REPUBLICANS

Gregg Schmedes

Age: 38

Lives in: Tijeras

Educational background: Bachelor’s degree, electrical engineering, University of Texas, 2004; medical degree, Texas Tech University, 2009.

Occupation: Surgeon

Relevant experience: State House of Representives, 2018-present.

Have you ever been charged or convicted of a crime, including drunken driving? No.

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy or been involved in a bankruptcy proceeding, either personally or in business? No.

Have you ever been the subject of liens for unpaid taxes? No.

What steps would you take to help the state blunt the coronavirus pandemic and recover from it? These steps are the same with or without COVID. Our private sector is drastically small in New Mexico. We should support local businesses instead of punishing them with centralized regulation. The government on both sides of the aisle must stop picking economic winners and losers.I want to see all industries treated with respect so all people groups are treated equally and have a chance to succeed. Finally, we must stop overspending and become better stewards of wage earners’ hard earned tax dollars.

What steps would you take to diversify and strengthen New Mexico’s economy? It’s difficult for private businesses to succeed in New Mexico. We should nix our current punitive gross receipts system and replace it with sales tax. I’d also like to see counties to once again have local economic freedom and they should be allowed to choose whether or not they can go right-to-work.

What would you do to reduce crime in New Mexico? We must end our catch and release system. Our local police forces should be equipped to apprehend drug distributors. We need tighter legislation to keep violent and repeat offenders behind bars. I’d like to see the federal government develop tighter border security, which would greatly reduce human trafficking and drugs entering our country through New Mexico.

What are your three top priorities or objectives? 1. Improve the quality of education. This begins with a shift back to pure academic values and encouraging families to place a greater value in education. The state must take a step back from pushing it’s own world view onto children and should teach more critical thinking. 2. Increase overall prosperity. We do this by decreasing centralized regulation on businesses and our schools. These policies should be left to local communities. We must create an environment that treats all private businesses equally and develop safer communities so workers are more willing to stay in New Mexico instead of leaving for better jobs. 3. Reduce crime. Our criminal justice system is broken. We need to increase a spirit of cooperation between law enforcement and the judiciary. I want to see leaders bring the different branches of the criminal justice system together to get smart on crime, rid our communities of drugs, and end catch and release.

Who is your political hero or heroine, and why? Rand Paul, because of his evidence-based decision making, fiscal prudence and championship of individual liberty.

Jim White

Age: 77

Lives in: Albuquerque

Educational background: Bachelor’s degree, Southern Illinois University, math and economics; master’s degree, University of Southern California, systems management.

Occupation: Retired military pilot and staff officer, retired airport executive

Relevant experience: State senator, state representative, Republican party treasurer, former military officer

Have you ever been charged or convicted of a crime, including drunken driving? No.

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy or been involved in a bankruptcy proceeding, either personally or in business? No.

Have you ever been the subject of liens for unpaid taxes? No.

What steps would you take to help the state blunt the coronavirus pandemic and recover from it? Continue recommended precautions, collect data to target response, support health agencies, seek federal assistance. Start planning for economic recovery. Plan a smart and slow return to normal business operation. Balance health concerns with economic concerns.

What steps would you take to diversify and strengthen New Mexico’s economy? Support and expand the economic assets we have with tourism, recreation and all types of energy production. Reform tax policy to make us competitive with other states, encourage local small businesses to grow, attracts vacationers and retirees, and does not discourage the arrival of new companies.

What would you do to reduce crime in New Mexico? Continue to support law enforcement officers, the courts, the prosecuting attorneys, and prisons. Curbing crime must be a top priority.

What are your three top priorities or objectives? Balanced and realistic budgets, economic development, common sense legislation.

Who is your political hero or heroine, and why? George Washington, strong leader with a sense of responsibility. Thomas Jefferson for his intellect, experience, and dedication. Alexander Hamilton because of his economic wisdom.

DEMOCRAT

Claudia Risner

Age: 63

Lives in: Tijeras

Educational background: Bachelor’s degree, University of Illinois-Chicago, marketing; master’s degree, University of Southern California, systems management; master’s degree, Naval Post Graduate school, national systems technology; master’s degree, Naval War College, national security and strategic studies; Ph.D., Old Dominion University, international studies.

Occupation: Retired naval officer; retired as a captain

Relevant experience: Led personnel, managed assets, negotiated contracts, built teams, reorganized and merged commands, and led interagency coordination and international relations to accomplished missions both stateside and overseas as a naval officer. Volunteered at numerous organizations with missions that included adult literacy in both reading and math; food distribution to those in need; community center activities for people with Alzheimer’s; visiting asylum-seeking detainees; working on projects at orphanages overseas. Community organizer for panels and discussion groups on environmental resilience building, renewable energy, protecting water as a resource. Served as a member of both the Democratic Party central committee and the state platform and resolutions committee.

