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Primary election 2020: Sandoval County (Commission District 5, County treasurer, NM Senate District 9)

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — New Mexico’s primary election is Tuesday, June 2.

The Observer asked candidates for Sandoval County offices and New Mexico Legislature seats representing Sandoval County to complete questionnaires explaining their priorities, qualifications and views on topics in the public eye.

Candidates were held to a 450-word limit. If responses surpassed that limit, the answers were cut from the bottom until they were 450 words long. Otherwise, responses were not edited.

Candidates with contested primary races appear in this edition. Candidates with no opposition in the primary election, even if they have an opponent for the general election, will appear in the May 31 Observer.

Sandoval County Commission District 5

Democrats

 

F. Kenneth Eichwald

F. Kenneth Eichwald

Residence: Cuba, District 5

Past and present occupation(s): After graduating from UNM I coached and taught for 9 years. I ran for Sandoval County Magistrate Judge, Division 2 and retired after 24 years. I am currently the County Commissioner for District 5.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or DWI charge?

No.

If elected, what will your top priorities be for the county?

If elected, my top priorities would continue to be to improve the infrastructures in the county. These include, but are not limited to, economic development, road improvements, the expansion of broadband, and budgeting for First Responders. First Responders need to have the most up-to- date resources available to them, so that they can provide expert and excellent services.

Why should you be elected to this position?

I have been serving the county in various positions and would like to continue. I am a lifelong resident of the county and with the experience gained I assure you that I can face the challenges in our county. For the past 4 years I have learned a lot about county government and together, we can make our county healthy and strong.

What should the county do to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions?

The pandemic has changed the way that we were and are living.  The county needs to open slowly and follow the CDC guidelines. We should also listen to our First Responders team and adhere to their advice on opening and social distancing. As more businesses open, and restrictions are lifted, we need to do our part to get through this pandemic.

What, if anything, should the county do to prepare for possible future pandemics?

The county will need to allocate money in its budget for First Responders. The Sandoval County Correctional Facility also needs to have adequate funding to be able to release and monitor non-violent offenders with the help of the Judicial System.

What, if anything, do you believe should be done in regard to economic development in the county?

Sandoval County lacks the infrastructure to attract companies. In talking to different companies that want to relocate to the county, they all say that they would like to build, but can’t wait 18 to 24 months for the county to develop the utilities needed for building sites. The county needs to continue to work with the schools, colleges, and hospitals to build a work force, which it currently lacks. The support of the bonds for these entities need to continue to be supported by the county residents so that they can help build the work force within the county.

How will you handle the differing needs and competition for money between rural and urban areas and small communities in the county?

This shouldn’t be a competition because not all money that the county gets comes from property tax. Since joining the commission I have had to make sure that money is budgeted for District 5. The budgetary needs are addressed on a priority basis. I meet with chapter officials, Pueblo Governors, elected officials, and residents to determine the needs and how best they should be addressed. I meet with the county manager and attend all budget planning meetings to address concerns and issues in my district.

 

Taylor Pinto

Residence: Ojo Encino

Past and present occupation(s): Past – CNA, Store Manager  Present- Senior Citizen Center Supervisor

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or DWI charge?

No

If elected, what will your top priorities be for the county?

First and foremost represent District 5! Other priorities include: county to collaborate with Native communities within district 5, better serve the needs of all constituents.

Why should you be elected to this position?

My experience working with Aging program also serving on Board of Education for Cuba Schools, and Vice-President for Ojo Encino Chapter. Seeing first hand of issues and barriers we face. I feel I be a good candidate to advocate for more resources for our district to enhance the education system, health care services, mental/ behavioral health and public transportation.

What should the county do to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions?

Science and health data are important factors on basing decision on how we can safely reopen and plan for recovery from this pandemic.

What, if anything, should the county do to prepare for possible future pandemics?

If anything; shortfalls of PPEs and what didn’t work or what wasn’t in the plan in our current Emergency Plans should be a priority in preparing for future pandemics.

What, if anything, do you believe should be done in regard to economic development in the county?

County government needs to do what it can to support locally owned, small business and entrepreneurs.

How will you handle the differing needs and competition for money between rural and urban areas and small communities in the county? 

Based on community’s needs, work closing with local/tribal government, state senators and state representatives in advocating for funds from state and federal. Rural and urban areas should all be treated equally in the county.

 

Editor’s note: No Republicans filed to run for the District 5 Commission seat.

