Meet the Candidates

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Santos Griego

Santos Griego

Age: 49

Occupation: Journeyman inside wireman with the IBEW

Education: High school grad, Los Lunas. NJATC apprenticeship for the electrical industry. United States Navy

Previous elected political offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. Why are you running for the New Mexico House of Representatives?

“I am running to ensure an active presence and representation for the people in our county. My work background is in the construction trades, which is an essential part of our economy. I will use my knowledge of the district and trade skills to work with the city and county legislatures to get the resources needed for a strong community.”

2. If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?

“Education, health care and economic opportunity.”

3. How should the state address its growing and costly infrastructure needs?

“To address the infrastructure needs of Valencia County our local and state leaders need to work in collaboration with the federal government to get a federal infrastructure bill passed.”

4. What are the top two issues you would address regarding the state’s high crime rates?

“Many causes of high crime can be reduced with prevention measures, such as having strong educational and recreational activities in the community and a solid economic base that supports jobs and business opportunities. Addressing these issues help people to value and contribute to their community in a positive way.”

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Kelly K. Fajardo (I)

Kelly K. Fajardo (I)

Age: 48

Occupation: Small business owner

Education: BA Marketing

Previous elected political offices: New Mexico House of Representatives

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. Why are you running for the New Mexico House of Representatives?

“In the time I have served, I have focused on improving CYFD and protecting the lives and safety of children in our community. To put it simply, I’m not finished yet. While we have made some strides in improving the lives of children, there is still more to do.”

2. If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?

“Continue to push to see improvements in CYFD to protect our most vulnerable. Continue to improve infrastructure around the county. Protect small business and provide opportunities to see them grow.”

3. How should the state address its growing and costly infrastructure needs?

“We need to make infrastructure a priority. In the last capital outlay bill, the governor vetoed local projects around the community. With this pandemic, we need to improve our community and put people to work and putting money into construction will do both.”

4. What are the top two issues you would address regarding the state’s high crime rates?

“We need a complete criminal justice reform package and learn common sense accountability for crimes. I am petitioning to be on the criminal justice reform committee this coming session. Let’s hold criminals accountable, provide second chances when necessary and protect victims.”

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Paul Matthew Kinzelman

Paul Matthew Kinzelman

Age: 67

Occupation: Cargo pilot (previously computer engineer)

Education: BSEE Carnegie-Mellon Univ, 1974

Previous elected political offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. Why are you running for the New Mexico House of Representatives?

“I will work to write and pass legislation that supports our economy and all New Mexicans, and makes New Mexico a better place for all to live, work, and play. For voters who oppose the Trump administration’s disastrous policies, as I do, I’m the alternative candidate in this race, Kinzelman4NMhouse8.org.”

2. If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?

“Campaign finance reform and public financing. Money (lobbying/bribery) is the root of many political problems. Improve teacher pay and education for all children — especially early childhood. COVID-19 shows the need for health care for all — especially mental health care. Mental-health issues are driving our opioid epidemic, killing people, destroying lives.”

3. How should the state address its growing and costly infrastructure needs?

“Transparency: Eliminate wasteful pork programs; audit all programs for waste. Establish hotlines for calling in suspected waste, fraud and abuse. Hold politicians accountable. Practicality: If necessary, dip into the permanent fund to balance the budget. When your house is on fire, do not worry about tapping into your savings account.”

4. What are the top two issues you would address regarding the state’s high crime rates?

“To address root causes: Provide training opportunities inside and outside of jail for convicts, and provide incentives for businesses to train and hire ex-convicts and homeless people; expand mental health care facilities, especially to treat addiction. We must reverse Gov. Martinez’s damaging austerity cuts that devastated treatment centers.”

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Alonzo Baldonado (I)

Alonzo Baldonado (I)

Age: 46

Occupation: Real estate broker; small business owner

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration, UNM 1996

Previous elected political offices: State Representative District 8

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. Why are you running for the New Mexico House of Representatives?

“I would like to continue the work that I have accomplished for the citizens of District 8. Serving since 2011, I have worked to make Valencia County a significant part of New Mexico’s economy.”

2. If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?

“As Valencia County grows, I will continue to seek infrastructure improvements to the area. I have worked several years to ensure that the north end of the county receives a new interchange and river crossing, an upgraded North Belen interchange, as well as an overpass in Jarales crossing the BNSF railway.”

3. How should the state address its growing and costly infrastructure needs?

“Planning is key to infrastructure. Our county needs to look at the entire need for future growth and plan accordingly. It is critical to be ready to move forward with projects when funds become available.”

4. What are the top two issues you would address regarding the state’s high crime rates?

“Reducing recidivism by creating a strong economy that has rewarding jobs for formerly convicted persons and implementing policies that ensure the worst criminals are off the streets while those that have a chance at a productive life are given that opportunity.”

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Gail “Missy” Armstrong (I)

Gail “Missy” Armstrong (I)

Age: 53

Occupation: Self employed

Previous elected political office: N.M. House of Representative District 49, School Board

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or felony in New Mexico or any other state? “No.”

1. Why are you running for the New Mexico House of Representatives?

“I have been in the Legislature for four years or two terms; I absolutely love helping people! It is an honor to represent the people of District 49, which includes parts of Valencia, Socorro and Catron counties. Really I want to work in a nonpartisan way to help New Mexico.”

2. If elected, what would your three legislative priorities be?

“I would say, education, by helping to remove barriers we could maintain a balance between compliance and creative solutions for all stakeholders ... Economic development, smaller rural communities deserve the attention that larger cities receive. Agriculture, respect and honor the farming and ranching communities. They are both an industry that requires greater support and fewer regulations.”

