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Editorial: Journal recommendations in primary State Senate races

FOR THE RECORD: The spelling of Joy Irvine Garratt’s name has been corrected in this editorial.

These are the Journal’s recommendations for contested races in the June 7 New Mexico primary election for Albuquerque-area State Senate seats.

N.M. Senate, District 9: John Sapien – Democrat

The Journal endorses two-term state Sen. John Sapien of Corrales in the Democratic primary for his District 9 seat. The district includes Corrales, Placitas and parts of Bernalillo and Albuquerque.

Sapien has a business background and experience in state government. He tends to be moderate on many issues, which is in step with his district. His knowledge of water issues in his district is a strong point, and he has worked to develop an equitable tax policy.

The Journal recommends that voters in the Democratic primary choose John Sapien for District 9.

N.M. Senate, District 17: Mimi Stewart – Democrat

Incumbent Mimi Stewart, a retired teacher with more than 30 years experience, says she cares deeply about public education. At Albuquerque Public Schools she was a resource teacher, an early childhood liaison and an elementary special education teacher.

Stewart was appointed to the Senate seat in the Democratic leaning district on the east side of Albuquerque in 2014 after former Sen. Tim Keller was elected state auditor. She had represented House District 21 from 1995 to 2015. Her top issues include increasing funding for schools, corrections, State Police and roads.

The Journal recommends that voters in the Democratic primary choose Mimi Stewart for District 17.

N.M. Senate, District 19: James P. “Jim” White – Republican

James P. “Jim” White, a Four Hills resident who served in the state House from 2009 to 2014, gets the nod in the four-way primary race for state Senate District 19.

The retired Air Force pilot did a credible job while in the House, sponsoring pro-business bills that addressed liability issues at Spaceport America. White says that in addition to ensuring a fiscally responsible state budget, his priorities are boosting economic development and ensuring adequate funding for law enforcement and education.

Senate District 19 includes Four Hills, much of the East Mountains, and eastward to Clines Corners.

The Journal recommends voters in the Republican primary choose James P. “Jim” White for District 19.

N.M. Senate, District 23: Joy Irvine Garratt – Democrat

Joy Irvine Garratt, a longtime public educator, says she is running for the Senate District 23 seat to offer voters in the West Side district a fresh leader who will listen to constituents and who has knowledge of education.

Garratt is an instructional coach at Painted Sky Elementary School. She is a former officer of the Ventana Ranch Neighborhood Association and a former state officer of the American Federation of Teachers, New Mexico.

Garratt supports a gradual increase in the minimum wage, a two-year cooling off period for former legislators before they can become lobbyists and improving the state’s road and bridge infrastructure.

The Journal recommends voters in the Democratic primary choose Joy Irvin Garratt for District 23.

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.