Q&A: Senate District 10 Candidate Candace Gould

  • NAME: Candace Gould
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Executive director
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: My experience as a senator for four years gives me insight to the unique issues in New Mexico. I’m a proven fiscal conservative, supporter of New Mexico business, and an advocate for fighting crime. I have worked for small business for my adult life, owning a small business for 15 years. I am the executive director of a nonprofit that serves foster kids, building programs that provide opportunity for foster kids to break the cycle of abuse, giving me insight to the issues of poverty in New Mexico and a passion to lift New Mexico out of poverty.
  • EDUCATION: High school
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: GouldForStateSenate.com

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?

Just like businesses and families are adjusting their budgets in the COVID-19 crisis, government needs to find ways to be more efficient to live within its means. I opposed tax increases to balance the budget, because families are hurting and taxing small businesses will only kill more jobs.

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?

New Mexico currently spends almost half of our total state budget on education. Funding needs to be focused on the classroom, sufficient to provide a quality education to every child and school districts must be transparent and accountable on how funds are spent. I oppose wasting school dollars on big bureaucracies.

What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?

We must reform our gross receipts tax code to ensure a tax system that is fair and helps small businesses create more jobs. It’s not right to create loopholes for giant out of state corporations, while local small businesses in New Mexico are hit with high taxes.

Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales?

While I support the medical marijuana program, I oppose legalizing marijuana for recreational use. New Mexico struggles with serious drug and alcohol issues. States that have legalized marijuana have seen surges in teenage drug use and increases in marijuana-related vehicle accidents.

Do you believe changes should be made to the emergency powers held by a governor during a pandemic or other time of crisis. If so, do you believe such powers should be expanded or reduced and in what specific ways?

The legislature has not been able to represent their constituents under the current health order. While the governor needs to act swiftly in a crisis, the legislature needs to be able to have input over the long term. I support looking to reform these powers after this crisis is handled.

Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances?

This law is dormant because it was overridden by Roe v. Wade at the federal level. Given that fact, a repeal will not change the federal abortion law. A repeal will remove the conscience clause that protects doctors if they choose not to perform abortions. I oppose.

Do you support or oppose enacting a new state law that would allow police officers and other public officials to be sued individually by abolishing the defense of qualified immunity?

Current law allows for restitution to victims of malicious abuse of power by police. Qualified immunity is an important personal protection that prevents police officers from being bankrupted personally by frivolous lawsuits. I oppose abolishing, because it will make recruiting good people to be police officers that much more difficult.

In recent years, New Mexico has steadily increased spending on early childhood programs, such as home visiting, prekindergarten and child care 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?

The LGPF is commonly misunderstood. Its purpose is to provide funding for education. Knowing that it would be tempting to raid, it requires approval by the legislature, the people and Congress to tap the fund. It provides stability for education for us and future generations. I oppose raiding it.

What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its election laws and primary system? Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?

Every citizen has the right and the responsibility to vote. To ensure fair and honest elections, I support voter ID requirements. Every citizen has the right to participate in the complete election process. I support open primaries.

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?

Capital outlay projects are tax dollars to improve the quality of life for the public like roads and infrastructure. I support a merit-based evaluation to assure appropriate use. Transparency in all government is always the best policy. I support transparency and disclose the projects I fund.

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 steps should the state take to diversify its economy and revenue base?

Saving revenue generated in boom cycles to buffer bust cycles has proven to work. Common sense regulations crafted with the best ideas of all parties coming together to support small business and attract new businesses that create family sustaining jobs for all New Mexicans is vital to our economy’s success.

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?

People demand energy. Energy needs to be responsible, reliable, and affordable. Fracking has been used for 60 years and provides revenue vital to our state’s economy. I oppose a moratorium on fracking. I oppose government mandates in general.

What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety?

Everyone deserves to live in safe neighborhoods. End catch and release. Amend the three-strikes law giving a life sentence to violent criminals who kill three different times. Increase penalties for felons possessing and/or using firearms in crimes. A thriving economy reduces crime.

Do you support or oppose the public’s right to inspect footage taken by cameras worn by law enforcement officers? Under what circumstances, if any, should police video be withheld from the public?

I support the public’s right to inspect lapel camera footage. The footage release needs to be done at the time that it does not compromise the investigation.

Members of New Mexico’s business community contend some state laws and regulations need changing so the state can better compete with Texas and Arizona when it comes to attracting companies. What steps do you believe should be taken to improve New Mexico’s economic competitiveness?

Business needs to be flexible to deal with market changes like the COVID crisis. Government micromanaging business through regulations ultimately forces businesses to reduce their workforce or increase prices to accommodate laws that cost to implement. Tax reform that reduces tax while broadening the base to meet the public needs.

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

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