Meet the Candidates

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Santos Griego

Santos Griego

Age: 49

Occupation: Journeyman inside wireman

Education: High school diploma; Military tech training/electrical industry training

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. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“I can only say that I have a high level of positive energy and tenacity to try and solve problems head on. I am a hard working self-motivated individual that wants to ensure that everyone gets treated fairly and as our state representative I will be present and accountable.”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“If I had a choice in tackling a major issue in today’s environment, ensure the health and safety of our working families. That they have access to adequate personal protective equipment and institute policies to do so.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our state, and how do you propose to address them?

“The COVID virus has brought us as a state new challenges. What is most important to me and many working families is how do we provide education, day care, health services and job opportunities in a safe and productive manner to which we have a harmonious relationship between business, workers, state and local government and our most critical and essential working people.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“Today our state has many job opportunities in the building and construction trades. Our state is also on the verge of explosive opportunities in renewable energy jobs. I see from many sectors of industry a shortage of people to fill the openings. I would like to see more manufacturing of goods in our state ...”

5. Do you think the executive powers afforded to the governor during a public health emergency should be reevaluated and, if so, what should the Legislature change?

“No. Any executive order put in place by any governor should only be done when the need to do so is urgent. Upon taking in consideration all the facts of science and advisement from professionals experienced in their field of expertise.”

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Kelly Fajardo (I)

Kelly Fajardo (I)

Age: 49

Occupation: Business owner/marketing/Realtor

Education: BA Marketing

Previous elected political offices: Currently elected, 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. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“Since being elected to the New Mexico House I have established a reputation of being a fighter. I work across the aisle with both Democrats and Republicans and have been commended by both sides of the political aisle for being focused more on what is right and less on political party.”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“Since being elected, I have worked to protect our children and that continues to be one of my top priorities. I’m currently working on legislation to bring accountability to CYFD.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our state, and how do you propose to address them?

“We need a dynamic shift in how we approach everything from education, to job creation, to behavioral health to our tax structure. I’ve supported and proposed legislation to address these issues. We need bold change and someone who is willing to stand up to the status quo.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“We need to encourage small business and entrepreneurship and at the same time attract large companies by providing more access to funding that creates jobs. I have sponsored and supported legislation to support small businesses and legislation to update the tax structure that is preventing business from coming here.”

5. Do you think the executive powers afforded to the governor during a public health emergency should be reevaluated and, if so, what should the Legislature change?

“I believe the executive powers were unequally mandated. To allow large box stores to operate and close small businesses were done without reason, thought, planning or consideration. It was not the orders that were wrong, but the unequal treatment of small business and how those orders were executed.”

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Paul Kinzelman

Paul Kinzelman

Age: 68

Occupation: Pilot

Education: BSEE Carnegie-Mellon University, 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. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“I bring fresh, problem-solving perspectives for addressing our problems, having never held an elected public office. My priorities are very different from my opponent’s. I support strengthening our economy, good-paying jobs, public schools, expanding affordable health care, renewable energy, and more. I reject corporate funding.”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“We must rebuild the economy with smart government programs. The typical Republican plan of austerity will kill our economy and make things worse, just like it did after the 2008 recession. This time, we must be proactive about getting our economy going again. New Mexicans are counting on us.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our state, and how do you propose to address them?

“The economy! We must attract businesses and increase employment with good-paying jobs to adequately fund our future — the education of our children.

“Health care! Every New Mexican must be able to get the health care they need even with pre-existing conditions. My opponent opposed requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“With the sunshine that our state receives, we should be the leader in the solar energy field, increasing jobs and making our state less dependent on oil revenue. I support efforts to grow our science, technology, health, and agricultural industries, and also production jobs so we can buy local.”

5. Do you think the executive powers afforded to the governor during a public health emergency should be reevaluated and, if so, what should the Legislature change?

“I think the Legislature must be more involved in executive powers decisions. For example, in an emergency, the governor’s decisions would apply immediately for 30 days but, within that month, the Legislature should meet (electronically, if needed) to affirm or revise the emergency decisions. Governing by edict needs limitations.”