 

Sandoval County Treasurer

Democrats

 

Jennifer “Jennie” Taylor

Jennifer “Jennie” Taylor

Residence: Enchanted Hills in Rio Rancho

Past occupation: Operations Manager/ Licensed Private Investigator

Present occupation: Chief Deputy Treasurer of Sandoval County

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or DWI charge?

No

If elected, what will your top priorities be?

  • Collecting, protecting, distributing, investing and reporting taxes, while treating residents with the utmost respect.
  • Building and maintaining a good working relationship with all taxpayers and businesses/organizations.
  • Creating a positive work environment so that each team member can learn and grow together which will increase productivity to better serve the taxpayers.

 

Why should you be elected to this position?

I am the most experienced and credentialed candidate for Treasurer. I currently serve as Chief Deputy Treasurer and I am the only candidate that is a Certified Treasury Official and a Certified Public Official. As Deputy, I have had the privilege of meeting taxpayers from all corners of the County, learning of their struggles and successes and what their expectations are of Public Officials. I take this job seriously, I enjoy what I do, that is why I decided to run while ensuring I have the training and credentials to prove my dedication and competence to the staff and the Public. I’m the only candidate who has received the endorsement of State Treasurer Tim Eichenberg.

What is your financial management philosophy?

Protecting taxpayer money is the foundation of my philosophy. It is imperative to follow the proper checks and balances when dealing with public funds. There are policies and procedures already in place to guarantee that county money is protected at all times. We will continue these practices and update when needed. Safety, liquidity and yield is my philosophy in managing investments. Liquidity is essential when investing as this allows money to be moved around more easily if needed. The ultimate goal is to earn off our investment dollars using best investment practices (yield).

What is your plan in regard to working with the county commission and other county officials if you’re elected?

My plan is to work in an independent and nonpartisan manner. The Treasurer’s position does not dictate policy, law or political agendas. We are here to invest, protect and provide transparency on where taxpayer money is being distributed and collected. I plan on working with Commissioners and Officials to bring accountability and transparency to the local offices in which the public entrusts.

 

Ronnie A. Sisneros

Ronnie A. Sisneros

Residence: Bernalillo

Past and present occupation(s): Retired from Sandoval County Assessor’s office as a Commercial Appraiser Supervisor

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or DWI charge? No

If elected, what will your top priorities be? 

Establishing a key position of Treasury Operations Manager which encompasses monitoring, managing and overseeing all accounts, investments, bank accounts and cash flow functions.  Also, hiring to fill vacant staff positions due to retirements and transferring to different departments within the county.  These are key positions in running the office.  I would like to explore options for better investing county funds.

Why should you be elected to this position?

Serving as an elected official for a total of 22 years.  Served as Sandoval County Assessor from 1983 – 1986 (2 – 2 year terms).  Eighteen years as a Councilman for the Town of Bernalillo.  In those years I have developed strong supervisory, administrative and management skills.  I also worked with large budget amounts in the Assessor’s office and with the Town of Bernalillo.  Working with the public for all these years I have also gained good communication and interpersonal skills.

What is your financial management philosophy?

I would like to keep it as simple as possible and make sure that funds are invested as legally permitted by State and Federal statutes.  Bottom line is making sure expenditures do not exceed revenue.

What is your plan in regard to working with the county commission and other county officials if you’re elected?

I would like to establish an understanding with the county commission and other elected officials that it isn’t about us but what we can do for all citizens of Sandoval County.  Most important is “open communication”.  We need to understand that as elected officials we are motivated by a desire to improve and serve our county citizens.

 

Republicans

 

Benay Ward

Benay Ward

Residence: Rio Rancho

Past and present occupation(s): former Chief Deputy Assessor

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or DWI charge?

NO

If elected, what will your top priorities be?

The County must reevaluate all projects as we begin to see the impact of COVID19 on our community. Emphasis should be on projects that are most beneficial to a positive recovery for our businesses and citizens. The investment policy for Sandoval County, in this economic climate, must achieve the highest and safest returns possible according to the law. Working cooperatively with the Board of Commissioners, as the County Board of Finance, and with the services of a financial adviser, I will develop an investment strategy that tailors investments to meet the goals and expectations of the county. With open communication and a clear goal, the county will be provided safe, liquid and high yield investments.

Why should you be elected to this position?

