Jay Block

Occupation: Nuclear consultant and Sandoval County commissioner

Age: 51

City of residence: Rio Rancho

Educational background: Master's of science in international relations

Political experience: Second term as a county commissioner

Relevant life experience: Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel, combat veteran, leadership in private industry

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

1. Please evaluate the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Very poor. As of May 12, according to Becker's Hospital Review we are No. 2 in COVID deaths per capita, we lost 40 percent of small businesses, the lockdown Gov. Lujan Grisham put in place caused significant increases in mental health issues/substance abuse, child abuse and criminal activity. We now see the effects of lockdowns and how isolating people was not the right solution. Our children had it worse, especially with schools remote for two years and children will be facing issues for many years. The data is showing other states that did not lockdown performed better and have recovered faster than New Mexico.

2. How would you balance the state’s dependence on oil/gas revenue with a climate crisis that faces New Mexico and the U.S. Do you believe there is a climate crisis? The oil and gas industry has made significant technology improvements in the last few decades under very strict regulations that ensure operations are safe for the environment. We must use all resources at our disposal, including renewables/nuclear to keep costs low for New Mexicans who are suffering record inflation. We must protect our environment using our due diligence to pass on a cleaner planet for the next generation and here at home we are doing that. But we must do it without putting people out of business or impacting lower income families who are struggling today to make ends meet.

3. What sets you apart from the other candidates on the Republican portion of the ballot? Leadership/experience. I have led large organizations in the Air Force and have helped triple our consulting firm's footprint in Albuquerque. I have led on the county commission working with Democrats to make Sandoval County the fastest-growing county and we have seen the results, Rio Rancho was named the best place to live while my Village of Corrales was named the safest place to live. People feel safe and secure in our communities, we are thriving.

4. Do you support abortion rights in New Mexico, and if not, why not? I am pro-life and believe in those protections for the baby. The science illustrates babies can survive outside the womb at 24 weeks. I just don't think it's morally appropriate to kill a baby up to birth. Unfortunately, New Mexico has become an abortion tourist state that does not value life. It appears our laws here mirror the policies with China and North Korea. I don't think that is the right and that is why in Sandoval County I am in the process of funding two baby boxes so mother's can drop off their babies instead of aborting them.

5. What are the three major policy disagreements you have with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, and why?

  • Mental Health/substance abuse. We need more in patient care treatment capabilities to reduce homelessness and crime.
  • The economy. I support tax reform that makes New Mexico more attractive to relocate to and/or expand our businesses here to increase our tax base growing the private sector.
  • Education. Under Gov. Lujan Grisham, we are dead last. I support local control of school boards and taking power away from PED. We will also provide more flexibility for high school students to focus on what specialties they want to pursue by partnering with private/gov't industry to provide hands-on experience outside the classroom.

6. Yes or no: Is Joe Biden the legitimately elected president of the U.S.? Yes

7. The national Republican Party calls the Jan. 6 takeover at the U.S. Capitol “legitimate political discourse.” Do you agree? 800-plus people have been arrested and there are still ongoing investigations. Unfortunately we have seen those on the left/right take to violence throughout our history. There is no tolerance for violent protests that kill people, damage property or interfere in elections. Both extreme spectrums of the party must stop the violence and embrace peaceful protests protected under our constitution. We now see leaks from the Supreme Court that are trying to pressure justices to change their vote by intimidating them protesting at their homes. We are a nation of laws and we must respect those laws.

8. Much has been made of the state’s crime crisis. What legislation needs to be passed and signed to address the issue? When state Supreme Court Justice Daniels advocated for no bail in 2015 and 2016, he said crime would go down. He was completely wrong and now we see record amounts of crime and murder in our state. We need bail to keep these criminals off the streets to protect our public and taking away qualified immunity from our law enforcement officers has caused many police officers to quit or retire. But we must also focus on the mental health and drug addiction crisis that is related to crime by investing in treatments programs to help overcome these issues.

Rebecca Dow

Declined to respond.

Ethel Maharg

Occupation: Executive director for Right to Life Committee of New Mexico

Age: 65

Website: ethel4gov.com

City of residence: Albuquerque

Educational background: Bachelor of science in Business Administration

Political experience: Three-term mayor for the village of Cuba.

Relevant life experience: I've been married for 38 years, have three children, and six grandchildren. I have owned several small businesses, taught school, managed two branches of a national bank. I've worked with and rallied armies of volunteers, and fought for life for a decade.

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

1. Please evaluate the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Our state should never have been shut down. It caused undue hardships for our people. There were no health protocols in place that helped people get better. All methods other than western medicine were cut off. Treatments like Ivermectin, which works, were not readily available. Too many people died that should not have due to negligence and harmful medical practices. We contracted COVID and there was no help. We had to go to Texas to get proper treatment. You could not get care for cancer or other serious health issues, but you could kill your baby through abortion.

