Editor’s note: Written responses were edited for length. Libertarian Scott Milenski declined to provide answers.

DEMOCRAT

Nancy Rodriguez

Age: 67

Educational background: Master’s degree, College of Santa Fe, business administration

Occupation: Retired county manager and consultant

Relevant experience: State senator since 1996, former Santa Fe County commissioner and county manager

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? We must stay the course and continue to take the recommended and required precautions in order to reduce the spread and hopefully put an end to the virus; capitalize on new medical advances and testing; continue to advocate for federal funds to ensure sufficient and necessary medical equipment and resources; continue aggressive data collection to ensure that New Mexico’s approach is data driven.

What steps would you take to diversify and strengthen New Mexico’s economy? Continue to support our local workforce and Provide incentives for businesses to thrive in New Mexico; promote our recently enacted renewable energy legislation for businesses and individuals such as the solar tax credit and the Energy Transition Act; support our outdoor economy through our recently created Outdoor Recreation Division; continue to provide business infrastructure development through the Local Economic Development Act; continue to support the New Mexico film tax credit as it infuses millions of dollars into our state’s economy.

What would you do to reduce crime in New Mexico? Continue to prioritize early childhood education programs as children are the foundation for our future. Our recently created Early Childhood Permanent Fund is a step in the right direction; applying a public health approach to New Mexico’s behavioral health and substance abuse concerns is crucial to successful rehabilitation and a reduction in the crime rate; continue to support funding for the Law Enforcement Assistance Diversion Program to provide comprehensive rehabilitation services; continue to analyze criminal statutes for any necessary changes through legislation. We recently enacted criminal justice reform legislation.

What are your three top priorities or objectives for the office you’re seeking? Education, health care and public safety.

Who is your political hero or heroine and why? Adelina “Nina” Otero-Warren. She was a woman’s suffragist, educator and politician who was instrumental in getting the 19th Amendment to the Constitution ratified establishing a women’s right to vote.

REPUBLICAN

Leighton Cornish

Age: 45

Lives in: Santa Fe

Bachelor’s degree: Franklin University, health care management

Occupation: Retired soldier, currently a background investigator

Relevant experience: Analyst at the Legislature in 2017. More importantly, the military taught me that if you don’t know the answer, know where to find it. In the Legislature I will welcome all input from my constituents and subject matter experts to arrive at decisions which will benefit New Mexico.

Have you ever been charged or convicted of a crime, including drunken driving? Yes. I was convicted of a misdemeanor at 19 years of age for theft of a 12 pack of Hamm’s beer. I completed 80 hours of community service and paid fines. This was a learning experience and embarrassing for me and my family.

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? Adhere to the CDC guidelines and open state business and recreation opportunities to the fullest extent while following the CDC guidelines. Keep in mind, the doctors and experts in the field admit information changes on an hourly basis. I wouldn’t claim to know what discoveries or directives will be in place come January 2021. It seems we need more antibody testing and research to determine our best approach to combating this virus.

What steps would you take to diversify and strengthen New Mexico’s economy? I would like to see corporate taxes adjusted to encourage businesses to grow and thrive in New Mexico. These tax monies would be made up through increased payroll taxes. We should be courting American businesses operating in China to relocate in New Mexico. Most of our pharmaceuticals are made in China, but with all the land we are blessed with we should be growing the botanicals that fuel the medications, right here in New Mexico.

What would you do to reduce crime in New Mexico? Most crime is propelled by drug use. So I would increase border security to reduce drug flow while giving our young New Mexicans hope for a drug-free lifestyle through job skills education. At-risk youth have been encouraged to be drug-free and avoid crime because of opportunities for job placement at Los Alamos National Laboratories. The lab should be allowed to expand operations throughout Los Alamos and Santa Fe counties.

What are your three top priorities or objectives for the office you’re seeking? I would like to see our education system make changes that would partner with industry and allow our students to enter the workforce upon graduation; the Legislature of 2020 attempted to pass a bill that would allow for abortion up to birth. I support Roe v. Wade but want to stop medically unnecessary abortion; I would fight to reverse the so-called red flag law because it infringes on American rights to keep and bear arms.

Who is your political hero or heroine, and why? Ivanka Trump, because she has worked tirelessly to marry industry with education. She focuses on the education and economic empowerment of women and their families as well as job creation and economic growth through workforce development, skills training and entrepreneurship. She is a strong person who should be a role model for anyone.

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General Assignment Reporter

Robert Nott has covered education and youth issues for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is assigned to The New Mexican's city desk where he covers a general assignment beat.

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(1) comment

paul pacheco

Career politicians constantly seeking re-elections because the real voters can’t get rid of them! But ask them if they believe in term limits and they’ll tell you yes! So why don’t “we the people” demand that our wonderful public servants limit themselves to their great dedication? Because they can’t break the habit of helping themselves! Our vote this election? Mr. Leighton……..let’s give some new ideas a chance!

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