What steps would you take to help the state blunt the coronavirus pandemic and recover from it? New Mexico’s state leadership is doing a commendable job slowing the spread of the pandemic so far, as is evident from the number of COVID-positive patients not exceeding our medical capacity for treatment. To increase our future resilience I would support legislation that expands access to health care, including public insurance; improved rural infrastructure to enable wider use of telemedicine; reduced or forgiven New Mexico medical school student loans for medical personnel who practice in state, and increased permanent and surge medical capacity in underserved communities. Economic recovery is correlated with the health of our society and workers, and will be strengthened by legislation that supports a living wage and sick leave pay for all workers, expands tax credit for working families, and changes to NM tax policy, such as GRT, that better support existing small businesses and incentivize new business to relocate to NM, rather than favoring out-of-state enterprises.

What steps would you take to diversify and strengthen New Mexico’s economy? Diversifying our economy will strengthen our economy. We should expand our solar and wind energy generation to meet all in-state needs and export excess supply to other states. This should include the manufacture, repair, and recycling of the components of wind turbines and solar panels; and the building of power generation and storage facilities, and transmission lines. We should expand our nascent regenerative agriculture practices to include small and professional growers., farmers, and ranchers to decrease their expenses and increase the productivity, resilience, and profitability of their enterprises while increasing water retention and decreasing environmental pollution. Cyber Security is another emerging field that is well suited to expand in New Mexico because of the Department of Energy labs, Air Force Research Lab, White Sands Missile Range and the growing cluster of supportive firms. Demand will remain strong for military use and only increase for civilian use in the current and post-COVID 19 lifestyles that are so dependent on virtual interactions and transactions.Diversification should include increased innovation in emerging sectors like space and aviation, outdoor recreation and tourism, digital media and film production, craft breweries, boutique wineries, and New Mexican cuisine.

What would you do to reduce crime in New Mexico? Identify and reduce the underlying causes of crime. Address mental health issues and destructive dependencies (drugs, alcohol, abusive relationships); alleviate abject poverty, hunger, and homelessness; and reduce chronic under- and unemployment. Specific measures include supporting behavioral and mental health programs and facilities; strengthening programs that feed and house individuals and families in need; establishing new and supporting existing transitional assistance programs such as the Veterans Integration Center, safe haven and sanctuary programs; increasing access to high-quality education, entry level and transition training, and continuing professional education; and increasing the percentage of students that graduate from high school. Additionally, implement more focused deterrence policing and other cooperative programs between communities and law enforcement officials, establish more behavioral intervention programs for at-risk youth, clean-up neglected and run-down neighborhoods, and provide adequate resources for law enforcement agencies.

What are your three top priorities or objectives? 1. Decouple our economy from the fossil fuel industry in a just and fiscally responsible manner so as to provide a more reliable, steady stream of revenue to fund programs, provide workers with better jobs, keep more income in the state, and protect our beautiful New Mexican environment 2. Improve our rural infrastructure with reliable high-speed internet, wider cell phone coverage, and access to clean water to eliminate the rural/urban division of services. 3. Advocate for our veterans and military families to ensure they have access to timely, effective, and comprehensive healthcare.; hold the VA and other federal agencies accountable to those they serve.

Who is your political hero or heroine, and why? Although not a politician per se, I admire Ruth Bader Ginsberg for her intelligence, fortitude, and perseverance. Her advocacy for (gender) equality, (women’s) human rights, and equal benefits for (female) service members have shaped how our society views and treats its citizens. She is a public servant who continues her fight for equality and justice and will have a remarkable legacy long remembered and appreciated through the generations.

LIBERTARIAN

John McDivitt

Age: 69

Lives in: Albuquerque

Educational background: Bachelor’s degree, Michigan State University; Naval Officer Candidate School, U.S. Navy

Occupation: Retired Navy Supply Corps captain, retired financial consultant

Relevant experience: I was a candidate for county commissioner in El Paso in 1982.

Have you ever been charged or convicted of a crime, including drunken driving? No.

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy or been involved in a bankruptcy proceeding, either personally or in business? No.

Have you ever been the subject of liens for unpaid taxes? No.

What steps would you take to help the state blunt the coronavirus pandemic and recover from it? I would abandon the “one size fits all” mindset and allow those counties with near zero infection to get back to normal. I applaud the efforts of those who put out factual information regarding the virus and especially those who do not politicize nor sensationalize the data. People need factual information and recommendations not unconstitutional orders.

What steps would you take to diversify and strengthen New Mexico’s economy? I would encourage more private sector employment and especially make efforts to attract more retirees to our state. Our weather is just about unbeatable and we have excellent healthcare facilities. Retirees don’t require employment and have lots of leisure time to enjoy our beautiful surroundings and boost our economy with their spending. Increasing tourism would be a plus as well.

What would you do to reduce crime in New Mexico? Focus resources on violent crimes against people and property and place far less emphasis on crimes without victims.

What are your three top priorities or objectives? 1. Reduce the tax burden. 2. Diversify our state’s economy. 3. Make certain the state government does not violate our constitutional rights.

Who is your political hero or heroine, and why? A tie between Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin because they were both so instrumental in launching our nation and putting us on a course never before seen in history. They were both flawed as are we all but their legacies are enduring.

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