2. How would you balance the state’s dependence on oil/gas revenue with a climate crisis that faces New Mexico and the U.S. Do you believe there is a climate crisis?

Climate crisis? I guess you can convince people of just about anything. Oil and gas are the state's greatest revenue producers and funds schools, public safety, and healthcare and it is the cleanest source of renewable energy. It is safe for the environment and is biodegradable. Lithium batteries are toxic and do not decompose. The wind turbines have a life of approximately 15 years and do not decompose. We are creating an environmental nightmare. It has not proven to be a sustainable source of energy to date. Until you can prove that it is more research must be done.

3. What sets you apart from the other candidates on the Republican portion of the ballot?

I am the only native-born and raised Hispanic candidate who can communicate with the largest segment of the population. The Latinos. I am the only candidate with executive branch experience I have a wealth of experience that spans many areas. I'm from a farm and ranching community and have worked in the oil and gas industry. I have trained and worked with large numbers of volunteers and know how to rally them to take action.

4. Do you support abortion rights in New Mexico, and if not, why not?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." They are listed in this order for a reason because without life the other two are irrelevant. No one has the right to kill another person most especially an innocent child who has committed no crime deserving of death. Abortion is murder and as governor I intend to see to it that it comes to an end in our state.

5. What are the three major policy disagreements you have with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, and why?

Only 3?

  • She has singlehandedly destroyed our economy with her policies favoring big box stores over our small businesses. We lost over 40 percent of businesses. Essential medical care was denied while abortion clinics were deemed essential. Churches and schools were closed unjustly.
  • She had an opportunity to improve our schools but didn't, We are ranking 50 and 51st in the nation.
  • She has refused to address the border and all the problems associated with it such as the fentanyl crisis that is the greatest killer of young people. She has not addressed the crime associated with it as well.

6. Yes or no: Is Joe Biden the legitimately elected president of the U.S.? No



7. The national Republican Party calls the Jan. 6 takeover at the U.S. Capitol “legitimate political discourse.” Do you agree? I do. Much has been disclosed concerning this event and the evidence shows clearly that there was not an insurrection by Trump supporters, but Antifa.

8. Much has been made of the state’s crime crisis. What legislation needs to be passed and signed to address the issue? Again, if we are going to curtail crime we must secure our borders. A historic 30 percent national rise in murder is inexcusable and unacceptable. I pledge to allocate the necessary funds required to hire and train officers, work with legislators on bail bond reform and any other laws that impede the ability of our law enforcement professionals' ability to do their job and keep our communities safe. We need to return qualified immunity to our officers.

Mark Ronchetti

Occupation: Former chief meteorologist

Age: 48

City of residence: Albuquerque

Educational background: Undergraduate: Washington State University; Meteorology: Mississippi State.

Political experience: Ran for U.S. Senate in 2020.

Relevant life experience: Spent a career listening to and communicating with New Mexicans.

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

1. Please evaluate the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

When the COVID pandemic first began, everyone faced the unknown. But then the science changed, and our governor’s response did not. A two-week shutdown to stop the spread turned into two years of long, painful, and disastrous shutdowns that caused 40 percent of our small businesses to close and our children falling behind. It failed, as our COVID death rate is higher than most surrounding states, including Texas. Even worse is the lack of a plan to help our kids catch up in school and help our small businesses recover. We need real reforms, not small election year giveaways.

2. How would you balance the state’s dependence on oil/gas revenue with a climate crisis that faces New Mexico and the U.S. Do you believe there is a climate crisis? I am a strong supporter of our oil and gas industry and an “all-of-the-above” energy policy. I support developing renewable energy and other energy sources, like small modular nuclear reactors. But New Mexico oil and gas must continue to play a key role in our energy economy. The governor passed her own Green New Deal and it’s led to higher energy costs for New Mexicans and now we are being threatened with rolling blackouts this summer. We are far better off drilling for oil in New Mexico than we are importing it from Iran, Russia or Saudi Arabia.

3. What sets you apart from the other candidates on the Republican portion of the ballot? I’m an outsider who will always be on the side of hard-working New Mexicans. If government experience made for great leaders, we’d have two of the best in Joe Biden and Michelle Lujan Grisham. That’s clearly not the case. New Mexico is an amazing state, but the politicians have let us down. We don’t need more political elites — we need leaders with character and integrity who will listen to and fight for New Mexicans.

4. Do you support abortion rights in New Mexico, and if not, why not? I’m strongly pro-life. This governor celebrates the fact that we allow for abortion up to birth in New Mexico. This is another example of an extreme policy that does not represent the values of this state. Many New Mexicans are unaware that we are the late-term abortion capital of North America, so much so that clinics across the country are now looking to move to our state. This is not consistent with the values of our state and I will fight for life.

5. What are the three major policy disagreements you have with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, and why?

