As New Mexicans, we have many choices for the people who will lead our state forward, even in this age of political chaos.
I am proud to say I always have been, and always will be, a proud New Mexican. My family has been here for centuries, many of them making a difference in state politics, such as my grandfather, former Democratic Corporation Commissioner Johnny Block.
Although my grandfather lived in a much different time with less partisanship, he was a fair man who gave people the benefit of the doubt. Following in my grandfather’s political footsteps, I started paging at the New Mexico House of Representatives, where my grandmother, Eloisa, was the Assistant Chief Clerk. I interacted with legislators of both parties and learned how lawmaking happened.
In high school, I worked at Guadalupe Café, located next to the Capitol building in Santa Fe. One summer day, I served Congressman Steve Pearce and his lovely wife Cynthia at lunch. Although he was a member of Congress and had every reason to brush a young highschooler like me aside, he didn’t. He had a friendly conversation with me and treated me like an equal, asking about my schooling and family.
In college, I had the good fortune of working once again at the House as a Committee Attendant, where I met Rep. Yvette Herrell. I could tell she was a standout, especially with a notable Business Committee exchange between her and Rep. Debbie Rodella over the Real ID Act, which is now law. Herrell knew how to get things done and she fought passionately for her constituents.
Last summer, I interned in Senator Martin Heinrich’s D.C. office. There, I heard a lot of side chatter about Senate candidate Mick Rich. Seeing Mick’s travels across the state was a stark difference between him and my then-boss. I barely heard of Heinrich traveling the state and, when he did, it was to advocate his starkly partisan message, which often involved luxurious fundraising dinners.