected?
A. Curry County currently has a paper ballot system of voting and it is excellent. This is the same system I recommended to legislatures years ago because it has the perfect audit paper trail. I want to bring back the assurance to the electronic voters that their votes are counted.

Q. Why do you believe you are more qualified than your opponents?
A. I have the unique experience of having been a county clerk and secretary of state. I have a good rapport with the county clerks.
The key to a smooth election is sufficient training for precinct officials, and I have personally trained Lea County precinct officials.
I feel like I have a lot of experience and knowledge to be secretary of state. My concerns are for the entire state, not just one county.

— Compiled by CNJ staff writer Tonya Garner