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NAME: Anthony “Ant” Thornton
POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
OCCUPATION: Director of Corporate Strategy and Corporate Ombudsman, Universities Space Research Association
RESIDENCE: Sandia Park, NM 87047
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. If the state’s revenue downturn persists, would you favor trimming state spending or increasing taxes as a primary response? Please specify which cost-cutting or revenue-generating measures you would prefer.
2. Do you support or oppose raising New Mexico’s minimum wage, currently $7.50 per hour? If so, by how much?
3. Do you support or oppose the current policy of including student achievement as part of teacher evaluations? If you support the policy, what percentage of the evaluation should achievement account for.
4. Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico?
5. Current state law requires early-grade reading intervention. Coupled with that, do you support or oppose legislation that would automatically require some third-graders without adequate reading skills to repeat the grade level?
6. To provide more money for early childhood programs, do you support or oppose taking more money out of the state’s largest permanent fund on an annual basis? If you are in support, what sort of accountability measures would you favor?
7. Would you support or oppose the creation of a state ethics commission that publicly releases complaints and holds open hearings?
8. Do you support or oppose making New Mexico a so-called right-to-work state, by changing state labor laws so that nonunion employees would not have to pay union fees as a condition of employment?
9. Do you support or oppose banning abortions after 20 weeks in New Mexico?
10. Do you support or oppose a law banning coyote-killing contests? Do you support or oppose banning trapping and poisons on public lands?
11. Do you support or oppose updating the current prohibition in the law on assisted suicide in order to allow aid-in-dying under certain medical circumstances?
12. Do you support or oppose a change that would earmark the state’s existing vehicle excise and gasoline tax revenue for state road projects?
13. Do you support or oppose allowing retired law enforcement officers to return to work while still collecting pension benefits to shore up department staffing, if the program protects the solvency of the retirement fund?
14. Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?
15. Do you support or oppose expanding the state’s three-strikes law for repeat violent offenders?
16. Do you support or oppose enacting a “cooling-off” period before former lawmakers could lobby the Legislature?
17. Do you support or oppose passing a law that would allow local governments to impose curfews on minors under the age of 16?
18. Do you support or oppose archiving webcasts of all legislative meetings for public access?
19. Do you support or oppose establishing a salary for legislators?
20. Should public employees, including teachers, be prohibited by law from serving in the Legislature? Please explain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
15. Oppose. Should be only two strikes.
16. Support at least a 1 year moratorium before lawmakers could lobby the Legislature.
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.
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.