Q&A: Congressional District 2 Claire Chase

  • Name: Claire Chase
  • Political Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Oil and gas executive
  • City of residence: Roswell
  • Relevant experience:
  • Chairman, New Mexico Oil & Gas Association; president, Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico; director of government relations, Mack Energy; deputy district director, Congressman Steve Pearce; senior legislative assistant, Congressman Steve Pearce
  • Education:
  • B.A., Journalism and Mass Communications, New Mexico State University; high school, New Mexico Military Institute
  • Campaign website: www.clairechase.org

What is your opinion of the coronavirus response packages passed by Congress and signed by President Trump? Is there anything you would have done differently?

I’m glad President Trump was able to secure help for New Mexico families and businesses that have been negatively impacted by this government-mandated shutdown. It was horrible that Democrats exploited the pandemic to force through a liberal wish list of unrelated spending, such as $25 million for the Kennedy Center.

What actions to restore the economy, if any, do you feel Congress should take once the outbreak has been contained?

Before we discuss further Congressional action, we need to focus on beginning to reopen the economy. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is currently taking a one-size fits all approach to reopening our state. This is the wrong approach. She could save thousands of jobs by reopening the economy regionally in less-affected areas.

What is your position regarding climate change? What actions should Congress take, if any, regarding the environment?

Last year oil and gas revenues accounted for nearly half of our state’s budget, and I will oppose any legislation that would hurt New Mexico. That includes policies like Joe Biden’s drilling ban, which would slash funding for New Mexico schools, let our roads crumble, and bankrupt our state.

What is your opinion on energy initiatives that have been introduced both on the federal and state level such as the Green New Deal and the New Mexico Energy Transition Act?

I will vote against any radical environmental legislation that would harm New Mexico. The coronavirus has shown us what a New Mexico without oil looks like, and policies like the Green New Deal would make that a permanent reality.

Fracking bans have been introduced in Congress by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and presidential candidate Joe Biden indicated in a debate he would support a ban. Where do you stand on the issue?

The fracking ban is an insane policy that would bankrupt our state. It is radical, unrealistic, and could kill 100,000 jobs in New Mexico. I was shocked when Joe Biden – who the Democrats claim is a moderate – endorsed this policy.

What is your position on the leasing of federal land for oil, gas and mineral development? Do you agree with the removal of energy development in a 10-mile radius around Chaco archaeological sites? Are there other areas of the state that should be considered for similar treatment?

I support leasing of federal land for oil, gas, and mineral development because it helps fund our roads, law enforcement and local schools. I know for a fact that our oil and gas operators take extraordinary steps to ensure they protect our cultural treasures when developing on public lands.

What are the most important actions Congress should take regarding people now living illegally in the U.S.? What about for those who want to come in?

Amnesty is not the answer, and it is shameful that cartels and human traffickers use children as shields to enter the country illegally. People who want to enter the country should follow the proper channels and do so legally.

Do you believe the borders are secure enough? If not, what do you propose should be done to increase security?

President Trump was right when he called the border a crisis and a national security threat. Anything short of 100% secure is not secure enough. Congress should fund President Trump’s border wall, more agents for the border, and better technology to detect drug-smuggling tunnels.

Do you favor a federal ban on the sale of military style semi-automatic rifles? If so, what would you do about the millions of such weapons now legally owned by American citizens? What other, if any, gun law reforms would you support?

The Second Amendment is a way of life in New Mexico and I will oppose any bill that infringes on law-abiding citizens’ right to keep and bear arms.

Federal spending plays an important role in New Mexico’s economy. What should be done to increase other economic drivers here?

New Mexico’s tax system is broken and it pushes away businesses to Texas and other surrounding states with friendlier tax laws. We should eliminate anti-business taxes like the gross receipts tax to make our tax code more competitive with our neighbors and help grow our economy.

Congress passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement as a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement. Are there any other trade initiatives you’d like to see Congress pass if you’re elected? 

Vice President Mike Pence came to one of our businesses to build support for USMCA and we were grateful to be invited to the White House for the USMCA signing ceremony when it passed. In Congress, I will continue to support President Trump’s efforts to get better trade deals for America.

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

Oppose.

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 am proudly pro-life. I oppose late-term abortion and oppose taxpayer-funded abortion.

What should be done at the federal level to address the crisis of opioid addiction? Any other drugs?

We need to secure the border to stop drug cartels and China from flooding our country with opioids, meth, and other life-ruining drugs. We should also sanction countries that refuse to crack down on criminal organizations inundating our communities with drugs.

Why do you want to be a member of Congress?

I’m running because 20 years from now, when my twins are 23 years old, I want them to look back and see that I did what I could to make things better for New Mexico, the state we love and call home.

PERSONAL BACKGROUND

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

No.

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

No.

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.

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