These are the Journal’s recommendations in the contested Republican and Democratic 2nd Congressional District primaries. Six candidates are vying for the seat being vacated by Republican Steve Pearce, who is running for governor. It’s a sprawling district that encompasses southern New Mexico, including Los Lunas, Las Cruces and part of southern Bernalillo County. The rural district stretches from the Arizona to the Texas state line and south to the Mexican border. Four Republicans and two Democrats are running in their respective June 5 primaries. The two candidates who prevail in those races will face off in the November general election.
For complete election coverage, including previous endorsements, profiles and candidate questionnaires, go to ABQJournal.com and click on the Voter Guide tab.
2nd Congressional District
Monty Newman – Republican
Monty Newman is an unapologetically conservative candidate who supports much of President Donald Trump’s agenda, including securing our nation’s borders, giving priority to legal immigrants who possess the skills that will make our country even better and pressuring China to ensure that American businesses and workers are treated fairly. His top priorities include promoting a strong military and creating jobs and economic prosperity and an opportunity for young people to stay in this state.
And while we don’t agree with him on all issues – such as his opposition to citizenship for Dreamers, those immigrants brought to this country illegally as children, and his reluctance to support common-sense gun-control measures – we recognize he’s the type of candidate who is going to roll up his sleeves and work hard for our state.
“We must grow and diversify our economy while protecting our labs and military bases,” Newman says.
Newman is a fiscal conservative who is concerned about our nation’s spiraling federal deficit. While he likes the tax cuts Congress and the president passed last year, he says he wouldn’t have voted for the bill because it wasn’t fiscally responsible – the tax cuts weren’t offset by spending cuts.
Newman’s background makes him a good choice for this position; he knows his district. He has owned and operated a small real estate business for more than 30 years, is a former mayor of Hobbs, past chairman of the state Republican Party, former vice president with the National Association of Realtors, is a former Hobbs city commissioner, and has served on various boards, including the New Mexico Junior College Board of Trustees, the Board of Trustees for the University of the Southwest, the Economic Development Association of Lea County and the Eddy-Lea County Energy Alliance.
The Journal endorses Monty Newman in the 2nd Congressional District Republican primary.
2nd Congressional District
Xochitl Torres Small – Democrat
Las Cruces native Xochitl Torres Small is a water attorney and former staffer for Sen. Tom Udall who says Washington, D.C., needs someone who will fight for rural communities. She says investments are needed in rural communities and smaller cities to support private-sector jobs. But, she notes, economic growth depends on a ready and skilled workforce, 21st Century infrastructure, collaboration and working with entrepreneurs and local leaders to capitalize on community assets. Torres Small says the federal government should play a role in supporting each of those components.
On border security and immigration, she recognizes the cost we bear because of our nation’s broken immigration system. And while she opposes President Trump’s border wall, calling it ineffective and an inefficient use of resources, she acknowledges we need to secure the border.
“I believe we need to support and fund proven, effective security measures as well as increased technology and surveillance along the border to better allow agents to identify activity and respond in a timely manner,” she says.
She wants comprehensive immigration reform that includes protections for people brought to this country illegally as children. But she wisely understands reforms should also include permits for those simply wanting to come to the U.S. to work, particularly in industries that need workers, such as agriculture. She supports maintaining current U.S. policy that favors family reunification and says reforms should include a meaningful pathway to citizenship for qualified applicants.
Torres Small also supports common-sense gun-safety measures, including a requirement for comprehensive background checks for all gun sales. Her other priorities include improving rural schools, access to health care and reducing the brain drain.
The Journal endorses Xochitl Torres Small in the 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary.
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.