For immediate release

March 7, 2016

For more info: Karen Whitlock, 575-574-7522


Tuesday, March 8, Karen Whitlock will file as a candidate in the Democratic Party Primary for New Mexico House District 38. The district covers most of Sierra and Grant counties, and a portion of Hidalgo County.

The retirement of Dianne Hamilton creates a golden opportunity for Democrats. The district is predominantly Democrat, yet historically has elected Republican legislators.

“I want to represent the real values of rural southwestern New Mexico by putting communities first,” says Karen, “I will do that by prioritizing health care, education, good jobs and the economy.

Karen earned her BS in political science at American University in Washington and her Masters in Social Work at Western New Mexico University. She is currently an adjunct professor at WNMU and previously taught at Cobre High School. In 2015, she served as a legislative intern for the National Association of Social Workers and before then worked as an environmental consultant for Phelps Dodge at the Tyrone mine.

In 2015 Karen was awarded the Student Social Worker of the year at both Western New Mexico University and the National Association of Social Workers – New Mexico Chapter. In addition, Karen was awarded the Social Work Student Advocate Award at Western.

Since moving to Grant County, Karen has done extensive volunteer service, including working with Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities through the Grant County Community Health Council, the Volunteer Center, serving on the Fitness and Nutrition in the Community Committee, at the Disabilities Resource Center, and with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

Karen’s platform, in a nut shell: The needs of rural communities are too often misunderstood or overlooked by the state. As your representative, she will work tirelessly to change that.

There are many essentials that make for a secure and prosperous community. Three cornerstones are: Healthcare, Education, and the Economy.

We do not have enough medical professionals. Karen will work to attract more to the area. We need state of the art facilities and proper staffing levels. Everyone deserves access to quality healthcare.

As an educator, Karen sees first hand how our schools are failing. Teachers and parents have to raise money just to purchase basic supplies, and many of our kids are graduating with sub-par education.

Our economy is in sad shape. There are not enough jobs for our high school and college graduates, and many leave the area. We need a living wage, and jobs that compensate college graduates for their education.

Our economic development plans have for too long aimed at recruiting big out of state corporations at the expense of local businesses. Small business is the backbone of our economy.

The good news is the money is already there- we just need to change our priorities and invest in our communities.