Lincoln County Democrat Dick Mastin announced Monday that he will run for the state House seat held by incumbent state Rep. Nora Espinoza, R-Dist. 59.
Espinoza is running for her fifth term. During the last election, she ran unopposed.
“The people of New Mexico need a choice,” Mastin said.
“I am disappointed with the current Dist. 59 representative … she doesn’t appreciate New Mexico heritage enough, value education enough, or have the right priorities and training for her elected position,” Mastin said.
Mastin has not run for political office previously, but said he takes his responsibility as an American citizen “very seriously.”
His top priorities are integrity and honesty, fiscal responsibility, education and jobs.
If elected, Mastin said he would love to serve on the financial and education committees.
“Education has always been very important to me,” Mastin said. “I’ve enjoyed obtaining an education. I understand what’s involved in a quality education and I would very much like to help improve the quality of education in New Mexico. What we’ve been doing hasn’t worked. We need new eyes on it and a new commitment.”
Mastin said school is sometimes the first place where less-fortunate children have a chance for equal opportunity.
“Without a good start in school, these kids could end up already behind in life when they start their adult lives,” he said.
Schools and teachers need more of our help and support because they prepare children for responsible adulthood, he said. He thinks early education for all and more school days could be considered ways to improve state education.
Mastin said he also has always been a financially aware person and careful with money.
Conservative fiscal responsibility has been second-nature to Mastin throughout his life, he said. He has spent years defining projects, estimating costs, implementing projects and controlling engineering budgets.
“I think I would do well on a financial committee,” Mastin said. “All of the challenges the state will deal with will involve money to some extent. When there are programs enacted, they almost always cost money and we have to remain financially solvent. Therefore, every decision made in the House just about involves paying for it.”
Mastin was a minister for three years and an aircraft engineer for 32. He retired from Beech/Raytheon Aircraft as a senior project engineer.
He has also served as chairman of the Lincoln County Democrats, president of a 200-member, 13-airplane flying club, president of White Mountain Search and Rescue, church board president, church treasurer and county Red Cross chairman.
He holds a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering, a master of divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary and a master of business administration from Wichita State University.
Mastin grew up in Albuquerque, where he graduated from the University of New Mexico. He then left for further education and his career. He lived in Nevada, California, Nebraska and Kansas.
After retiring, he moved back to Alto, where he lives with his wife of 49 years, Milly. The couple has two children and three grandchildren.
The district includes most of Lincoln County, except most of Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, Glencoe and San Patricio. It also includes the western third of Chaves County, including the western section of Roswell.