Q&A: House District 19 Democratic candidate Colton R. Dean - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: House District 19 Democratic candidate Colton R. Dean

Colton R. Dean

NAME: Colton R. Dean


OCCUPATION: Sterile processing technician/paramedic


RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Democratic Ward chair for Bernalillo County 19b. Member of the Democratic Party State Central Committee.

EDUCATION: B.A. film and video production (2005) Brooks Institute of Photography. Associate of Applied Sciences in Emergency Medicine (2015) Central New Mexico Community College.


1. 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 Legislature take to diversify the state’s economy and revenue base?

Invest in solar, wind, and battery storage. Combined with smart meter and smart grid technology, individuals who store excess energy in low demand times then resell it to the grid in high demand times would create two opportunities for the state to collect revenue on the transactions.

2. During the last regular legislative session, there was an unsuccessful push to make it easier to keep certain defendants behind bars until trial. Should New Mexico law be changed to make it easier to hold individuals charged with violent offenses such as murder and first-degree child abuse behind bars until trial?

Suspects of violent crimes, especially those with a history of violence, should be held until trial. Legislators cannot foresee every possibility, that’s why we need arraignment judges to determine on a case-by-case basis whether suspects should be released on bail or not.

3. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and public safety amid a rise in violent crime rates?

Legislators should fund the support programs that address the negative circumstances that lead to crime. Adequate staffing and resources are needed for housing, drug and alcohol rehab, and metal health services so that crime becomes a less likely option.

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

I have no suggestions to change the GRT code at this time.

5. New Mexico is currently the only state that does not pay its legislators a salary, though lawmakers do get per diem payments and can qualify for a legislative pension. Do you support or oppose a salaried Legislature and, if so, how much should lawmakers be paid?

I support a full-time paid Legislature, and lowering the voting threshold for extraordinary sessions from 3/5 to 50% plus one of both House and Senate. Salaries should be determined by a nonpartisan independent committee, and should approximate the average New Mexico household income.

6. 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, especially Native Americans and those who don’t speak English as a first language?

Article 12, Section 10 of the New Mexico Constitution guarantees the right of an equal education to children of Spanish descent. I suggest we amend the state constitution to include Native American children, and all non-English speaking students.

7. What should be the priority as New Mexico seeks to strengthen its health care system? How should the state address a shortage of nurses and other health care workers?

We must support adults returning to school retaining for new careers. Many people in mid-life are unable to stop working for two years for a new degree without incurring tremendous debt. Free tuition is the first step, but I would like to see assistance for people in degree programs.

8. 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 the proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would withdraw more money from the state’s permanent school fund to increase funding for early childhood services and K-12 education?

I fully support the proposed constitutional amendment to fund early childhood education.

9. In order to address climate change and air quality issues, do you support or oppose legislation limiting greenhouse gas emissions and requiring the state achieve net-zero emissions by 2050?

I support legislation that limits greenhouse gas emissions so long as it provides benchmarks in five-year increments. We must also include necessary enforcement if those benchmarks aren’t met.

10. New Mexico recently became the 17th state to regulate and tax recreational cannabis sales? What, if any, changes do you believe should be made to the existing law?

Priority for medical cannabis must be protected. This includes price protection so medical patients aren’t overcharged for their medicine if recreational demand affects supply.

11. 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?

Every emergency is different, and requires case-by-case evaluation. Balancing the power of the governor can be achieved with a full-time paid Legislature, the ability to call itself into extraordinary session with 50% plus one.

12. 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?

I believe we need a combination of ranked choice voting, publicly financed campaigns, and open primaries to encourage as much participation in the electoral process as possible. And to reduce the incentive candidates have to demonize their opponents.

13. Would you support a merit-based evaluation system to determine how the state spends its capital outlay funding?

I would support a standardized transparent process that allows community input to inform representatives and senators of the needs of their communities. But also allow representatives and senators to help other communities as long as the same process is followed.

14. Do you support or oppose authorizing an independent redistricting commission to perform the onceper-decade task of redrawing New Mexico’s political boundary lines?

I support a constitutional amendment to make sure redistricting in 2031 and beyond is done by an independent redistricting commission.

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?


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


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.



Home » 2022 election » Q&A: House District 19 Democratic candidate Colton R. Dean

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Walmart near Highland High School to close next month
ABQnews Seeker
The roughly 287 employees who work ... The roughly 287 employees who work at the store are eligible for transfers to nearby Walmart locations, the company said.
House committee endorses automatic voter registration in New Mexico
ABQnews Seeker
In-person transactions at MVD offices would ... In-person transactions at MVD offices would register new voters, and Election Day would be a school holiday
From piñon to petrichor: 4 aromas that define Albuquerque ...
ABQnews Seeker
A group of Las Cruces fifth ... A group of Las Cruces fifth graders recently pitched a bill that would name the scent of roasting green chile the official state smell. ...
Police investigating death in International District apartment complex
ABQnews Seeker
Homicide detectives have been called out ... Homicide detectives have been called out to the scene.
'The Locksmith' director Nicolas Harvard talks time in Las ...
ABQnews Seeker
Nicolas Harvard was familiar with New ... Nicolas Harvard was familiar with New Mexico before he was at the helm of 'The Locksmith.' The filmmaker had worked in the state on ...
Emptying the Notebook: Lobos losing 3-point battle every night ...
ABQnews Seeker
Some extra notes, quotes and analysis ... Some extra notes, quotes and analysis from Tuesday night's UNM Lobos loss to the Nevada Wolf Pack in the Pit.
DNA links deceased New Mexico musician to three sexual ...
ABQnews Seeker
Investigators have linked three decades-old sexual ... Investigators have linked three decades-old sexual assaults in Alabama and Colorado to a Jemez Springs man known in New Mexico as the longtime director ...
Ready for Rihanna? A look at five songs that ...
ABQnews Seeker
Journal Staff WriterI am not sure ... Journal Staff WriterI am not sure if you have heard, but there is a football game this ...
‘We love you boys’: Friends mourn three teens who ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Moriarty High School community gathered ... The Moriarty High School community gathered to mourn the loss of three sophomore students who died during a sleepover Saturday in Edgewood. Authorities suspect ...
AR-15 ban, waiting period advance at New Mexico Capitol
ABQnews Seeker
Gov. Lujan Grisham praises proposed ban ... Gov. Lujan Grisham praises proposed ban on 'assault weapons' in New Mexico