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Alonzo Baldonado (I)

Alonzo Baldonado (I)

Age: 46

Occupation: Real estate/small business owner

Education: Bachelor of business administration, UNM 1996

Previous elected political offices: State Representative District 8, five terms

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

1. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“My experience serving the last 10 years in this same seat. I possess the ability to work with both political parties in order to accomplish things for Valencia County and New Mexico.”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“Safety for all New Mexicans. Recent unrest across our nation has cast fear and doubt into the minds of citizens all over this state. We need stability to continue to enjoy our way of life.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our state, and how do you propose to address them?

“Our budget has been over spent the last three legislative sessions. New Mexicans saw that become an issue this year as COVID-19 and a decrease in oil and gas production created havoc on the already bloated budget.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“I work directly with the Economic Development Department on bringing companies with jobs to offer to Valencia County. I have strong relationships with many people in that department.”

5. Do you think the executive powers afforded to the governor during a public health emergency should be reevaluated and, if so, what should the Legislature change?

“Yes. There should be checks and balances to ensure that not just one person is making decisions that can cripple an economy. There are plenty of brilliant minds in the Legislature that should have a say in handling emergencies like we are facing in 2020.”

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Gail “Missy” Armstrong (I)

Gail “Missy” Armstrong (I)

Age: 54

Occupation: Business owner, rancher, stay-at-home mom

Education: High school diploma

Previous elected political office: Magdalena Board of Education

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

1. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“Feeling blessed and fortunate to be running unopposed.”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“Holding schools harmless because of this pandemic.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our state, and how do you propose to address them?

“One of the biggest challenges we have in our state is government overspending; we have got to be realistic about our finances. I propose that we make sure that our schools are funded, that we really take a hard look at governmental agencies and their funding.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“We have got to make sure we have reciprocity as far as licensing in New Mexico, and make sure the regulations we have are needed. I want to make sure that people know we are open for business.”

5. Do you think the executive powers afforded to the governor during a public health emergency should be reevaluated and, if so, what should the legislature change?

“I do believe that we need to reevaluate the executive powers, especially during a state of emergency. There are three branches of government for a reason. We should be able to be heard by the executive. We are not all the same.”

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Matthew McQueen (I)

Matthew McQueen (I)

Age: 53

Occupation: Attorney and small business owner

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 political offices: State Representative, 2015-Current

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

1. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“I am an attorney, a small business owner and a parent of school-aged children. On top of that, I have six years of experience in the Legislature. I have the skills, background, and focus to help navigate our state through difficult times.”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“I will continue to push for transparency and ethics. Our capital outlay system should be open for all to see. We need campaign finance reform so constituents know that we’re working for them and not for lobbyists. And if elected officials commit crimes in office, they should lose their pensions.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our state, and how do you propose to address them?

“The need to diversify New Mexico’s economy away from oil and gas has gone from urgent to critical. We should continue to pursue our strengths, including tourism and film. We should invest in tech transfer from the labs, rural broadband, and skills-based education. Cuts, where necessary, must be equitable.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“We need to support our small businesses (especially during COVID), improve educational outcomes and push for Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) start-up dollars to go to critical new businesses in under-served communities. We must expand broadband access, both as an economic driver and an educational necessity.”

5. Do you think the executive powers afforded to the governor during a public health emergency should be reevaluated and, if so, what should the Legislature change?

“On the whole, I think our governor has done an excellent job under difficult circumstances. Existing emergency powers could be strengthened by adding clarity and enabling faster responses. However, oversight must be ensured to maintain checks and balances.”

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Christina L. Estrada

Christina L. Estrada

Age: 45

Occupation: Landlord

Education: High school diploma

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? “Never.”

1. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“Like many of you, my family has been here for generations and also generations to come. My business is here, my ranch is here and I/we have to much to lose. I will fight for New Mexico. My life, our lives, depend on it. I am New Mexico, my opponent is not.”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“Education is the key to success. Being last for so long is disgusting. We need to bring back vocational studies. We need to teach our students and stop worrying about just teaching our students how to pass tests. I’ve worked in schools for 18 years.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our state, and how do you propose to address them?