This governor has failed New Mexicans on crime, securing our border, and providing a quality education to our kids.I will secure the border by redeploying the National Guard and creating a border strike force to target drug smuggling and human trafficking. I will fight crime by ending “catch and release”, return qualified immunity to our law enforcement, and end the current state of lawlessness by putting real teeth in our laws. To improve schools we will get money directly to the classroom, empower parents, and help catch kids from up the learning losses they suffered from the COVID shutdown.

6. Yes or no: Is Joe Biden the legitimately elected president of the U.S.? Yes

7. The national Republican Party calls the Jan. 6 takeover at the U.S. Capitol “legitimate political discourse.” Do you agree? There is a difference between protesting and violent riots. I believe in each and every person's freedom of speech and right to protest. Regardless of political affiliation, legitimate political discourse crosses a line when there is destruction of property, breaking of our laws, or violence of any kind. It’s disappointing that some on the left are willing to support prosecution of rioters on January 6th, but defend those who burned down police stations and looted during the riots of last summer. When protestors of any political persuasion break the law and riot, they should be prosecuted.

8. Much has been made of the state’s crime crisis. What legislation needs to be passed and signed to address the issue? To address the crime crisis, we need leaders who aren’t afraid to take on criminals. Our leaders have created a lawless society where it’s easy to be a criminal and almost impossible to be a cop. We must end “catch and release” and stop the revolving door of justice. We must support our police officers and restore qualified immunity. We must prosecute more violent offenders and drug traffickers in the federal system, stop the flow of fentanyl and drugs across the border, and end sanctuary policies. When criminals face no consequences, criminals will commit more crimes.

Greg Zanetti

Occupation: Financial advisor

Age: 64

City of residence: Albuquerque

Educational background: B.S., United States Military Academy at West Point; master’s in Strategic Studies, U.S. Army War College; MBA, Boston University.

Political experience: Former chairman of the Republican Party of Bernalillo County; Former board member, New Mexico Right to Life; former chairman, New Mexico Right to Work.

Relevant life experience: Brigadier General (ret.), US Army/New Mexico National Guard; former commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo.

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

1. Please evaluate the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Gov. Lujan Grisham earned herself an F-. New Mexico had the second-worst mortality average in the nation despite being among the most restrictive states in response to COVID. Pre-COVID, New Mexico was already at the bottom of the national education and economic rankings. Through her draconian lockdowns and unconstitutional mandates, the only things the governor accomplished by diminishing our freedom was weakening an already struggling economy and forcing our students to fall even further behind.

2. How would you balance the state’s dependence on oil/gas revenue with a climate crisis that faces New Mexico and the U.S. Do you believe there is a climate crisis? New Mexico oil and gas is a $27 billion industry that provides over 134,000 good-paying jobs and its revenue accounts for 35 percent of the state’s budget. The industry has been a godsend for the state. We are fortunate to have an abundance of natural resources and we need to do more to diversify our economy. Let’s utilize our supply of brackish water by building desalination plants powered by small modular nuclear reactors. It is a green-energy solution that will actually benefit New Mexico. We’ll become the water, energy and technology state and our economy will flourish.

3. In 75 words or fewer, what sets you apart from the other candidates on the Republican portion of the ballot? Leadership and skill set. As the commanding general at Guantanamo Bay, I led thousands of troops and civilians in a complex and high-profile command. I understand public safety and border issues. I am the only candidate who runs a for-profit business and understands how difficult the state makes it for small business owners. We need a governor who understands how to take New Mexico from worst to first in the current economic environment.

4. Do you support abortion rights in New Mexico, and if not, why not? I am unapologetically pro-life. I would especially like to see an end to the abhorrent practice of late-term abortion in New Mexico.

5. What are the three major policy disagreements you have with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, and why?

  • The Energy Transition Act: It has already resulted in increased energy costs at the worst possible time and concerns about the reliability of our electrical grid.
  • Social Studies Standards: Critical Race Theory and its themes have no place in our curriculum.
  • Open Border: MLG’s inaction has encouraged record numbers of illegal border crossings and has resulted in an influx of drugs and weapons entering into our communities.

6. Yes or no: Is Joe Biden the legitimately elected president of the U.S.? No

7. The national Republican Party calls the Jan. 6 takeover at the U.S. Capitol “legitimate political discourse.” Do you agree?

Tens of thousands of Americans were exercising their right to peacefully assemble around the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Among them were a few hundred agitators who were most certainly not participating in legitimate political discourse. Any individual who illegally entered the Capitol or assaulted a police officer deserves their day in court.

8. Much has been made of the state’s crime crisis. What legislation needs to be passed and signed to address the issue? New Mexico has the second-worst violent crime rate in the U.S., due to bad policy from the Roundhouse and a failure of leadership in the Governor’s Office. We must restore pre-trial detention for those accused of violent crimes and end the practice of catch and release. Let’s restore cash bonds and ensure our police have the tools, resources and manpower to keep our communities safe. We must also guarantee that the right for our law-abiding citizens to bear arms to protect themselves and their families is uninfringed.

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