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Q&A: Senate District 19 (R) – Anthony “Ant” Thornton

anthony_thorntonNAME: Anthony “Ant” Thornton

POLITICAL PARTY: Republican

OCCUPATION: Director of Corporate Strategy and Corporate Ombudsman, Universities Space Research Association

RESIDENCE: Sandia Park, NM 87047

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RELEVANT EXPERIENCE:

Ant served 27 years at Sandia National Laboratories and led the strategy development and research and development activities in the Defense Systems and Assessments Program as the Deputy to Vice President for Programs and Technology, before retiring in May 2015. Prior to that, he spent 7 years with Lockheed Martin on various aircraft development programs. Ant has served on a number of boards of directors including the National Atomic Museum, the

Albuquerque Chapter of MESA (Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement), the National Science Foundation’s UCAN (Utah, Colorado, Arizona, & New Mexico) Rural Systemic Initiative, and Purdue University’s School of Aeronautics Industrial Advisory Council. He is currently serving as Treasurer of the New Mexico Governor’s Mansion Foundation. He is the recipient of the National 2001 Black Engineer of the Year Award in Professional Achievement. This past year he was honored to be a recipient of Purdue University’s 2015 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award.

EDUCATION: Ph.D Aerospace Engineering, Purdue University, 1992

M.S. Engineering (Aero/Mech Interdisciplinary), Stanford University, 1980

B.S. Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, 1978

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.VoteAnt4NMSenate.com

1. I would favor prioritizing key programs and initiatives and reduce spending versus raising taxes. To generate new business for the state, I would advocate for a major reduction in the gross receipts tax. This would hurt the state government coffers initially by reducing tax revenue, but would attract new business private enterprises to New Mexico over the long haul.

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2. I oppose raising the minimum wage. To encourage work I would advocate for a 6 month “training wage” below the state’s minimum wage for unskilled, untrained workers to give employers an opportunity to train new workers (at less expense) until they achieve a level of competency in their job.

3. I oppose the policy of including student achievement as part of teacher evaluations. Teachers should be evaluated by their fellow teachers and the school administration for their subject matter expertise, class management, and the teaching methodologies employed. In addition, teachers should be evaluated by their own students. Remove the high and low scores to eliminate behavioral bias, and allow this 360-degree evaluation to identify great teachers.

4. Oppose.

5. I support legislation that would require students to repeat the grade level if they do not demonstrate adequate subject matter competency. This state should not reward mediocrity.

6. Oppose. The state’s permanent fund is not a slush fund for the political class.

7. I would support a state ethics commission to ensure government transparency. This commission would need to be independent so as to avoid any perceived conflicts of interest.

8. I support making New Mexico a right-to-work state.

9. Support banning abortions after 20 weeks.

10. I would support banning trapping and poisons on public lands, however, I do not support the concept of public land in general and believe most of our public land should be returned to the state for private use except for key military facilities.

11. Oppose.

12. Support.

13. Oppose.

14. Oppose.

15. Oppose. Should be only two strikes.

16. Support at least a 1 year moratorium before lawmakers could lobby the Legislature.

17. Support.

18. Support

19. Oppose. We should be citizen legislators, not career politicians.

20. No. However, to avoid any perceived conflict of interest, they should be required to recuse themselves from working on any legislation that impacts their public employer.

Personal background

1. No.

2. No.

3. In January, 1997 I was detained by a police officer on the night of my divorce for alleged driving under the influence. The charge was summarily dismissed within 120 days after the city failed to prove its case.

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