I have 15+ years of experience in county government, serving mainly as the Quality Control Supervisor for the San Juan County Assessor’s Office. This was an audit and compliance function but also included the eligibility and verification of tax saving benefits available to property owners. I also served as the Chief Deputy Assessor, managing the office, and ensuring all aspects of the office were efficiently accomplished. Working full time, I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Administration from New Mexico Highlands University. While completing my Master’s I co-authored an article published in the Journal of Finance & Accountancy, addressing the expectation of taxpayers when community needs were met. My direct experience and education give me a well-rounded perspective of assisting the public and working with commissioners and county leadership.

What is your financial management philosophy?

Government is not a business, but we must treat it as one. With my dedication and expertise, I bring to this position a commonsense approach for the common good. Acting with the highest standard of professionalism and in a timely and effective manner, I will ensure improvements are made and efficiencies are realized that benefit the Treasurer’s Office and the citizens of Sandoval County. Property taxes are the backbone that keep the local governmental entities functioning. Without this revenue, schools, colleges, police and fire departments, community programs and the judicial systems would not receive sufficient funding. I will earnestly pursue the productivity, accountability, and distribution of taxpayer dollars so that adequate funding is established, and services are available.

What is your plan in regard to working with the county commission and other county officials if you’re elected?

Leadership must have open communication. Sandoval County is slated to be the fastest growing county in New Mexico. With this growth it is essential to plan and project for the needs of our county. Through the duties of the Treasurer and as part of the elected leadership I will collaborate with commissioners and other officials in projects determined to be beneficial to our economic development, educational institutions, infrastructure and especially to the citizens of Sandoval County.

 

Carlos J. Sanchez

Carlos J. Sanchez

Residence: Northern Meadows POA in Rio Rancho, where I served 4 years on the Board of Directors as VP & Treasurer

Past and present occupation(s): I am a Real Estate Qualifying Broker based in Rio Rancho and serving the local community

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or DWI charge?

No felony convictions. One DWI 22 years ago.

If elected, what will your top priorities be?

My top priorities would be tax-payer oriented as we maneuver through the covid-19 crisis and always under the direction of Sandoval County Commissioners whom I have known for years. Seeking that tax-payers have a modernized online property tax portal for better engagement, information and assistance. We must ensure that in the wake of the covid-19 economic downturn, homeowners in Sandoval County are never overwhelmed by fiscal pressure, or miss any relevant information that may benefit them. Implementing measures to alleviate or suspend collection actions for those in distress while keeping an eye on budget cuts will be a full- time job on its own. I look forward to working with staff in ensuring a professional and positive work environment as we tactfully deliver on our commitments to the public.

Why should you be elected to this position?

On the primary election of June 2, I’d appreciate if the Republican candidate with a better performance track record here in Sandoval, wins. I have been an advanced tax examiner for both the private and public sector to date. I serve on Rio Rancho’s Planning & Zoning Board giving district 2 a voice in the development process. I am also a Political Science Major with UNM and possess an additional degree in business administration. I have tirelessly volunteered my time for the community. Anything from collecting food for the less privileged to cleaning up the mesa, or canvassing neighborhoods for several Republican candidates.

You may find full details about me on: https://www.facebook.com/CJSANCHEZ4sandovaltreasurer

What is your financial management philosophy?

My financial management position emanates from over 10 years of professionally managing homeowner associations and consistently finding budgetary efficiencies and savings. Assisting residents in Mariposa for example, but also engineering operational & reserve budgets that have performed as intended over the years. Collecting dues and taxes in arrears and administering funds while promptly reporting income, expenses and budget variances. The office of the Treasurer in Sandoval Co. will be forced to make many adjustments in the coming years. We need a versed & experienced driver to work with Commissioners in overcoming this crisis.

What is your plan in regard to working with the county commission and other county officials if you’re elected?

I have worked with Chairman Dave Heil at the P&Z Board before. I’ve also known Commissioner Jay Block for a while. I look forward to working with everyone beyond party lines. A renewed leadership is pivotal to keep moving Sandoval County forward while working well with the Commission.

I humbly and sincerely thank you for your consideration and vote.

 

New Mexico State Senate District 9

Democrats

 

Brenda McKenna

Brenda McKenna

Residence: Corrales

Past and present occupation(s): I proudly serve as a Field Representative for Congresswoman Deb Haaland.  I have also served as Chair of the former Nambé Pueblo Gaming Enterprise Board; Examiner for Quality New Mexico; Public Relations Director for the League of Women Voters, Central NM; and as co-coordinator for the Nanbé-Tewa Language Revitalization Program with the University of New Mexico Department of Linguistics on the development of the Program’s first dictionary and grammar handbook.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or DWI charge?

