Courtesy Photo Roxanne “Rocky” Lara, of Carlsbad, announced her candidacy for Congress to represent New Mexico’s District 2, Tuesday.
Record Staff Writer
Democrat Roxanne “Rocky” Lara, of Carlsbad, a lawyer and former Eddy County Commissioner, announced her candidacy for Congress Tuesday for District 2.
“I’m excited to be announcing.” Lara said. “I’ve been talking to people. There’s a lot of concerns of theirs out there that are not really being presented.”
The family law attorney was defeated earlier this year for the chairmanship of New Mexico’s Democratic Party.
Lara, 38, said she feels she brings “a lot of things to the table.” Lara spent four years as an Eddy County Commissioner.
She has practiced law for the past 12 years, changing from general law to family law.
“One day, a judge asked me to represent abused children,” she said, which she did for six years. “It changed my life. That’s where the real needs were.”
Lara is the second Democrat to announce a bid for the seat that incumbent U.S. Rep Steve Pearce, R-N.M., holds. Democrat Leslie Endean-Singh, an attorney and manager of her husband’s medical office, of Alamogordo, announced her run earlier this year. Pearce declared his re-election bid Aug. 23.
Pearce, who toured Roswell Tuesday with U.S. House Veteran’s Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller to discuss veterans’ issues, said he welcomed his opponent into the race. But, he will continue to focus his campaign on values and not pay attention to his opponents.
“We will focus on our candidacy. That’s the way the American system works,” Pearce said, after holding a town hall with local veterans at Roswell Veterans’ Memorial Hall. “I wish her well.”
Lara said she was fortunate to have grown up in a strong and close family. Her father worked in public service and taught her the importance of serving her community.
“It goes to the very heart of who we are as a community,” she said.
Lara said she has served on several boards and commissions and continues to represent the community in international initiatives.
Lara served as secretary for the national Energy Communities Alliance and as a representative on the Eddy County-Lea County Energy Alliance.
Lara served the mayor of Carlsbad as the co-chairman of his Long-Range Planning Committee and is a current member of his Nuclear Task Force. Lara has served as past chairwoman of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and past chairwoman of the Eddy County DWI Council. Regionally, she served with the Board of Directors for the Southeast Community Action Corporation, addressing HeadStart and senior programs in five counties. She also represents New Mexico as the state’s delegate to Vision 2020, an initiative working for women’s equality.
“I look around and see the gridlock in Washington,” she said. “It’s time to change that kind of mentality.”
Immigration is an issue Lara said she felt was important to the district. Now is the time to fix the “broken system,” she said.
“The way to do that is comprehensive reform,” Lara said. “And not just with a worker program. It’s not a solution. I think we’re really lucky to live in southern New Mexico. The priorities in Washington are not fixing the problems right now and that has to change.”
Lara is married to Manual “Leo” Lara, her husband of 14 years. They have no children.