Former Doña Ana County Treasurer Jim Schoonover, a Republican, is collecting signatures to run for state treasurer.
Schoonover is the only Republican known to be planning to run against Democrat James Lewis this year. The state Republican Party’s spokeswoman said the GOP is excited about Schoonover’s candidacy.
“We believe Jim’s going to be a strong candidate and are excited that he’s going to be jumping into the race,” she said.
Reached by phone, Schoonover said he would be ready to talk about his candidacy “in a couple of days.”
Schoonover served one term as county treasurer but lost his re-election bid in 2008 to Democrat David Gutierrez.
Schoonover’s tenure was not without controversy. The county commission voted 4-1 in 2007 to formally reprimand him for illegally using county staff and equipment to benefit the Elks Lodge and other issues. The commission also demanded that he reimburse the county $1,500.
He also came under fire for purchasing 2,300 pencils with $700 in public money that were similar to his campaign materials – money he later repaid to the county.