Karen Bedonie

Declined to respond.

Ginger Grider

Occupation: Industrial hemp farming

Age: 51

City of residence: Portales

Educational background: Undergraduate, Eastern New Mexico University

Political experience: Was an advocate and lobbyist for Parents Reaching Out from 2005-2010. I have been a medical cannabis patient’s rights advocate since 2016. I was the Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State in New Mexico during the 2018 midterm elections.

Relevant life experience: I have owned and operated a

small business in New Mexico for 25 years. For the past 16 years, I have fought to uphold and preserve the rights of special needs individuals and sick and dying New Mexicans. Heart of a servant.

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 governor enacted an emergency health order, which gave her nearly unlimited authority to place every resident in the state on house arrest, while committing no crime, nor having our day in court. The emergency order initially set for two weeks stretched instead to two-plus years. While good, hard-working New Mexicans sat home and closed their business with the honorable intentions of protecting their neighbors, big box stores and politically connected businesses were allowed to remain open and profit. State police was sent to shut down mom & pop iconic New Mexican businesses who dared ignore the edict.

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 New Mexico Oil & Gas industry already operates some of the physically and environmentally safest oil and gas operations anywhere. The unrealistic quest for being totally “green” is already adversely impacting the average New Mexican while once again picking winners and losers on a grand scale. The legislature created the state’s first ever billionaire by stealing money from the residents and redistributing it to the owner of a solar company. The worst way imaginable to handle any crisis is by giving more authority to unaccountable bureaucracies who will continue to line the pockets of their politically connected friends.

3. What sets you apart from the other candidate on the Libertarian portion of the ballot? I hold the principles of the Libertarian preamble and platform second only to the gospel in my heart. The truest thing I know is that every individual strives to be free. The cornerstone of Libertarianism is personal freedom and personal responsibility equally. It is my duty as a Libertarian candidate and a free individual to fight against the omnipotent state and the abuse of power of government in its current state.

4. Do you support abortion rights in New Mexico, and if not, why not? People own themselves; the government does not own you and they have no right to tell you what to do with your body. I support all bodily autonomy, 100 percent — no exception. The government has no place in medicine, period. The relationship between a doctor and a patient is a sacred one and should be treated as so.

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

Gov. Lujan Grisham has consistently chosen to advance the agenda of her party over the health, happiness and well-being of the citizens who she was elected to represent.

Closing businesses, schools, churches separating vulnerable citizens from sources of support and community.

Advancing aggressive progressive energy policy against the prosperity of New Mexican citizens.

6. Much has been made of the state’s crime crisis. What legislation needs to be passed and signed to address the issue?

Crime defined by the numbers puts me in mind of the “when you are a hammer everything is a nail” analogy. The law that defines what can and can not make one an instant criminal is burdensome and not easily found nor understood. Law enforcement spends too much time enforcing victimless crimes, revenue generation and not enough dedicated to violent crime and theft. New Mexico Law Enforcement should embrace the community policing model, which will help to repair trust between the community and the officers who should be protecting and serving it.

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