Editorial: Journal begins mentions in State House races

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Today, the Journal begins its citations for contested races in the metro area for the New Mexico House of Representatives. For continuing coverage of the Nov. 8 general election, including candidate Q&A, news and mentions, visit the Journal Election Guide at abqjournal.com.

District 10

Outgoing Democratic G. Andrés Romero

District 10 candidate Andrés Romero (Courtesy Andrés Romero)

Romero is a social studies teacher at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School, has served in the Legislative Assembly for the past four terms, and is chair of the House Education Committee. We agree with his view that “it takes experience and time to build institutional knowledge in order to be truly effective for a constituency.”

We hope that in future sessions he will use his first-hand knowledge to demand better outcomes for students and other voters rather than rationalizing the status quo.

In education, Romero emphasizes the long term, saying “we have an immediate problem, but we’re trying not to let immediate solutions come at the expense of our long-term goals. , and that is getting well-qualified and supported educators – special education teachers, ELL teachers (English language learners) and tribal educators – into our classrooms who are well-prepared to work with our students and the myriad needs that ‘they have.

Romero agrees that the Department for Children, Youth and Families needs reform, and he is not opposed to making it easier to detain defendants charged with violent offenses until at trial, although he argues that increasing the number of officers on the streets will be more effective than increasing sentences or “treating crimes” in curbing criminal behavior.

Romero faces Republican Mary Kay Ingham to represent the district that covers Albuquerque’s South Valley.

District 11

Democratic incumbent Javier Martínez

District 11 candidate Javier Martínez (Courtesy Javier Martínez)

In just four terms, Martínez rose to second in the New Mexico House of Representatives due to his intelligence and friendliness. He took over as House Majority Leader in August 2021 and is a leading presidential candidate.

Martínez, a lawyer, supports the concept of a rebuttable presumption to keep the most violent offenders behind bars awaiting trial and getting them services in prison. He also wants to mandate extended apprenticeship programs and reform our outdated gross receipts tax system that hampers business investment in the state.

“Each GRT exemption/deduction should be subject to reporting requirements and time delays,” he said in his Q&A Journal.

Martínez also says our Department of Children, Youth and Families “clearly isn’t working” and that he met with a group of lawmakers between sessions on the legislation to fix the agency and increase its transparency. He says we should expect proposals in the next session. We can’t wait to see them. It will take someone high up in the leadership of the House to push these proposals through the legislative process.

Martínez faces Republican Lisa Meyer-Hagen in the general election to represent the downtown district which includes the neighborhoods of Barelas, Santa Bárbara/Martíneztown and Sawmill.

District 14

Incumbent Democrat Miguel Garcia

House District 14 candidate Miguel Garcia. (Courtesy of Miguel García)

Garcia, a retired Spanish teacher, is the House’s second-longest-serving member with an independent streak that has seen him tangle from time to time with his party’s leadership, recently following the disbandment of the Local Government, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs Committee which he had once chaired.

But he remains proud of his record for “equality and justice” for Chicano communities. He was also a champion in creating programs to address substance abuse disorders.

Garcia’s legislative focus is public traffic safety. He wants to reintroduce a bill to establish automated red light cameras and create a ban on modified mufflers.

Contributing to New Mexico’s well-known problem with pedestrian deaths at the hands of motorists is the number of people in its neighborhood who walk down the street because there are no sidewalks or they are in such poor condition. state. One of his goals is to facilitate legislative support for better infrastructure in his community.

Garcia faces Republican Solomon Peña, who served nearly seven years in prison after being convicted in 2008 of stealing large amounts of merchandise from several big-box retail stores as part of a ” smash and grab”.

District 15

Dayan “Day” Hochman-Vigil, the incumbent Democratic candidate

Rep. Dayan Hochman Vigil

Hochman-Vigil was a prolific bill sponsor during his first two terms in the House, introducing 15 bills as a primary sponsor and 34 as a secondary sponsor.

She focuses on issues relating to mental and behavioral health, crime and the justice system. She was a key sponsor of the state’s Death and Dignity Act and now wants to overhaul changes to the medical malpractice detention and remand systems. She also wants to take a hard look at the Arnold tool, an “easier lift” than going through the process of another constitutional amendment to fine-tune bail reform.

Hochman-Vigil is an attorney specializing in aviation and aerospace, an important sector in the state’s ongoing efforts to diversify its economy. She could be an important voice on legislative issues relating to space commercialization, national laboratories and our three Air Force bases.

While the Legislative Assembly should have $2.5 billion in “new money” to appropriate the next session, Hochman-Vigil pragmatically says, “I think we should put a lot of that aside.”

She faces Republican Kimberly A. Kaehr-MacMillan and Independent Laura Gutierrez.

District 17

Republican Ellis McMath

Ellis McMath

McMath is already working with Republican candidate for House District 68 Robert Moss to form a road coalition so that New Mexicans get something tangible with record state budgets. He correctly notes that our rest areas are a disgrace and the roads in between aren’t much better.

A concealed firearms instructor, retired FAA air traffic controller, Vietnamese Navy veteran and supporter of gun rights, McMath opposes gun registration but says his position is changing regarding increasing the age to purchase an assault weapon. “It seems like it makes sense right now,” he told the editorial board.

McMath would bring both political balance and common sense to the Roundhouse. He supports giving New Mexicans dividends from excess O&G revenue and opening a dialogue among lawmakers on school bonds.

“When parents have choices, they improve their education,” he said.

McMath, who served as an Albuquerque reserve police officer, wants to rebuild respect for the police, fund more of them and bridge the gap with young people by hosting high school law enforcement days — all good ideas .

He faces Democrat Cynthia Borrego to represent the West Side-based district.

District 18

Democratic incumbent Gail Chasey

House District 18 candidate Gail Chasey (Courtesy of Gail Chasey)

Chasey, a retired educator and lawyer who has been heavily involved in criminal justice reform since her first election to the House in 1996, has a saying: “The opposite of poverty is not wealth, it’s is justice”.

She has sponsored several substantive civil rights and criminal justice reform legislation, including the prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and the repeal of the death penalty in 2009.

“You don’t have to be a liberal to support criminal justice reform,” she told the editorial board. She’s right. Arresting more people and building more prisons is not a long term solution to crime. And families of offenders need support when their loved ones are locked up so that support systems don’t disintegrate.

She also wants to make automatic the restoration of the right to vote for those who have served their sentence.

Chasey brought a bill for the city of Albuquerque to implement a violence intervention program. She supports gun safety legislation and pumps more money into gun buy-back programs.

While she opposes the rebuttable presumption, Chasey acknowledges that “pretrial detention decision-making needs to be improved.”

She faces Republican Scott Troy Cannon to represent the Albuquerque Central District.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned because it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than that of the editors.

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