Q&A: U.S. Senate candidate Mick Rich - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: U.S. Senate candidate Mick Rich

  • NAME: Mick Rich
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Commercial Contractor
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: New Mexico Labor & Industrial Commissioner
  • EDUCATION: B.S., Civil Engineering, Oregon State University
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: MickRichForSenate.com

On the topic of Immigration:

1. Please give your position on DACA.

To stay, Dreamers must be contributing members of the community (work or attend school) and obey our laws. If they do not, they cannot stay. If they want citizenship, they should get in line with everyone else.

2. Do you favor amnesty, a path to citizenship or worker permits for most or all of the people now living illegally in the U.S.? Who do you think, if anyone, should be deported?

Worker permits for those working, so they can contribute by paying income tax. Anyone seeking citizenship must leave and apply like everyone else. To stay, they must be contributing members of the community and obey our laws. If they do not, they cannot stay.

3. Do you believe the borders are secure enough? If not, what do you propose should be done to increase their security? Do you support Trump’s proposal to build a $25 billion wall?

Our borders are not secure, and they must be made secure. The goal is for immigrants to come to our country through our border crossings/entry points and not a free flow across the open border. In some places, this will be a wall. In others, fencing. In others, additional personnel. In others, additional tracking technology. I support President Trump’s commitment to securing the border.

4. What’s your position on skills-based immigration vs. family-based?

New Mexican’s loyalty to family and community is very strong. But not everyone that wishes to immigrate to our country and state is loyal to our community. We have seen it in with terror attacks in other countries, our country and our state.

Openness to immigration has ebbed and flowed since the start of our country. And it has always been the responsibility of Congress and President develop and pass an immigration policy that works for our country for today and the near future. What we have now is open borders and sanctuary cities.

On the topic of school safety and gun control:

1. Do you favor a federal ban on the sale of assault-style weapons? If so, what would you do about the millions of the assault-style weapons now legally owned by American citizens?

I support the Second Amendment. It is not acceptable to take away an individual’s Second Amendment rights because someone else violated the law. People who have broken the law should accept the consequences.

2. What other, if any, gun law changes would you support?

It is not acceptable to remove anyone’s rights without due process. There are individuals who have forfeited their Second Amendment rights because of their actions and or their mental capacity.

We need legislation to create a fair and legal process (not an administrative process) to temporarily remove Second Amendment Rights from individuals who have been convicted of a felony, who are mentally unstable, or who have a restraining order against them.

We also need stronger enforcement and punishment of convicted felons caught in possession of firearms.

3. Would you favor a repeal of the 2nd amendment?

Absolutely NOT!

4. While much of the discussion on school safety centers on gun control, what other measures would you support to make schools safer?

School that are “Gun Free Zones” are responsible to ensure safety of all students, teachers, administrative personal and visitors. Therefore, they are responsible to provide necessary security for all, by means of armed security and weapons detection systems.

On the topic of foreign policy:

1. What do you propose the U.S. do with regards to Syria?

I oppose nation building. President Trump was correct in wanting to bring U.S. forces home from Syria, but this must be carried out in a responsible way, taking into consideration regional dynamics and the situation on the ground. The pace of withdrawal should be based on security conditions in eastern Syria, not on a pre-determined timetable. ISIS is a resilient, adaptive, and savvy enemy that could resurge, as it has done before, if Washington turns its back.

2. In Afghanistan?

I oppose nation building. The U.S. and Afghan governments must negotiate a settlement with the Taliban from a position of strength. Until that is achieved, our troops must remain.

3. In Mexico?

We have an immigration crisis on our southern border because Mexico does not hinder illegal immigration into our country. Central and South Americans cannot travel to the USA without the assistance of Mexico. Mexico does not hold its citizens accountable for traversing the border illegally. We need to hold Mexico accountable for the illegal traversing our shared border. We need to secure our shared border.

We should continue to support fair and open trade with Mexico. We also need to address the funds that are transferred from the USA to Mexico from illegal activity.

