Q&A: Senate District 8 Pete Campos

  • Name: Pete Campos
  • Political Party: Democrat
  • Occupation: Full Time Citizen Legislator
  • City of Residence: Las Vegas, New Mexico
  • Relevant Experience: Former Mayor-Santa Rosa; 27.5 years as an educator: At-Risk Teacher, Migrant & High School Counselor, Academic & Support Services Associate Superintendent, Superintendent Las Vegas City Schools & President Luna Community College; New Mexico State Senator – District 8 – elected November 1990 (30th year); Hospital Board of Directors – several decades; Bank Board of Directors – several decades; Led – Several Civic Organizations
  • Education: BA-Double Major-Economics/Philosophy-UNM; MA-Guidance & Counseling-NMHU; EdD-Educational Leadership-UNM
  • Campaign Website: petecampos.com
  • Facebook: www.facebook.com/senatorpetecampos Twitter: @senpetecampos

  1. What steps should the Legislature take to ensure New Mexico has a balanced budget amid falling oil prices and an economic downturn prompted by the coronavirus outbreak? Prioritization of health, education, public safety, environment and economic stimulus issues that address the common and most good for all individuals of all areas of the state. We must carefully analyze and prepare for a new norm/new economy as a result of COVID-19.  Identifying and leveraging stable revenue sources and crafting zero-based budgets within our means is paramount.
  2. What more, if anything, should the Legislature do to address a court ruling that found New Mexico is failing to provide a sufficient education to all students? My primary concern is ensuring our state’s population continues to be resilient and maintains good physical and mental health. The court’s ruling emphasizes the need for every child to receive the best education possible.  Plummeting resources, due to COVID-19 and unprecedented declining oil prices, have strained available revenues to completely address the court order.
  3. What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code? We must revisit the Gross Receipts Tax code and make adjustments that ensure a fair collection and distribution of GRT receipts fund local and state government. Careful review of exemptions and their relevance in today’s new normal-new economy environment is important. It’s time to revisit all aspects of our tax code to particularly address obvious and unanticipated economic weaknesses caused by this serious COVID-19 pandemic.
  4. Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales? Issues such as public health, law enforcement, driving under the influence, work place safety, economic diversification, taxation and unintended consequences must all receive serious consideration as part of enacting recreational cannabis. We have expanded the ability to use medical cannabis and hemp.
  5. In recent years, New Mexico has steadily increased spending on early childhood programs, such as home visiting, prekindergarten and childcare assistance, and created a new early childhood trust fund. 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?Prenatal and years 1 and 2 in a child’s life are the most important in providing nutrition, early learning and social skill development. Unfortunately, that is the period in a child’s life where we have spent less resources to provide the early and fair start our children deserve.
  6. Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party? Every voter should be allowed to cast their ballot for the candidate of their choice.
  7. Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances? I comply with federal law. I give voice to every human life which is priceless to me.  I have instituted and support numerous school-based and community public health care clinics.  I will do everything possible to ensure all persons have equal access to good quality physical and mental health care throughout their lives and full economic growth opportunities as individuals and families.
  8. Would you support a merit-based evaluation system to determine how the state spends its capital outlay funding? Should each legislator be required to disclose which projects he or she funded?I have been a three-decade advocate of short and long-term strategic planning and capital outlay reform with proposed legislation ready to further improve the process.
  9. Do you support or oppose requiring lobbyists to disclose which bills they advocate for or against?I support requiring lobbyists to disclose which bills they advocate for and oppose. The more transparent our lawmaking system is, the more trust and confidence we earn from those who elect us.
  10. New Mexico is highly reliant on the oil and natural gas industries to generate revenue to fund state programs, as evidenced by recent oil boom and bust cycles. What are the things you would do to diversify the state’s economy and revenue base? Diversifying the economy translates into economic stability and continuity, better budget planning and an evidenced based candid short and long-term evaluation of recurring resources available for program funding, effectiveness and outcome measurement.
  11. Do you support or oppose updating the current prohibition in the law on assisted suicide in order to allow aid-in-dying under certain medical circumstances?We already have compassionate and comfort care for those who have been informed by their doctor or medical team they have a short time to live. This care provides death with dignity to the patient and comfort to the family that gathers during the final days and moments of a person’s passing.
  12. Would you support or oppose a moratorium on fracking? And should the state impose additional renewable energy mandates as a way to address climate change concerns?Water is our most precious resource. It is incumbent upon each of us to support means to provide the best water possible for human consumption, farming, ranching, our natural environment (land and animals) and recreation.  The recent plummet in oil prices reminds us, it’s time to prioritize the diversification of our economy.
  13. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety?Community policing, neighborhood and business watch programs, improved training programs for dispatch and law enforcement officers, regular communication with the public by officers and officials provides confidence to involve all citizens in protecting their lives and property.
  14. Do you support or oppose the practice of legislative budget-writing committees holding closed-door meetings during the crafting of state spending bills?I believe in transparency. I’ve voted alone when bills regarding transparency have appeared before the full senate body. The key is communication, trust, prioritization, meeting the real needs of our state and not just dividing resources that may not be properly vetted and prioritized.

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? No.
  2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding? No.
  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.No.