The New Mexico Chapter elections committee is pleased to open the ballot to vote on this year's board election. Polls will close on June 15, at 5 p.m. ET and results will be announced soon after. You can find the list of candidates who appear on the ballot below.

Only current eligible New Mexico Chapter members voters are able to access the ballot. If you're having trouble with the ballot, please contact us at [email protected].

Candidates Statements

President (uncontested):
Zita Arocha
Vice President (uncontested):
Estevan Vasquez
Financial Officer (uncontested):
Deyonne Sandoval
Secretary (uncontested):
Leah Romero

NAHJ professional chapter officers’ general guidelines to keep in mind:

Officers of Professional Chapters 
(a)  Officers. Each professional chapter (i) is required to have a President, a Vice President, a Treasurer and a Secretary and (ii) at the discretion of the Chapter Board also may have a single at-large officer with such responsibilities as the Chapter Board shall determine.
(b)  Qualifications. The offices of President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary may be held only by Regular Members in good standing. Any Regular Member, Academic Member or Associate Member, in good standing, may serve as the at-large officer. 
(c)  Holding Multiple Offices. Any elected officer may concurrently hold two or more offices, except that in no event shall the President serve simultaneously as the Treasurer or the Secretary.

(d)  Election. Chapter officers shall be elected annually. The President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary shall be elected by the Regular Members and the Academics Members of the chapter. The at-large officer, if any, shall be elected by the Regular Members, the Academic Members and the Associate Members of the chapter.


• May 12th:  Call for Nominations
• May 26thDeadline to submit 5 unique signatures before 11:59 p.m. Deadline to become a member in good standing and be eligible to vote
• May 29th – 31stVetting process. The Elections Committee will screen candidates. 
• June 1st: Online voting begins (Polls open two weeks before the polls close)
• June 15th: Polls close at 5 p.m. ET and results are announced.


Candidates Statements

Zita Arocha

Dear NAHJ NM chapter members, 

Last year I stepped in as temporary president of the NM chapter after learning that the chapter had been dormant for a while because of the pandemic and some key officers had moved on to jobs in other states.  I am officially running for another year to continue serving the needs of NM journalists, educators, and communication professionals. If elected, my goal for the coming year is to work with the other officers to expand membership, recruit new members, and brainstorm ideas for future events in northern and southern New Mexico. As someone firmly committed to preparing the next generation of student journalists, I would like to work with you to develop programs and activities that enhance their skill sets and prepare them for news media careers. I envision the chapter holding additional training and networking events like the successful training we provided with SPJ at New Mexico State in March on immigration reporting. If elected, I want to solicit your ideas and participation in planning more training events. I would like to see the chapter provide more support to all NM fellow journalists working in a rapidly evolving and contracting profession that faces challenges from AI and the spread of misinformation. Together we can develop new initiatives to provide the support they need.

Estevan Vasquez

I am running for Vice President of the New Mexico Chapter to be well positioned to assist the president, treasurer, other officers and members in moving the chapter forward. We will connect with chapter members and determine what we want to do as a group. Starter list of possibilities:  advocate for more Hispanics in news, hold local news organizations accountable for hiring and editorial practices, continue to offer journalism training, organize Q&A’s with newsroom leaders and newsmakers, volunteer for charitable organizations, and/or organize general networking and social opportunities. As a long time member, I believe in NAHJ. We in the New Mexico Chapter can do some good for ourselves and our community. So let’s do it! 

Thanks again.

Deyonne Sandoval

In addition to journalism and communications Deyonne has a background in grant writing and budget management coupled with experience in program planning and health education and marketing. She would like to continue supporting the journalism community by applying her experience in these areas as a board member of the NAHJ New Mexico chapter.

Leah Romero

I am running for election as secretary for NAHJ New Mexico because I want to become more involved in the New Mexico journalism community. 

I have been a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists since 2020, when I was still a student at New Mexico State University. New Mexico is unique in that about half the population identifies as Hispanic, yet minority voices are not necessarily equally represented in the media or in newsrooms. I am one of three Hispanic people in my newsroom in southern New Mexico and one of two Hispanic women. 

I want to do what I can to support the Hispanic journalist community in New Mexico and continue to grow our numbers. One step in achieving this is by doing my part in reinvigorating the New Mexico chapter of NAHJ as secretary.


If you have any questions regarding this chapter's election contact Gwyneth Doland, New Mexico Chapter Elections Chair. You can also email us at [email protected] with any additional questions.

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