A safe and strong economy in Mexico, Central and South America is good for all of the Americas.

4. Relations with Russia are said to be at their worst in many years after allegations of Russian meddling in our elections, the Trump administration’s decision to sell weapons to Ukraine and the recent expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats. Do you approve of these actions? What would your posture be towards Russia?

We agree President Trump has inherited a challenging relationship with the Russian government. We need to move forward.

Russia is a country in decline and it long-term outlook is dim. Putin and the Russian people still look back on their past when they were leaders of the communist world. A lion is most dangerous when wounded; Russia is wounded and dangerous.

We must continue to hold Russia accountable for meddling in our elections.

5. If talks fail, would you support a pre-emptive strike on North Korea to degrade its nuclear capabilities and missile delivery systems?


On the economy:

1. How would you make New Mexico less dependent on federal spending?

First, I will end the trend of other states and Senators from stealing the missions from our military bases and government laboratories. I will encourage DOD contractors to do business in New Mexico. We have great opportunities for the aerospace industry in Albuquerque, Roswell, and the Spaceport.

When I travel the country and the world, I will work as an ambassador for New Mexico’s workers.

New Mexico must improve its education system and decrease its level of crime.

We need additional sources of water that will not destroy rural New Mexico.

2. Do you support or oppose President Trump’s imposition of higher tariffs on China? Why or why not?

I support free trade if it is also fair. Our current trade with China is not fair, so I support President Trump’s efforts to negotiate a better trade relationship. We must play the long game with China – because they do.


1. Do you favor or oppose limits on late-term abortion, and do you believe tax dollars should or should not be used to fund abortions?

I believe that abortion of viable fetuses should be illegal. Tax dollars definitely should NOT be used to fund abortions under any circumstances. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood, the top abortion provider in the U.S., should not receive any government funding.

2. What should be done at the federal level to address the crisis of opioid addiction? AND Methamphetamines.

We need to secure the border to keep illegal drugs out of our state and country.

We need DEA’s help with law enforcement — not just for the large national distribution networks, but for the statewide and countywide distribution networks.

We need the DOJ to prosecute drug offenses.

We need IRS to confiscate drug profits, and prosecute drug dealers for tax evasion.

3. Do you favor or oppose a national single day payer health system ?

Strongly oppose. Indian Health Services and the Veterans Health System are prime examples of government-controlled health care systems that do not work. I have yet to have one employee say, “I do not need your health insurance — I’d rather have Indian healthcare.” It may be affordable, but accessibility is extremely limited.

4. What would you do to rein in health care costs?

Insurers should incentivize healthful eating and preventative health care.

Individuals should be able to select the insurance coverage they want, and pay only for the coverage they receive.

Individuals should be allow to live the life style they choose, but others should not have to subsidize their choices.

Individuals should be allowed to purchase healthcare insurance across state lines.

Individuals should not be required to purchase health insurance if they choose not to.

Healthcare insurance companies cannot discontinue an individual with existing conditions nor discriminate against someone with insurance and existing conditions.

5. If elected, are there any issues you could work with President Trump on, and would you be willing to do so?

I expect to work with the President on a large array of issues affecting America and New Mexico. When the President’s policies will help New Mexico, I will support them. When they don’t, I will not.

6. If you had to decide today, would you vote to impeach President Trump?

Definitely not.

7. Should the federal government play a role in setting education policy for the nation’s public schools?


8. Why do you want to be a member of Congress?

I care about the people of New Mexico. They need a Senator who will focus on good-paying jobs, safe communities, and an education system that works.

My opponent has abandoned the people of New Mexico to become just another Washington politician. Mr. Heinrich focuses on wilderness, but New Mexicans are not moving to Texas for wilderness. They are moving to Texas for good-paying jobs. Mr. Johnson focuses on legalizing recreational marijuana. New Mexicans are not moving to Colorado for legalized marijuana. They are moving to Colorado for good-paying jobs. Even Gary Johnson did not move to Colorado for legalized marijuana.

Personal background

1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?


2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?


3. 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.


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