Q&A: 1st Congressional District Candidate Aubrey Dunn

Aubrey Dunn

NAME: Aubrey Dunn
POLITICAL PARTY: Independent/DTS
OCCUPATION: Rancher
CITY OF RESIDENCE: Torrance County
EDUCATION: B.S. degree Colorado State University
RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Rancher; banker 25 years, last 10 as president and CEO; land commissioner four years. Have raised three children in New Mexico attending New Mexico public schools. Auctioneer and licensed New Mexico real estate broker for over 40 years.
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: aubreydunn.com

What role should Congress or the federal government have in responding to calls for more justice in policing following the deaths of George Floyd and others by police?
End to qualified immunity at the federal level. If a city/state determines that an officer violated their position as an enforcer of the law, states should be able to hold these officers accountable not only as a citizen, but as a sworn officer of the law and communities they protect.

What is your opinion of the coronavirus response packages, including the American Rescue Plan, which was signed by President Biden? Is there anything you would have done differently?
I support the American Rescue Plan in addressing the unique problems this pandemic presents, such as supporting our health care heroes. That said, the bill goes too far in directing states with how they should use COVID resources. Such an overreach of federal power is a troubling precedent this administration is setting. We must start addressing our national debt.

What actions to restore the economy, if any, do you feel Congress should take once the outbreak has been contained?
America is in an identity crisis and Congress is no exception. Congress should be focused more on how best to support states, each of which has a unique set of needs and resources, not on interfering with personal choices or depriving individual citizens of their hard-earned property.

What is your position regarding climate change? What actions should Congress take, if any, regarding the environment?
Congress should be on the forefront of addressing climate change, however, omnibus bills like the Green New Deal do not work. As land commissioner, I was on the front lines of climate policy. We can use market-based approaches, streamline regulations, and work together to innovate new technologies to assist in creating systems to power our state and our country with clean energy.

The Biden administration has issued a temporary moratorium on issuing new oil and gas leases on federal lands. Where do you stand on the issue?
As land commissioner, I used revenues from oil and gas leasing to boost our economy and public education. This moratorium will shift development from federal land in New Mexico to private land in Texas, costing New Mexicans millions of dollars and thousands of jobs that we desperately need. Further this moratorium will make the US dependent on foreign oil again…

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?
Our immigration system is broken and needs reform. Immigrants who want to enter legally and for lawful reasons (work) should be provided a pathway to stay here and to pay into the system. That said, all immigrants, just like any U.S. citizen, can and should be held accountable if they commit crimes as a result of being here…

Do you believe the borders are secure enough? If not, what do you propose to increase security?
The border problem is an issue which has transcended many administrations, and at best can be slowed, as seen by the past administration and at worst, a flood of people in crisis mode, as seen by the current administration. It is impossible to completely secure the border. We should be using all tools available to stem the tide…

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?
No. Federal bans on firearms will not curb violence, but instead keep the good gun owners from protecting us from criminals that would not abide by a gun ban in any event. The Second Amendment is a constitutional right designed to protect us from a tyrannical government and self-defense is a fundamental liberty…

Federal spending plays an important role in New Mexico’s economy. What should be done to increase other economic drivers here?
Being at the bottom of every list (last in education, rampant crime, and over regulation) makes it impossible to attract businesses to our great state. Over-reliance on federal funds leads our state to miss out on economic growth experienced by our neighbors. High federal taxes have hurt hard-working New Mexican businesses…

Do you favor or oppose a national single payer health system?
Oppose. U.S. citizens should be able to access private health care options across state lines and we should break up the insurance cartels by increasing competition in the free market. In contrast, single payer systems will reduce any Americans’ ability to make the best medical decision for themselves. Government has no place inside people’s homes and personal lives.

Do you favor or oppose the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan?
Support. We have enough to focus on right here at home and the Afghan government has made it clear they want to handle their own affairs, so who should trust and support them in doing so.

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 pro-life. I oppose any amount of tax dollars used toward any expense related to an abortion. As such, I also support Mitt Romney’s plan to support young families with a child credit that will significantly improve the livelihood of the family and child once they’re born.

What should be done at the federal level to address the crisis of opioid addiction? Any other drugs?
People with substance dependency should be encouraged to seek medical and professional treatment without fear of retribution from the government. I support diversion programs to provide more support to individuals and communities struggling with addiction as well as their families, who have been deeply impacted by this epidemic as well.

Why do you want to be a member of Congress?
As an independent, I do not answer to any party, which means my party is truly New Mexican’s First. I think the partisan gridlock is destroying our country. I have the work ethic, I have the drive, and as former land commissioner, I know how to make the government work for the people, not against them…

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?
NO

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