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Editorial: Journal Selections For N.M. Senate

The following is the first of two installments of Journal endorsements for candidates in contested elections for the New Mexico Senate:

District 9 — David L. Doyle

David Doyle was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2010 and now wants to step up to the Senate to try to end the partisan logjam that keeps important legislation from being heard. This district includes Corrales, Placitas and parts of Rio Rancho, Bernalillo and Albuquerque.

A Republican, Doyle says the special redistricting session was a waste of taxpayer money, and it’s frustrating that an ongoing power struggle between the Senate majority leader and the governor holds up good legislation. “It’s not about what’s right for the people. It’s just pushing agendas,” he says.

Doyle and a partner started a construction company out of his garage that today employs about 33 people and does projects statewide. He says the state is still recovering from the 2008 downturn and he is frustrated with continued government spending. He wants more reform of the state’s tax structure and examination of tax exemptions to see what’s effective.

Doyle’s top issues are jobs, education and border security. He favors repealing New Mexico’s driver’s license law, eliminating social promotion of third-graders who can’t read at grade level and using student progress as a factor for teacher evaluations. He opposes tax increases and wants the state to be more competitive in attracting business in light of possible cutbacks in federal jobs.

The Journal endorses David Doyle for Senate District 9.

District 10 — John Christopher Ryan

John Ryan has represented New Mexicans in the Senate since 2005, and his redistricted District 10 includes parts of the North Valley, Paradise Hills and Rio Rancho. He has years of experience in the legislative process, serving as a staff assistant to then-U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici from 1988-90 and as a legislative assistant to then-U.S. Rep. Joe Skeen from 1991-96.

In his seven years in the Roundhouse, Ryan, a Republican, has found homes on several vital committees, including Judiciary; Investments and Pensions Oversight; and Courts, Corrections and Justice.

A business consultant, he sponsored “the bill to repeal the law that gives New Mexico driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Our current law is a major public safety threat to New Mexicans and our fellow citizens throughout the country.”

Ryan also supports an end to social promotion, saying “passing children from one grade to the next when they haven’t mastered the basics is immoral.” He sponsored legislation to evaluate teachers and school personnel based on student progress.

In addition, Ryan has “challenged some in my own party by sponsoring legislation in support of stem cell research in New Mexico. I believe helping scientists pursue lifesaving research is more important than pursuing political ideology.”

The Journal recommends voters in the new District 10 keep John Ryan in the state Senate.

District 14 — Michael Padilla

Michael Padilla is seeking to represent a rural Senate district that covers an area from the South Valley south to Peralta and Meadow Lake and from the Rio Puerco east to the Manzanos. He is a Democrat running in a Democratic Party stronghold represented by Eric Griego, who didn’t seek re-election.

Padilla’s company builds customer service call centers and set up Albuquerque’s popular 311 information call center under Mayor Martin Chávez. His company also set up the call center for Gov. Susana Martinez’s short-lived program to verify the residency of foreign national license-holders. He says he has been involved with several community service organizations focused on youths, including YDI, Special Olympics, Junior Achievement, Head Start and Big Brothers-Big Sisters.

On education, Padilla supports a constitutional amendment providing funding for early childhood education and a teacher evaluation system that is developed by parents, teachers, students and others.

The Journal recommends voters in District 14 select Michael Padilla for the state Senate.

District 15 — H. Diane Synder

Diane Snyder is running to regain the Senate seat she held from 2001 to 2008, when she was unseated by Tim Eichenberg, who is not running for re-election.

Snyder, a Republican, supports repealing New Mexico’s driver’s license law. She says it’s a public safety issue, not an immigration issue.

She wants the state’s tax structure overhauled and believes New Mexico needs medical tort reform. She is against any tax increases until all taxes are evaluated.

She supports accountable education and says education should not be a partisan issue. She favors ending social promotion, using student growth as a factor in teacher evaluations, rewarding excellent teachers and giving teachers the training and tools they need.

Snyder is an advocate for ethical and transparent government and wants legislative webcasting expanded to include all committee meetings. Ending partisan gridlock is a priority. She says balancing the state budget on the backs of working-class people is unacceptable.

Snyder represented her district effectively in the past; the Journal endorses her for Senate District 15.

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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