This is the last of three editorials containing the Journal’s recommendations for contested Bernalillo County races in the New Mexico House of Representatives:
District 26: Georgene Louis
Georgene Louis says she is running for re-election to continue to address concerns about jobs, public safety, education and infrastructure for Albuquerque’s West Side.
Louis, a Democrat, says on her website she ran in 2012 to ensure that working families in her district were supported and fairly represented. The district roughly stretches from Ladera south to part of Central and farther south to Los Padillas Road and goes west from the Ladera area and from Powerline Road to the Bernalillo County line.
In 2013 she successfully passed a memorial calling for a study of the University of New Mexico’s commitment and support for Native American programs at the UNM School of Law. An attorney, Louis is vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee and is a member of the Business and Industry Committee. A member of Acoma Pueblo, she served on the New Mexico Gaming Control Board from 2007-2010.
Louis supports a two-year cooling off period before former elected officials can become lobbyists. She supports government transparency and favors archiving webcasts of committee meetings.
Louis voted for a constitutional amendment to let voters decide if the minimum wage should be increased and says she will continue to support that effort.
The Journal recommends Georgene Louis for House District 26.
District 29 : David Edward Adkins
David Edward Adkins says his experience as a small business owner and entrepreneur will be an asset in the state House of Representatives.
Adkins, a Republican, has owned several businesses over the past 14 years, including a home health care business that provides help for medically fragile children and elderly people. A former firefighter and Air Force veteran, Adkins has also been a pastor at several Albuquerque churches and has served on his neighborhood association board and the Police Oversight Commission.
He says that if elected for this upper West Side seat, he wants to cut government spending and red tape and not raise taxes. He says government should create a more friendly atmosphere for business and industry and make it easier for businesses to start. More jobs will help solve other issues by increasing revenues that can provide more money for education.
Adkins is opposed to driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants and supports tougher DWI laws. Locally, he would like to see a senior center and a library for this district.
The Journal recommends voters send David Edward Adkins to Santa Fe.
District 27: Lorenzo A. Larrañaga
Republican rancher and retired engineer Larry Larrañaga has represented this Northeast Heights district since 1994, bringing the experience of an Army veteran, state highway secretary and deputy city administrative officer to the citizen Legislature.
His two decades in the minority party of that lawmaking body mean he knows how to compromise – without sacrificing quality – to get things done.
A member of the Appropriations and Finance, Agriculture and Water Resources, and Rules and Order of Business committees, as well as numerous interim panels, Larrañaga has a breadth and depth of knowledge on important issues ranging from education funding to gambling compacts. He was recognized by the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce this year for his support of New Mexico business.
Larrañaga supports using student achievement in evaluating teachers, “higher pay for top-performing teachers (and) funding for additional training for low-performing teachers.” A fiscal pragmatist, Larrañaga opposes raiding the Land Grant Permanent Fund as that “would also reduce the yearly payout to our education fund, and New Mexicans would ultimately have to pay higher taxes.”
The Journal recommends voters in District 27, roughly San Francisco south to Osuna and San Mateo east to Eubank, keep Larry Larrañaga’s knowledge and experience in the state House.
District 30: Nate Gentry
Republican Nate Gentry has represented his Northeast Heights district, roughly from Academy south to Menaul and San Mateo east to Eubank, since 2011.
In that time he has proven to be a champion of good – and open – government. A member of the Judiciary and Health, Government and Indian Affairs committees, as well as the interim Legislative Council and Legislative Ethics Committee, Gentry brings the legal knowledge of a practicing attorney and the legislative experience of someone who worked for then-U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici for almost a decade.
He is most proud of an anti-corruption law that allows the state to recoup pensions from officials convicted of corruption, and bipartisan tax reforms that meant “everybody can get a little of what they want vs. (the previous) nobody gets anything.”
Gentry also has a depth of awareness on energy and water issues facing the state – that was his focus as Domenici’s legislative assistant and correspondent – and a commitment to improving education and the economy. He says there’s “huge potential at the state level to improve the state” and he sees a “willingness to work together (among) the younger legislators.”
That ability to compromise will be key to what Gentry calls engaging meaningfully to “stop doing the stuff that doesn’t work” and finally improving “the condition of the state.” The Journal recommends District 30 voters send Nate Gentry back to the Roundhouse to do just that.
This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.