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Los Alamos Democrats Honor George And Chris Chandler At JFK Dinner For Dedication And Service

on May 22, 2017 - 7:16pm
Chris and George Chandler are the 2017 honorees at Sunday's annual Democratic Party of Los Alamos County JKF Dinner at the Betty Ehart Center. The Chandlers were honored for their contributions to the Democratic Party and the Los Alamos community. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
 
George and Chris Chandler, left, receive the 2017 Achievement Award at Sunday's JFK Dinner as Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan applaud at right. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
 
By BONNIE J. GORDON
Los Alamos Daily Post

Local Democrats gathered Sunday to celebrate their successes and honor Chris and George Chandler at the 2017 JFk Dinner at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. Democrats are celebrating what would have been President John F. Kennedy's 100th birthday. Kennedy was born May 29, 1917. On Dec. 7, 1962, Kennedy became the first sitting U.S. President to visit Los Alamos.

Keynote speaker N.M. Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver gave the keynote address.

“We had great successes in New Mexico this year,” Oliver said. “Needless to say, we are dealing with major changes at the national level. I can’t think of a time in the last five months that it's been good.”

Democrats need to connect, both with the party’s base and with “those who should be with us,” Oliver said. “I think we are off to a great start tonight.”

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard introduced the Chandlers. They welcomed her when she was just getting started in politics, she said.

“They opened their arms to me,” Garcia Richard said.

George was raised a Republican and after college, grad school and becoming a LANL scientist, he was still a Republican. George was elected, mostly by Democrats to three terms on the County Council before being convinced by local Democrats that he belonged on their team. Reborn as a Democrat, George served four more terms: another Council term, two as County Assessor and one as Municipal Judge.

Meanwhile, Chris was growing up in a family of Polish immigrants. She simultaneously matriculated at Smith College and became the youngest-ever school board member in her home town, thus starting off her political career. She received her legal education at Boston College and Georgetown University.

George and Chris met while Chris was at LANL in the Office of Legal Counsel and George was working on a cooperative endeavor with Russia. The project fizzled but a connection was made!

Chris served a term on County Council, becoming chair, followed by stints on the Planning and Zoning Commission, two Charter Review Committees, chaired the 60th Anniversary Committee, served as Probate Judge and is now back on County Council.

“I’m in a room with titans of the state and titans of our local community,” Chris said. “We need to think in terms of the positive things we can do. Great things can come from everyone in this room.”

 

Attendees fill the Betty Ehart Senior Center event room for Sunday's JFK Dinner, catered by Pig and Fig Cafe. The event was sold out. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

Emcees Amy Storey and Eric Vasquez provide some humor at the expense of the opposition party during Sunday's event. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver delivers the keynote address at Sunday's  2017 JFK Dinner. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard introduces Chris and George Chandler who were honored at Sunday's event. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

 

Chris and George Chandler at the podium to receive their award. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

From left, Democratic Party of Los Alamos Chair Robyn Schultz, Democratic Party of New Mexico Chair Richard Ellenberg and Party leader Amy Storey at Sunday's JFK Dinner at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Scene from Sunday's JFK Dinner at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Political consultant Tarin Nix, left, and Los Alamos County Council Vice Chair Susan O'Leary. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

From left, Ed and Mary VanEeckhout, Magistrate Judge Pat Casados, Bobby Sanchez and Sen. Richard Martinez. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos School Board member Ellen Ben-Naim. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Local trails expert and musician Craig Martin, center. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Bob Schiferl and his wife, UNM-LA Advisory Board member Sheila Schiferl. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

From left, Kyle Wheeler, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, Chris and George Chandler, State Party Chair Richard Ellenberg and local Party Chair Robyn Schults. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

From left, Los Alamos County Council Chair David Izraelevitz and Ed and Mary VanEeckhout. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

LAPS Teachers Union President Whitney Muziana-Holland and her husband Jeff Wauson. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

PEC Commissioner Karyl Ann Armbruster, left, with Tarin Nix. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Scene from Sunday's JFK Dinner at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Silent auction items at Sunday's event. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com


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