Candidates discuss background, district challenges

Three candidates, running for district posts on the Republican ticket, recently answered a questionnaire from the Muleshoe Journal. Their answers follow.
Becky Espinoza – Running for District Clerk
Q: What is your educational background?
A: I have a bachelor’s degree.
Q: What are your family ties to the City of Muleshoe/Bailey County?
A: I have lived in the City of Muleshoe/Bailey County for 28 years. I graduated from Muleshoe High. I have many family members that reside here in Muleshoe.
Q: What are your business ties to the City of Muleshoe/Bailey County?
A: The only business ties I have to the City of Muleshoe/Bailey County are paying my utilities and shopping in my hometown. I would like to see the City of Muleshoe/Bailey County continue to grow and prosper.
Q: What is the greatest issue facing the City of Muleshoe/Bailey County? How would you address this?
A: I believe the greatest issue facing the City of Muleshoe/Bailey County is our revenue. I feel we need to provide places for recreation and create tourist attractions that bring investments into the local economy.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the office?
A: I have been employed for Bailey County for 10-plus years. The first five years I had the privilege of working with Bailey County Judge Marilyn Cox, as the County Judge’s Secretary. After Judge Cox retired, I had the opportunity to change positions and work with Bailey County District Clerk Elaine Parker as Deputy District Clerk for five years. I feel I have great experience, and I know the job well working in that capacity. I am also bilingual, which helps communicate tremendously with our non-English speaking community.
Shelbi Harrison- Running for District Clerk
Q: What is your educational background?
A: I was born and raised in Bailey County and attended school in Muleshoe K-12th1 grade. I am a graduate of Muleshoe High School. I graduated from South Plains College with my cosmetology degree and I have completed
the Basic EMT course.
Q: What are your family ties to the City of Muleshoe/Bailey County?
A: I have lived in Muleshoe all of my life (except for college and 1 year after college). My mother, Sherri Harrison, has worked for Bailey County for over 19 years.
Q: What are your business ties to the City of Muleshoe/Bailey County?
A: I worked for the City of Muleshoe for four summers during high school.
Q: What is the greatest issue facing the City of Muleshoe/Bailey County? How would you address this?
A: There are many issues facing our community. The greatest issue that our City/County is dealing with is our county tax base, which is very low and causes Bailey County to have higher taxes than any of the surrounding counties. I would support any economic development to help the community prosper.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the office?
A: I was three years old when my mother was sworn in as an elected official. I basically grew up in county government. I have observed a commissioner’s court meeting, juvenile hearings and county court. I have always been interested in public service and would be honored to serve as your Bailey County District Clerk. If elected, I will strive to serve the citizens of Bailey County to the best of my ability.
Daniel Guzman – Incumbent Running for Justice of the Peace
Q: What is your educational background?
A: Graduated Muleshoe High School in 1974. Attended West Texas State University (West Texas A&M). Also, attended Graduate School of Banking at University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado; Texas Tech School of Banking; and Texas State University Justice Court Training Center, San Marcos, Texas. I was employed with the Texas Department of Banking from 1978 till 1988, reaching Senior State Bank Examiner status during my career.
Q: What are your family ties to the City of Muleshoe/Bailey County?
My father came here in 1952. He came here under the government-sponsored Bracero Program. He worked for (late) Aubrey Heathington. Mr. Heathington helped my father obtain his Permanent Residents Visa. In June of 1961, my father, with the help of Aubrey Heathington, made it possible for my mom and my siblings to enter this great country. I’ve been a lifelong resident of Bailey County since then, with the exception of my college years and career with the Texas Department of Banking. I served 12 years on the Muleshoe ISD Board of Directors until appointed to my current position of Bailey County Justice of the Peace. I served four years as Vice President of the school board. Also, my son graduated here at Muleshoe High School. Presently, my grandkids attend our schools.
Q: What are your business ties to the City of Muleshoe/Bailey County?
A: In 1993, when I started my owner/operator trucking business. I successfully operated by trucking operation until 2010.
Q: What is the greatest issue facing the City of Muleshoe/Bailey County? How would you address this?
A: In my opinion, we are like all rural communities. However, being a School Board Trustee for 12 years, our challenge is to provide what’s best for the youth of our community in making sure they have all necessary tools to succeed in life. Along with this provide a safe environment for our county residents.
As we all are aware, the epidemic of drugs has become more and more evident.
I’d like to address it with more funds to our Sheriff’s Department and Department of Public Safety.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the office?
I am the best candidate because I have the experience in this position for the past year. Serving as Justice of the Peace, for the year 2017, this office collected $206,000 in county revenue in fees and fines. Comparing to $106,000 for 2016.
I have served our community as a Muleshoe City Council member, Muleshoe Independent School District Board of Trustees (12 years), Chairman of the Board of the Bailey Central Appraisal District and my current position as Bailey County Justice of the Peace.
Overall, for the past 14 years I’ve shown Leadership, Trust and Honesty to the people of our great community. And I am truly humbled for their trust in me.

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