No.

What will your top priorities be if elected?

I will work with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to help New Mexicans get the healthcare they need; fully fund K-12 education and early childhood education; and protect small business from job losses and closings during the coronavirus and its aftermath.

Why should you be elected to this position?

I care deeply about this district and our state.  I am from Nanbé Ówîngeh (Pueblo) and come from a family of service.  My mother is a recognized scholar and teacher of the Nanbé-Tewa language and my father served in both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.  I know what families are going through now and will work tirelessly to bring our state back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

What should be done to help the nation recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and on what timeline?

First, we must not allow cuts to critical programs, such as public education and healthcare.  Second, we must provide immediate assistance to small businesses and ensure that federal and state dollars meant to help small businesses actually get there.

What, if anything, should the state do to prepare for the possibility of future pandemics?

NM needs to recruit more primary care physicians (PCP). More practicing PCPs would diagnose the early signs of pandemics.  Increasing residencies and salaries along with decreasing medical school debt are worthy considerations to address the PCP shortage.

We must continue to have strong leadership in the Governor’s office, tribal governments, and cities and counties to ensure that public health experts (PHE) guide us through future pandemics. Our governor has set an example for future governors: enlist PHEs’ advice early and through all stages of implementation and recovery.

What should be done about the state’s budget shortfall?

We must even out the boom-and-bust cycle of oil and gas.  Our state can both increase tax revenue through measures such as increasing the capital gains tax and ensuring the wealthiest pay their fair share; and diversify our economy through clean industries that meet our strengths, such as eco-tourism, local foods and agriculture (including cannabis and hemp), and clean, renewable energy.

What should be done about education in New Mexico?

We must increase overall funding for public education, including increasing educator pay to attract the best qualified to our state, invest more in early childhood education, and include high-quality, full-day PreK.  There are few things better than high-quality, early childhood programs to improve educational and life outcomes.

 

Ben Rodefer

Ben Rodefer

Residence: Moved to District in 1967

Past and present occupation(s): small business owner

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or DWI charge?

No

What will your top priorities be if elected? 

Rebuilding our economy, expanding and improving our health care, schools, infrastructure and public safety. Protecting our clean water.

Why should you be elected to this position?

Now more than ever experience matters. I represented us as a State Rep in the NM House and also when younger worked for US Senator Jeff Bingaman. I am the only candidate with prior elected experience, so I’m ready to hit the ground running and get things done. I moved here in 1967 and know and love this community. I will work hard for us.

What should be done to help the nation recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and on what timeline?

Obama’s USDA Director Terry Brunner said “Ben’s leadership was crucial to our recovering from the Great Recession.” As we face a significant post-pandemic recovery I am ready again to help heal our economy and community. I believe we need to support New Mexico’s local businesses and not throw money at big out of state corporations to “maybe” bring jobs here. We need to invest in rebuilding our infrastructure and improving our schools. I was the President (twice) of the New Mexico Renewable Energy Association which has for decades been the greatest job growth sector in New Mexico, so I am a big proponent of clean energy. None of this will be quick nor easy though but if we work together as a team, listen and collaborate, we can rebuild our community and our State.

What, if anything, should the state do to prepare for the possibility of future pandemics?

We need to take back control of our healthcare marketplace from the feds. So many of our friends and neighbors when they are losing their jobs are also losing their health care coverage, and what an absolutely difficult and scary time to be without health insurance. If we take back control of our own marketplace we’ll be able to extend open enrollment whenever appropriate and ensure everyone has access to good, quality healthcare.

What should be done about the state’s budget shortfall?

We need to diversify our economy and state revenue streams. While I was in the NM House I wrote several of our key renewable and solar energy bills and also tried to start a new interim committee to look at supporting other key sectors in the state’s economy, including outdoor recreation, film, arts & culture, tech, etc.

What should be done about education in New Mexico?

I am endorsed by Rio Rancho’s teachers through AFT-NM. I believe we need to ensure that a higher portion of our limited education budget gets down directly into the classrooms where it belongs, supporting our teachers and improving our children’s educations and future opportunities. We need to also make sure financial and media literacy are taught in all high schools and that we continue to fund arts programs which are so vital to providing our students with a truly well-rounded education.

