Primary elections are June 1 in New Mexico.
The state has three Republican candidates running for lieutenant governor. Five Democrats are seeking the post.
We recently invited all to write a 300-word response to the question: How will you make New Mexicans’ lives better as lieutenant governor?
Democrats Brian Colon, Lawrence Rael and Gerald Ortiz Pino declined to participate. Here are the other responses:
This year will be a turning point that will either propel New Mexico into an era of economic prosperity or tie the “Land of Enchantment” to the same failed policies that have led to double digit unemployment, unparalleled budget deficits and industries fleeing the state.
It will take principled leadership to rebuild a government New Mexicans can trust.
History has proven it is our people, drawing knowledge from the many diverse cultures and traditions of hard work, that will bring New Mexico back.
I am confident in our citizens and we must give them a reason to be confident in their government.
Years ago, a high-profile DWI crash shook my family to our core. After that terrible tragedy, I took action, and work hard to make New Mexico’s roads safer for our families.
In 2000, when elected to the state Senate, I championed DWI reform. With the help of New Mexico families, advocate groups around the country, and by the grace of God, New Mexico has seen a 35 percent reduction in death and injury due to drunken driving.
Nothing is more important to me than family. Melanie and I have been married for nearly 30 years. As parents of three grown children, we have lived the challenges facing families today.
As small business owners, I can say that we know how to earn the trust of our customers, employees, and vendors.
As a state senator for over 10 years, I am fully prepared to assume the role of Senate president when I am elected lieutenant governor. I will strive to assure that state government works for our citizens.
Strong leadership is the key that will unlock job growth, end corruption, create educational excellence, and rebuild a trustworthy state government.
I will be that leader.
Most of us have a pretty good idea of what a governor does, but many people are a little unclear as to what exactly the lieutenant governor’s job is.
The most important part of the lieutenant governor’s job is to be the “get it done” person in Santa Fe, working with legislators to get the administration’s policies passed and onto the governor’s desk for their signature.
The lieutenant governor must be a skilled diplomat, a fearless negotiator with a solid grasp of the issues and a trusted leader with a depth of relationships on both sides of the aisle that he can draw on to create consensus and get legislation passed.
To implement new Republican policies, we need a lieutenant governor who has the proven ability and experience to get across-the-aisle support for conservative policies.
I spent eight years in the Legislature getting things done by earning the trust and respect of legislators on both sides of the aisle. I count among my friends and allies both Republicans and Democrats — because we realize that while we may not agree on everything, we need to work together to get things done.
My experience means that when we get to the governor’s office, I offer the best chance we have of actually getting a Republican administration’s policies through the Legislature and onto the governor’s desk.
I grew up believing there are two kinds of people — those who sit around and blame others for their problems and those who roll up their sleeves and get to work solving those problems. My experience means I’m ready, willing and able to roll up my sleeves and continue the work of making New Mexico the place we all know it can be.
The first element of my response deals with the responsibility that I will have as I preside over the state Senate.
The citizens of New Mexico have lost faith and confidence in the trustworthiness of many of our political and public policy leaders. This trust and confidence must be restored. I will set a standard of integrity and fairness as I preside over the Senate that will be a trademark for all of my work and assignments as the lieutenant governor.
The second part of my answer is directed to the work that I will do beyond the constitutional duties of the office.
I believe that I should offer my support and attention whenever possible on behalf of New Mexicans as they deal with the vast network of state agencies. Often, a properly directed phone call, e-mail or other contact can go a long way in getting a problem or citizen’s request for assistance moved through the bureaucratic process.
Finally, I am a genuine optimist about the future of New Mexico. While I share the worry and concern about the problems and important challenges we face as New Mexicans, I really believe that our best days are ahead of us. I will be a determined partner with the next Republican governor to tackle these problems, and to be a steady voice of reason and advocate for practical solutions.
I believe that my core values of trust, service and faith joined with my real-life business experience and seasoned political back ground have prepared me for this leadership role and will truly benefit the good people of New Mexico.
My campaign is about the people, not about special interests and not about politics.
As a former county commissioner, mayor, and state legislator, I know the people are concerned about jobs, education, energy, and the environment.
And we want a leader with high ethical standards.
I know that small businesses power the economy in New Mexico. When small business prospers, New Mexico prospers, and that means jobs. I am the only candidate with experience as a responsible small businessperson and I will work with small businesses to create jobs.
I believe the quality of life for all New Mexicans will be enriched by working toward a green economy. My district is home to the Aragonne wind farm, generating 90 megawatts of renewable energy. GA-Solar recently announced a $1 billion solar power generation project in my district. Renewable energy means good jobs.
In the state Legislature, I have been an advocate for renewable energy, introducing the bill that created the Renewable Energy Transmission Authority enabling the infrastructure to get renewable energy to market
I will ensure that we invest in education, decrease our deplorable 46 percent dropout rate, and prepare students for New Mexico’s fastest-growing job sectors: health care and telecommunications.
We have seen our leaders in Santa Fe let us down with pay-to-play and backroom deals. I am the only candidate to lead the fight for ethics reform. In 2009, I fought for legislation to put a limit on campaign contributions and, in 2010, I introduced legislation to end pay-for-play.
There is much to be done. I am the most experienced candidate with the broadest range of accomplishments having served the people as a three-term mayor, county commissioner and I am serving my fourth term as a state legislator. Experience matters.
In 1996, I became the first woman elected to the Senate from the Bernalillo County South Valley. I have served on the Senate judiciary committee and for the past nine years have been chair of the powerful Senate rules committee.
As chair of the welfare reform oversight committee, I fought to ensure that those receiving welfare (mainly single mothers) had access to childcare, training opportunities and quality health care for themselves and their children.
I have fought to increase funding for shelters and counseling programs for victims of domestic violence. I have fought to increase funding for victims of sexual assault programs.
I will work with the governor, the Legislature, state employees and the business community to find ways to improve efficiencies in government and work within our budget constraints as many of our residents do every day.
The last decade has seen more corruption in state government than I ever thought possible. As Senate rules committee chair, I have implemented criminal and financial background checks to know the record of those entrusted with state government. I have also helped pass into law a cap on political contributions, and have sponsored creation of a state ethics commission.
As your lieutenant governor, I will always advocate for a greater commitment to our education system. Our schools and communities need to work together to address the issues affecting our children’s success in school. Funding, accountability and student needs must and will be addressed.
I am the candidate with the most legislative experience. I am the candidate who has openly challenged the governor on the issue of ethics. New Mexico needs respectful, honest and hardworking leaders.