Tularosa Attendance Strong with LWVSNM Candidate Forums


Tularosa School Board candidates answer questions during Oct. 7 forum Hosted by LWVSM Otero Unit (credit: Dave Dooling for LWVSNM)

The League of Women Voters in New Mexico is a member of the national organization is made up of over 500 leagues. The League of Women Voters of New Mexico was established in 1920. At the first LWVNM convention in 1950 the agenda adopted by the delegates was an examination and evaluation of the functions and services of state government. Since that time the state League has been involved in many activities including advocacy on issues at the Roundhouse and in hosting local events and forums.

The League of Women Voters was founded by Carrie Chapman Catt in 1920 during the convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association. The convention was held just six months before the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote after a 72-year struggle.

View a history of the national League of Women Voters Through the Decades. View a slide show of historical photos tracing the leagues history.

The League of Women Voters of New Mexico started up in 1920 in Santa Fe. Ina Sizer Cassidy was a charter member of the national League of Women Voters and New Mexico's first state League president.
The league has had a long history of engagement in Southern New Mexico with strength in the Las Cruces area via the League of Woman Voters of Southern New Mexico.

Through the determination of Alamogordo’s infamous Claudia Powell, the Otero Branch was founded as a subsidiary organization within the League of Woman Voters Southern New Mexico chapter.

The Otero unit, while small in membership, has taken a very aggressive stance in providing public information by hosting 3 community forums for the upcoming municipal elections and school board elections. 

The Otero Group began with its first forum in Tularosa that hosted by Jo Galván Nash and Kathe Kanim, co-presidents of the League of Women Voters of Southern New Mexico. Jo was moderator, and Kathe was part of the moderating panel.

The League of Women’s Voters event in Tularosa was professional, well attended, nonpartisan, positive and demonstrated civility in political dialogue.

All the candidates for the offices of Trustee, Mayor and Municipal judge were present:

Trustee: Antonia "Monica" Voorbach-Moheit, Ali Husain Karim Kassam, Mark Garwood, Manuel Brusuelas, Stephanie DuBois

Mayor: John Green, Deborah Cooksey, Margaret Trujillo (Incumbent)

Municipal Judge: Christopher Rupp, Aviana Garcia, Larry Berry

The forum was broken into three segments, so that at any one time candidates for only one race were participating.

Trustees - 5 candidates

Mayor - 3 candidates

Municipal Judge - 3 candidates.

The Otero Branch hosted a second event in Alamogordo for school board candidates. Though the Alamogordo event attendance as a percentage of population was light in attendance; it was an important event for the candidates. This event helped to establish LWVSNM Otero Branch as a credible nonpartisan and non-biased forum for the Alamogordo community and beyond.  Candidates that participated in the Alamogordo forum were 

  • Judy Rabon, Board Member One Present
  • Craig Danekas, Board Member One NO SHOW
  • Marieann Marie Jackson, Board Member Three Present
  • Amanda Gwynn Jewell, Board Member Three Present
  • Shannon Troy Wright, Board Member Three NO Show
  • Josiah Stephen Vesey, Board Member Four Present
  • Brandy Murphy, Board Member Four Present
  • Carol Louise Teweleit, Board Member Four Presen

The LWVSNM Otero Branch hosted a second candidate forum, for Tularosa School Board Candidates which also had a good turnout. There were about 20 people in the audience. Before you scoff at that, note that the population of Tularosa village is about 2,700 - 2,800. That means that almost 1% of the village population were present. Five candidates attended and fielded questions written by the public and moderated by Jo Nash and Katherine Kanim, co-presidents from Las Cruces.

And last Saturday's forum for municipal government candidates had an even larger audience.

If a candidate forum for Alamogordo had a similar turnout (population of the city is about 31,000), then you should expect about 300 in the Alamogordo audience.
Compared to Alamogordo, Tularosa community is punching well above its weight and is very interested in this upcoming municipal election.

We are very pleased with the responses at our first events,” said Claudia Powell, president of the newly formed Otero Unit. “We greatly appreciate the Las Cruces leadership guiding us through our first forums.”

The League’s Otero Unit is taking its first steps to improve community dialogue and participation in local government,” said Thomas Krajci, the Otero Unit vice-president. “We thank our supporters for their participation and hard work and the candidates for their willingness to engage the public.”

The Otero Unit is now exploring options for a forum with candidates for Alamogordo City Commission. Current and future voters are invited join.

For more information:
Visit the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/OteroUnit) or

To Contact the Otero Branch contact Claudia Powell (Claudia@tularosa.net).

AlamogordoTownNews.com and KALHRadio.org is thrilled to see nonpartisan and non-biased forums hosted in Otero County and to see the expanded presence of the League of Woman Voters take an interest in Otero County. We look forward to even more engagement by this organization of historic significance to New Mexico. 

More News from Alamogordo
I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified