By Chelle Delaney: Freedom New Mexico
Dennis J. Roch, assistant superintendent for Tucumcari schools, has announced his candidacy for the District 67 state representative position.
Roch’s announcement Friday was made jointly with District 67 incumbent, Republican Brian Moore of Clayton, who said he would not seek re-election.
Moore’s term expires December 2008.
“I think he’s a fine young man. I think he’ll do well for the people,” Moore said of Roch. “Dennis knows the district and the issues.”
District 67 includes Quay, Harding and Union counties and parts of Curry, Roosevelt and San Miguel counties.
The primary elections are scheduled in June 2008 and the general election will be in November 2008.
Roch, a Republican, said he would be a strong advocate for local control of schools.
“Education is 50 percent of the state’s budget,” Roch said. “It takes someone who knows about education in the classroom and from the administrator’s perspective and from the state’s perspective. I’ve also seen what kind of schools are succeeding and they are the small rural schools, like Tucumcari, San Jon and Logan, where the folks have common-sense leadership. I’ve seen this from my service on the Public Education Commission. My primary goal is to help shape education policy.”
Roch also said he would continue to fight for the traditional values of northeastern New Mexico, such as respect for property rights and for every citizen’s 2nd Amendment gun rights.
“My goal as a legislator and educator would be create an environment where businesses could expand, reinvest in their business and bring new businesses into the communities, so that maybe our kids don’t leave high school and go off to Texas for a job, but come back here,” Roch said.
Roch chairs and is a member of the state’s Public Education Commission. He was elected to the Commission in 2004 and elected chairman in 2006.
Roch, 34, joined Tucumcari’s school administrative staff in July. Before that he taught high school for nine years in Texico.
He is a 1994 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. He earned his graduate degree from George Mason University in Virginia. He has also served on the staffs of U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici and U.S. Rep. Bill Redmond before pursuing a career in public education.
Moore said Friday he announced his decision not to run because he wanted to give potential candidates the opportunity and ample time to campaign.
“For the rest of 2008, I will continue to serve as your state representative to the very best of my abilities,” Moore said in a press release. “I have been deeply honored by the trust you placed in me to stand up and fight our battles in Santa Fe. It‘s not always been fun, but it has always been interesting and educational. Linda and I will always treasure the opportunity I’ve had to represent this great district in Santa Fe.”
Moore was elected in 2000, serving on the House Agriculture and Water Committee, House Transportation Committee, House Appropriations Committee and powerful joint House-Senate Legislative Finance Committee. He has served on task forces to examine health care coverage issues and to rewrite the funding formula that pays for educating children in New Mexico.