NM House District 22 candidate Gregg Schmedes
- NAME: Gregg Schmedes
- POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
- OCCUPATION: Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of New Mexico
- CITY OF RESIDENCE: Tijeras
- RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Dr. Schmedes serves as New Mexico’s Director for the American Academy of Medical Ethics. He served with Samaritan’s Purse for two years in Cameroon, Africa providing surgical care to the poor. Dr Schmedes has been a voting delegate for the Greater Albuquerque Medical Association and was President of his medical school class.
- EDUCATION: Medical Doctorate, Texas Tech University (2009).
- Bachelor of Science, Electrical & Computer Engineering (2004); University of Texas-Austin; International Baccalaureate, Westwood H.S. Austin, Texas.
- CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: gregg4nm.com
What are the top two things you would do to improve the economy in New Mexico ?
New Mexico should adopt right-to-work, so we don’t continue losing jobs to right-to-work states, like Arizona and Texas. Most new jobs are created in right-to-work states. We should reform our outdated tax code which will create more jobs locally and support small businesses.
What are the top two things you would propose to address the state’s high crime rate ?
I support community-oriented police involvement. This encourages trust and partnership with our police force. We must rid our communities of drugs, as most crime is drug-related.
How would you address the state’s high DWI rate ?
We should modernize New Mexico’s health care system, achieving greater health care access to address addictions. We should continue to support our ignition interlock system. Repeat DWI offenders should face greater penalties.
New Mexico now spends about $270 million a year for early childhood programs, such as home visiting, pre-kindergarten and child care assistance. Do you support or oppose a constitutional amendment that would withdraw more money from the Land Grant Permanent Fund to increase funding for early childhood services ?
Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales ?
As a doctor, I oppose legalizing drugs for recreation while we have ongoing rampant drug-related crime in our communities. Our legislative session time is limited, so must focus on the major issues.
Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party ?
I support New Mexico’s current primary election policy.
Do you support or oppose raising New Mexico’s minimum wage, currently $7. 50 per hour? If so, by how much ?
I oppose raising our minimum wage because job-creation is what New Mexican families need. I’d rather help people achieve greater skills, leading to higher wages. Our economy best thrives in a free market, without the government tampering with wages and hurting small businesses.
Do you support or oppose basing any percentage of a teacher’s performance evaluation on student test scores ? Explain.
Oppose. This would only increase our focus on government-issued tests. We should trust our teachers to evaluate their own students instead of government-imposed pressure to “teach to the test.”
Do you support merit bonuses for teachers who do well on their evaluations? Do you believe unions should have the authority to block such bonuses ?
I support modest merit-based bonuses. Unions should not restrain high-achieving teachers; instead we should celebrate teachers’ success.
Do you think having 32 state institutions of higher education is too many? What would you propose to make higher education more efficient ?
I support our higher ed institutions. New Mexico should eliminate redundant programs, allowing our institutions to grow degree programs that have proven to be successful. This approach is more efficient and allows greater opportunity for our students.
How should the state’s lottery scholarship program be kept solvent into the future ?
Lottery expenditures should focus on our children’s education first and foremost, before reckless government spending.
Do you support or oppose making New Mexico a so-called right-to-work state, by changing state labor laws so that nonunion employees would not have to pay union fees as a condition of employment ?
I support right-to-work because New Mexico is losing jobs to right-to-work states. New Mexican workers should have the freedom to choose union membership or not. Right-to-work strengthens unions by encouraging them to compete for voluntary membership.
Do you favor making New Mexico a sanctuary state ?
I oppose sanctuary states because such policies cannot provide a truly caring or welcoming environment for our immigrants. Instead, I favor expanding legal immigration to enable us to truly welcome people to our state.
If an Ethics Commission is approved by voters, at what point do you think ethics complaints should become public ?
Due process must be upheld to ensure individual liberty. Ethics complaints should follow rule of law within our judicial system.
Do you believe the initial police incident reports and videos of arrests and crime scenes should be public ?
I want to instill more public trust for our first responders. Our police force should be trusted to make these decisions for themselves.
The state faces balloon payments on its Rail Runner debt in 2025 and 2026, a federal requirement for tens of millions of dollars in safety upgrades for the train, and declining ridership. On the other hand, the train is popular with the commuters who rely on it, and the Rail Runner may seek federal funding for the safety changes. Do you support continuing operation of the Rail Runner ?
Unfortunately, the Rail Runner is not economically sustainable. To be fair to our taxpayers, we must invest in sustainable projects in order to provide a better future to our children and grandchildren.
Do you favor imposing a gross receipts tax on all internet sales ?
New Mexico has more than 100 exemptions and deductions in its gross receipts tax system. Would you favor eliminating some or all of them as part of an attempt to lower the base rate? If so, which ones? If not, why ?
I support eliminating exemptions/deductions except those that support our active duty military, veterans and Native American populations. An appropriate gross receipts tax is low-rate, broad-based, and equitable.
What would you support to make New Mexico schools safer? Would that include changing New Mexico’s gun laws? If so, what specific changes to the gun laws would you support ?
The root cause of violence in our society is our loss of value for human life, lack of respect for authority, and broken families. We must address these problems, as well as mental health issues. I oppose any additional restrictions on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens ? No.
Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding ? No.
Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state ? If so, explain. No.