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Editorial: Pick Heather Wilson In U.S. Senate Race

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Former Congresswoman Heather Wilson says she expected the people she would meet while running for U.S. Senate to agree that the top issues are jobs and the economy. But she was surprised, she says, at the level of fear she has seen concerning the nation’s direction. “We are closer to a credit crisis than we think,” she says. “We are not OK.”

Wilson, a Republican from Albuquerque, says runaway spending and the debt are the biggest threats to the economy, and getting solid job growth will take congressional compromise. Wilson says sequestration — something President Obama has threatened to trigger unless he gets the deal he wants on tax hikes — would be devastating for national security and could result in the loss of 20,000 jobs in New Mexico and put Kirtland and Holloman Air Force bases at risk. She favors extending all of the Bush-era tax cuts for one year and then tackling a massive tax reform to simplify and broaden the base, lower rates and help lower the debt.

Wilson’s considerable work in the nuclear weapons establishment and in the private sector as a defense consultant to the three U.S. national laboratories makes her uniquely qualified to defend New Mexico’s national laboratories and military bases. A Rhodes Scholar and Air Force Academy graduate, she worked on nuclear weapons policy as an Air Force officer in Europe before joining the National Security Council staff advising the first Bush administration.

Wilson supports the New START Treaty, but says as the U.S. lowers its number of nuclear warheads it’s essential “to be absolutely confident about the stockpile.” She says the administration’s decision to shelve a new plutonium lab at Los Alamos National Laboratory shows New Mexico’s congressional influence over nuclear weapons policy has declined.

Wilson says the Affordable Care Act should be replaced because it doesn’t cut health care costs but does cut payments to doctors when there already is a shortage of them. She is skeptical of Paul Ryan’s Medicare voucher plan but favors health care associations where organizations can join together to keep insurance costs down, insurance portability, consumer-directed care and restoring the $716 million the new health care law made in reductions to Medicare reimbursements to providers and to Medicare Advantage plans.

Wilson says our foreign policy should be rooted in our core belief in freedom. She supports sanctions and covert actions against Iran to bring pressure to bear on its leaders to back off developing a nuclear bomb. She says our support for Israel should be unconditional.

This race has two very viable contenders, but Wilson’s national security and military experience give her the edge at a time when New Mexico’s national laboratories and military bases — and the thousands of jobs that go with them — need a strong, committed defender in the Senate.

The Journal endorses Heather Wilson for U.S. Senate.

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

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