“Right now, the statewide shutdown, by limiting the executive powers from the governor.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“I will work with any and everyone on the issue of jobs. New Mexico has many trades/vocational careers like, farms and ranches that need workers. We also need to teach our children that having a job, of any vocation, is a starting point to a gainful and successful career.”

5. Do you think the executive powers afforded to the governor during a public health emergency should be reevaluated and, if so, what should the Legislature change?

“100 perenct yes! One individual having so much power is taking us backwards. This isn’t a dictatorship. The Legislature was persuaded into giving the governor this much power. The Legislature needs to take back the power.”

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Jerry Gage

Jerry Gage

Age: 58

Occupation: Retired

Education: Associate in 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. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“A vocabulary. It’s imperative to any elected official to have the skill required to converse with both the public and colleagues.”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“Cannabis reform. We have three choices before us on the topic, I choose to recreationalize cannabis.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our state, and how do you propose to address them?

“Employment, education, immigration, crime. I propose taking full advantage of the 2018 Farm Bill.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“By creating an international trade collaboration for industrial grade hemp and medical grade cannabis.”

5. Do you think the executive powers afforded to the governor during a public health emergency should be reevaluated and, if so, what should the Legislature change?

“No change is needed on this subject.”

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Harry Garia (I)

Harry Garcia (I)

Age: 71

Occupation: Retired business owner

Education: 12th grade

Previous elected political offices: State representative since 2016

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

1. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“What stands out from my opponent is my experience I have gained in my time of service in the Legislature. I serve on the House Appropriations on Finance and the House Transportation, Public Works and Capital Improvements. It complements my interim committee assignments on Veterans, Transportation and Infrastructure, Indian Affairs, Land Grants and Public School Capital Outlay ...”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“One of the most important areas that I want to focus on is to minimize any cuts to education. We need to support our teachers, students and families to address the impacts of COVID-19. We have a landmark decision in Yazzie/Martinez that we need to address to meet the needs of our culturally and linguistically gifted children.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our state, and how do you propose to address them?

“We are in a financial crisis impacted by COVID-19 ... We have to look at the immediate short term initiatives and take a serious look at how we diversify our economic base. Addressing education and health care is an immediate challenge. We have to work in a bi-partisan manner to develop a comprehensive plan.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“One of the major issues I want to address is to continue our efforts to support small businesses and economic development initiatives that have suffered tremendously from the pandemic. I will continue to work with our leadership and the executive to find the resources to provide the much needed stimulus to reopen and jump start small businesses.”

5. Do you think the executive powers afforded to the governor during a public health emergency should be reevaluated and, if so, what should the Legislature change?

“I believe that the current balance of powers between the executive and Legislature provides the necessary authority and powers for the executive to respond to any crisis. Good communication with the legislative leaders can lead to a cooperative and collaborative strategic approach in times of crisis on behalf of our citizens.”

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Roy Randall “Randy” Ryan

Roy Randall “Randy” Ryan

Age: 72

Occupation: Retired LEO

Education: Three years 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. What makes you stand out from your opponent?

“I still believe in old-style morality. I will not vote to shut down jobs, agree to late term abortions and vote to raise taxes as did my opponent.”

2. What’s the one major issue you plan to address if elected?

“Crime, i.e. catch and release and increase enforcement of existing laws.”

3. What are the most important challenges facing our state, and how do you propose to address them?

“Regulatory burdens. We do not need the regulatory burdens that stop our state from growing. Each regulation must be reviewed to find out is it necessary and is it contradicting other regulations.”

4. How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?

“Need fair employment laws that provide better worker conditions. Also need to improve our education system, this should hopefully encourage them to stay in state. This should then draw in outside businesses.”

5. Do you think the executive powers afforded to the governor during a public health emergency should be reevaluated and, if so, what should the Legislature change?

“There should be more oversite on the checks and balances of the executive branch. This can be done by the legislative branch writing laws that limit executive powers.”

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