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Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 20:00
EL PASO — Four candidates' names will appear on the May ballot for Mayor of Socorro. All four candidates are political newcomers who have never held office. The winner will replace Trini Lopez who resigned in October, 2012.
The candidates are Jesus Ruiz, 24, Gama Mendez, 24, Gume Cardoso and Igor Flores, 36.
The candidates believe it is time to change the face of Socorro politics and build a more positive image for the town.
Ruiz has a bachelor's degree in history from New Mexico State University and said he has attended city council meetings for three years. He wants residents to feel as though their voices are being heard.
"We need to be open to ideas. We need to give everybody a voice, whether we agree with them or not, and that's not being done right now," said Ruiz.
Mendez who was born and raised in Socorro said he believes residents are being heard, but said nothing is being done.
Mendez owns a coffee shop in Socorro targeted at young adults. He said Socorro needs a fresh start and he thinks it's time for a younger generation to take over.
"I think that young adults have the biggest potential. I want to be a role model to young adults," said Mendez.
Cardoso has lived in Socorro for seven years and has a degree in geology. He said he wants to open the lines of communication between city leaders and residents. He encourages residents to speak up and vote.
"The change comes from the community, not from me," said Cardoso.
Igor Flores is a U.S. Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq. He grew up in Socorro and he said he is running for mayor to continue the progress the city has made.
"We need to help those individuals as far as the communities that don't have natural gas, don't have sewage, things like that, and I want to be that voice," said Flores.
The election will be held May 11.
The ballot will also include three candidates for the "At Large" seat: Willie Madrid Jr., Joe Martinez and Rene Rodriguez. Madrid resigned in February and is running for re-election.
There are two candidates running for District 4: Jesus Gandara Jr. and Joseph Bowling. Gandara also resigned in February and is running for re-election.