3. How should the state address its growing and costly infrastructure needs?

“Last legislative session there was several million dollars allocated to this, unfortunately we didn’t have the workforce to get all the projects done. If we could focus of infrastructure I believe more businesses would be attracted to New Mexico.”

4. What are the top two issues you would address regarding the states high crime rate?

“We need to establish a clear distinction between crime, mental health and the social issues we face in our communities. Our courts must be allowed to dedicate their resources to prosecute violent criminals who threaten the safety of our families. I’d also like to work together to establish a plan to help lower the recidivism rate.”

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Matthew McQueen (I)

Matthew McQueen (I)

Age: 52

Occupation: Attorney

Education: BA, Williams College; JD, University of Michigan Law School; MS, University of Michigan School of Natural Resources; MBA, University of New Mexico, Anderson School of Business

Previous elected offices: State Representative, 2014-current

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. Why are you running for the New Mexico House of Representatives?

“My core belief is that the role of government is to help make people’s lives better, and, for me, being in the Legislature is public service in furtherance of that goal.”

2. If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?

“The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a particularly hard economic blow to New Mexico due to our overreliance on oil and gas. As we recover, we must: (1) diversify our economy and increase opportunity; (2) support our local, independent businesses; and (3) continue the progress we’ve made in public education.”

3. How should the state address its growing and costly infrastructure needs?

“We need secure revenues, and the wealthy should pay a fair share. Our gas tax — one of the lowest in the nation — should be raised, but in a manner that protects low-income families. Our income tax should be more progressive, and we shouldn’t subsidize second homes through reduced property taxes.”

4. What are the top two issues you would address regarding the state’s high crime rates?

“The long-term solutions to crime are a safe and secure family life, quality public education, and good job opportunities, and fostering those will always be priorities for me in the Legislature. In addition, punishment must be swift and just for those who commit violent crimes, especially when they use firearms.”

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Rebecca “Becky” King Spindle

Rebecca “Becky” King Spindle

Age: 45

Education: Attended NMSU

Previous elected political offices: Moriarty Edgewood School Board

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. Why are you running for the New Mexico House of Representatives?

“We need a true voice in Santa Fe. I know the challenges our communities face. I will turn your concerns into action and I promise to remember the words of my grandfather, Bruce King, ‘Remember who you work for if you ever get elected to public office.’”

2. If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?

“Education, economy and crime. For details on these priorities, please visit my website beckyfornm.com or call me at 505-289-1762.”

3. How should the state address its growing and costly infrastructure needs?

“New Mexico needs to come up with a process by which infrastructure needs are met. Priorities outside of major urban areas must be addressed. It has been extremely difficult having three children at home trying to access the internet. A major infrastructure package must address many infrastructure concerns.”

4. What are the top two issues you would address regarding the state’s high crime rates?

“Addiction has been rampant throughout our communities. We have seen firsthand the effects of the opioid crisis. We need to provide better access to medical treatment in our own communities. We need to provide better tax incentives to therapists and physicians to practice in Valencia County.”

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Christina L. Estrada

Christina L. Estrada

Age: 46

Occupation: Landlord

Education: High School

Previous elected political offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. Why are you running for the New Mexico House of Representatives?

“I am running for state house District 50 because I am sick of sitting on the couch watching my so-called representative not listen to us voters. District 50 starts up in Lamy and goes all the way down to Rio Communities. We need a true representative.”

2. If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?

“In the lines of my district, my priorities would be drugs, education, wasteful spending.”

3. How should the state address its growing and costly infrastructure needs?

“Go out and see where the issues are and spend wisely.”

4. What are the top two issues you would address regarding the state’s high crime rates?

“First start talking about the major drug problem that no one wants to talk about! Quit putting the drug problem on the back burner. The drugs are killing our beautiful state, killing our beautiful families, and killing our beautiful culture! Then start busting the drug dealers!”

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Jerry Gage

Jerry Gage

Age: 58

Occupation: Retired

Education: Sociology

Previous elected political offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. Why are you running for the New Mexico House of Representatives?

“To be a statesman is one of the most honorable ways to serve our state. I want to bring a calm but determined focus on reason and common sense.”

2. If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?

“My top three would be to ensure that our personal liberties are protected in every decision to be made. Not to overturn legislation that currently works for the state. Take every opportunity to use the Farm Bill as a way to generate residual income without extra taxes.”

3. How should the state address its growing and costly infrastructure needs?

“I don’t have an opinion on this subject.”

4. What are the top two issues you would address regarding the state’s high crime rates?

“More mandatory sentencing.”

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Roy Randall “Randy” Ryan

Roy Randall “Randy” Ryan

Age: 71

Occupation: Retired

Education: Three years of college

Previous elected political offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1. Why are you running for the New Mexico House of Representatives?

“Have watched how the current representative has voted and do not believe he has voted in the best interest of his constituents.”

Election 2020

2. If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?

“A. Get back to following both the Federal and State Constitutions in regard to rule of law; B. Try to find a better way of treating and finding housing for our homeless, and; C. Pursue different ways of enticing different types of job opportunities.”

3. How should the state address its growing and costly infrastructure needs?

“Place a moderate tax on gas sales with it to be used exclusively for infrastructure, not other pork projects.”

4. What are the top two issues you would address regarding the state’s high crime rates?

“A. Change the current catch and release law; B. Change the sentencing guidelines on those that use a firearm in any type of crime.”

(Editor’s Note: Democratic incumbent candidate Harry Garcia, running for the District 69 seat, did not return the News-Bulletin’s questionnaire.)

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