 

Kevin Lucero

Kevin Lucero 

Residence: Corrales

Past and present occupation(s): Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputy/Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, Livestock Inspector/New Mexico Livestock Board, Records Analyst/New Mexico State Records Center

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or DWI charge?

No Convictions

What will your top priorities be if elected?

Ensuring Public Safety through Criminal Justice Reform. I believe that we need to divert cases centered on mental health and substance abuse issues out of the criminal justice system and into a path to treatment to address the underlying problems. But without programs to divert cases with proper funding and support, we continue to try and incarcerate ourselves out of the problem, creating a system that essentially fuels the crime crisis we have raging through our communities.

Why should you be elected to this position?

My two decades in law enforcement and public safety and my time as a Corrales Village Councilman makes me uniquely equipped to tackle criminal justice reform, improve public education, and make tough decisions as a policy maker; which is going to have to be done as we work towards economic recovery. Regardless of where legislators fall in the political spectrum, difficult choices are going to have to be made. I was born and raised in Sandoval County, this community has made me the person I am today and now I have this great opportunity to serve and give back by being a strong voice for working families in the roundhouse.

What should be done to help the nation recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and on what timeline?

While providing much needed assistance in the form of recovery rebates and assistance for budget gaps and expanded unemployment benefits the CARES Act still needed work on expanding SNAP benefits, assistance for tribal governments, local and county governments who are going to see tax revenue plunge and providing economic recovery assistance for state’s like New Mexico who will be particularly negatively impacted by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. In future federal assistance I’d hope our federal partners see some of these shortcomings addressed.

What, if anything, should the state do to prepare for the possibility of future pandemics?

I believe that NM should stockpile the much-needed PPEs to protect the frontline workers. We have to make sure our hospitals are trained and ready for what might come next. Our Health Department should have a Pandemic Research Team, in conjunction with the EOC, to identify and plan for future public health emergencies.

What should be done about the state’s budget shortfall?

We are in unprecedented times and sacrifices will have to be made, but we don’t want to enact drastic austerity measures that will hurt future generations.  Any cuts which will have to be made should be made with a scalpel and not a hacksaw.  New Mexico is in a unique situation with funds set aside for exactly this type of financial situation.

What should be done about education in New Mexico?

For one, approving the Constitutional Amendment to further fund Early Childhood Education.  The research backs the initiative and I believe we owe it to our kids and teachers to give them the best chance possible to succeed.

 

Republicans

 

Bridget Condon

Residence: Rio Rancho

Past and present occupation(s):

  • Current: Director of Business Development, Sandoval Economic Alliance
  • Director of Public Policy, NM Association of Commerce and Industry
  • Field Representative, Congressman Steve Pearce
  • I also held various roles in his DC office before returning to NM

 

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or DWI charge?

No

What will your top priorities be if elected?

Creating jobs and promoting economic prosperity by protecting our small businesses, investing in workforce development, increasing apprenticeship opportunities, making our tax code and regulations fair and consistent, and making critical infrastructure investments.

Protecting budget accountability by lowering taxes, ensuring commonsense appropriations, and promoting responsible spending and government accountability.

Why should you be elected to this position?

New Mexico is my home and I want to help create job opportunities and promote economic growth so that others can choose to work, live, and stay here in our beautiful state. My career has been focused on bringing people together to further grow our region’s economy, promote business friendly policies, and create new jobs for hardworking New Mexicans. I see firsthand how New Mexico’s tax code, regulations, and a lack of investment in infrastructure and our education system keeps us from being competitive and takes away our chances to attract job creators. I am running for State Senate to set us on the right path and begin to break down the barriers that hold us back from achieving our state’s unrealized potential. Just as I have brought people and stakeholders with differing views together throughout my career, as a Senator I will reach across party lines and build consensus while never comprising my core values as a pragmatic Republican.

What should be done to help the nation recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and on what timeline?

Because I would only be able to influence a state level response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I will answer from that perspective. What is clear from talking to business owners, particularly small and family owned business, throughout this pandemic is that their ability to recover is going to be incredibly tough even once they are able to reopen at a full capacity. New Mexico was one of the slowest state’s to recover after the last recession, and I fear that we could see the same narrative play out if lawmakers are not proactive in helping our existing employers across the state and striving to attract new companies and jobs. Immediately the state needs to provide relief through incentives or tax breaks to help businesses implement any government mandates such as the CSPs currently in place. Likewise, we need to ensure employers will not be punished by higher unemployment insurance rates or other fines/penalties as a result of being forced to close their doors. Longer term, and what was true even before the COVID pandemic, the state needs to make New Mexico business friendly through methods such as lowering taxes and simplifying our tax code, ensuring timely responses from government.

