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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Governor hopefuls talk platform issues

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The New Mexico Primary Elections will be held on June 3. Voters from around the state will be able to elect candidates from their prospective parties to participate in the general elections in November.

There are five democratic candidates for governor. The winner of the primary election will run against Governor Susana Martinez, who is running unopposed in the Republican primary election.

There are also a number of government positions up for grabs on state and local levels. A full list of candidates filed for the primary is available on the New Mexico Secretary of State website.

There will be a number of polling locations for students and faculty to vote around the city. A full list of locations is available on the Bernalillo County Clerk’s website.

Gary King

Current Occupation: Attorney General of New Mexico

Job Creation: “My plan is to not give tax cuts to big, multi-national corporations, but to focus on tax policy on helping businesses that have 10 employees, to add another employee.”

Minimum Wage: “I support an increase in the minimum wage to $10 an hour. I think for tipped workers it probably would be somewhat less because we have to account for the fact that there are some differences there.”

Legislative Lottery Scholarship: “We need to make sure that we’re willing to spend general fund money if we have to, and we have income streams that come from our natural resources in New Mexico.”

Police Oversight and Training: “I think that what we really need to do is focus on training our law enforcement officers to de-escalate these issues and to work more with community policing, to have more people who are trained to deal with persons who have mental illnesses.”

Marijuana: “I don’t support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. I think that it sends a very bad message to our young people.”

Lawrence Rael

Current Occupation: Consultant

Job Creation: “It starts with our local businesses, making sure that we bring the capital that we’re investing in Wall Street, bring some of that back to New Mexico … but we also have to make sure that we grow the pot. That we look for opportunities to bring more industries to the state.”

Minimum Wage: “I have to agree that wage should be at $10.10 per hour.”

Legislative Lottery Scholarship: “I would make every effort to make sure that we continue to support the Lottery scholarship and fully fund it, even if it means moving dollars from other parts of the budget to support that.”

Police Oversight and Training: “I would institute a state-wide training oversight committee that is comprised not just of law enforcement individuals, but those who have expertise in the different disciplines, in dealing with mental health issues, in dealing with substance abuse issues … this oversight board would provide oversight over all the training academies in New Mexico.”

Marijuana Legalization: “I believe New Mexicans should have a right to weigh in, I would put this to the voters … I would also say that we have to be mindful about watching what’s happening in other states of the country to ensure that when we walk into this issue we know all the consequences.”

Alan Webber

Current Occupation: Author, Consultant, Speaker

Job Creation: “We have enormous opportunities in food, agricultural production and ranching to make New Mexico products branded and available all over the country. We have entrepreneurs who are waiting for a governor to work with them and grow their companies.”

Minimum Wage: “We ought to raise the minimum wage to $10.10.”

Legislative Lottery Scholarship: “We need more choice for all types of higher education opportunities … we need to find a way to cap the rising cost of higher education in general.”

Police Oversight and Training – “We need better training. We need law enforcement officers who reflect the diversity of the New Mexico population, so we have good law enforcement.”

Marijuana: “I support the legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana, using the money to both improve our treatment of serious drug problems and to support education.”

Linda Lopez

Current Occupation: New Mexico State Senator

Job Creation: “We have opportunities in a job proposal I am bringing forward to offer an internship for our students between the ages of 17 and 24, offering them opportunities to come to the state government and gain some of that professional experience.”

Minimum Wage: “I have voted for and will continue to support as governor, raising the minimum wage.”

Legislative Lottery Scholarship: “We do have to make a commitment to the state that we do continue to have funding, whether it be from the general fund, or working with the Legislature to find other strings of money to help support.”

Police Oversight and Training: “What we need to invest in is training, making sure that all of our law enforcement officers, first responders know how to de-escalate the issue when it comes up … we need to make sure that we provide funding in our state-wide programs.”

Marijuana: “What I believe is that New Mexicans need to have the opportunity to have the choice of saying yes or no, but we also have our neighbor to the north, the state of Colorado. Let’s watch and see what happens in this next year, and if there’s something that needs to be changed, let’s take care of it.”

Howie Morales

Current Occupation: New Mexico State Senator

Job Creation: “We’re going to go and make sure that we free up all monies that have been allocated, but not yet expended within our state … I also believe that we could really increase our tourism. We can increase the exports that we send out from our state and reduce the amount of imports.”

Minimum Wage: “I propose by the year 2017 that we will have raised our minimum wage to $11 per hour… by starting high, it gives us an opportunity to make sure it stays at that level.”

Lottery Scholarship: “We need to make sure that we tighten the language, and that we have a language where tobacco companies have to pay the state of New Mexico the dollars that we are due.”

Police Oversight and Training: “It’s important as a state that we provide those resources necessary to make sure local governments aren’t working all on their own … I also believe, when we’re talking about the issue of mental illness, that we stop sending SWAT teams into these occurrences and we send trained professionals.”

Marijuana: “I do support the opportunity for the voters to have their say in this as well. When we look at all the resources that we spend in fighting this, it really is something that is extremely to our state budget. I think we have an opportunity here to see what’s taking place in Colorado and Washington, to see how we can make sure we can benefit from this.”

Chloe Henson is news editor for the Daily Lobo. Contact her at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @ChloeHenson5.