Victim advocate joins race for New Mexico House seat

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Nicole Chavez is setting her sights on the Roundhouse.

"I live in our community, I’ve seen the changes that need to be made, I’ve been impacted by our most important issue, which is crime,” said Chavez.

The Albuquerque mom and victim advocate announced plans to run for New Mexico House District 28. That district covers a large portion of northeast Albuquerque. Chavez is planning to run as a Republican – set to challenge incumbent Democratic state Rep. Pamelya Herndon.

Chavez’s teen son Jayden was killed in a drive-by shooting in 2015. Since then, she’s been pushing New Mexico state lawmakers to adopt tougher laws against criminals. She says this past 30—day legislative session pushed her to run for office.

“I think it got extremely aggravating during this last session, both fighting against certain bills and fighting for bills, that I just reached a point to where I thought I think I can do this myself,” she said. "I’ve lived through those failed policies that we passed in Santa Fe, and I know what we need to do to change those policies."

Chavez said addressing New Mexico’s crime crisis is her number one priority but said she will also focus on education and struggling businesses.

KOB 4 spoke to Rep. Herndon Friday. She laid out a nearly identical agenda to Chavez’s agenda.

“I will tell you that talking to the people in my district, crime is a top priority,” said Rep. Herndon. “Schooling and keeping our children safe at school is another priority. Then looking at the economic development and growth of our communities follows in third, because all three of those together is what’s going to make us thrive.”

Chavez and Herndon are the only candidates to announce campaigns for House District 28, but more candidates can still enter the race before the primaries in June.