 

John Clark

John Clark

Residence: New Mexico State Senate District #9

Past and present occupation(s): I am a business owner and have lived in Sandoval County, for 26 years. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at UNC Greely, and served as legislative intern for Colorado State Senator, Al Meiklejohn. I have 10 years prior corporate Sales and Marketing experience.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or DWI charge?

NO.

What will your top priorities be if elected?

To assist in the development of a realistic balanced budget without increasing taxes, stimulate the economy, create jobs and grow businesses, revamp and improve education, address health care/insurance concerns, improve land & water infrastructure; mitigate the crime problem, and write policies that protect and put New Mexican’s first while defending our U.S. Constitutional rights, ensuring safety and security for all New Mexicans.

Why should you be elected to this position?

I love New Mexico and wish to utilize my proven, successful business experience, ideas and acumen to help make an exceptional difference for New Mexicans. I possess the knowledge and ingenuity to produce jobs that will keep life-long New Mexicans and their families employed and successful so that they too can embrace the heartbeat of economic growth, small business. I am a proven performer and possess the energy, ideas, and tenacity to design a game plan for success that will withstand escalating crime, declining education, deteriorating infrastructure, and worsening poverty.

What should be done to help the nation recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and on what timeline?

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented damage to our country on all levels. It is imperative to use prudence in re-opening our nation, securing our economy, and ensuring the safety of all people. It is unrealistic to foresee all angles of mitigation, however we can:

  • Safely re-open all businesses & schools 100% as soon as possible, within Federal COVID-19 safety guidelines.
  • Increase testing to ensure the safety of employees, customers, students, and families.

 

What, if anything, should the state do to prepare for the possibility of future pandemics?

We need to appropriate more funds in our state budget, which would cover the necessary costs of medical supplies, testing, hospitalization, etc., as well as develop safe and effective vaccinations. We need to protect the people first, minimize government overreach, and set up an advisory board to oversee the decisions of the Governor’s executive orders.

What should be done about the state’s budget shortfall?

Our state budget should be tied to the cost of living, not to the surpluses gained, such as oil and gas revenues.  We must trim all budgets until the general budget is balanced. We need to eliminate wasteful spending and reduce taxes in order to grow our economy, population, and make business more tax friendly, with no new taxes imposed.

What should be done about education in New Mexico?

Smart allocation of funds that make students, teachers, administrators, and parents accountable, will improve performance, increase parental involvement, and raise the accountability bar – School Choice should be an option and will result in a better overall report card for the students, teachers, our state, and the nation.

 

Tania Dennis

Tania Dennis

Residence: Corrales

Past and present occupation(s): Former Intelligence Analyst and now own my own small business

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or DWI charge?

I have never been convicted of a felony or DWI.

What will your top priorities be if elected?

My priorities are family/children, education, homelessness, small business and veterans

Why should you be elected to this position?

I am not a politician and I feel that’s one of my biggest strength. I’m running because I want to be a change maker in my community and make New Mexico stronger. I want this state to be a place full of opportunity so that our children want to stay here and grow!

What should be done to help the nation recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and on what timeline?

I believe that our nation needs to reopen in a way that makes people feel safe. That being said, we have to reopen and get our small businesses going again. I would love to have the actual numbers come out on this pandemic. There have been too many doctors that have come forward with information on the inflation of this virus. I think that if MSM reported what is actually happening, the public would be able to let go of the fear and move forward.

What, if anything, should the state do to prepare for the possibility of future pandemics?

I believe that we need to have a stockpile of PPE reserved for our emergency and medical response teams here within our state. We cannot depend on the national government for handouts.

What should be done about the state’s budget shortfall?

Our budget needs a complete overhaul. I’m looking forward to jumping in and working together to fix our current situation. I feel that we are heavy on taxes for small businesses and have made it extremely hard for New Mexicans to catch up and get ahead. We are spiraling out of control.

What should be done about education in New Mexico?

I know so many amazing teachers in our state that have the future of their students at the forefront of their minds. I think that our state offers up unique challenges because our kids come from so many diverse backgrounds, economic situations, language challenges and social circumstances. I believe that for so long we have tried to put all of these kids in a single box and we need to realize that this diverse background, although challenging, is what makes us amazing. I believe that our education system needs to view our children as individuals rather than a test score.

 

 

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