Silver City Daily Press Endorsements

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From today’s edition of the Silver City Daily Press.

The Silver City Daily Press endorses the following candidates for contested primary races: Geno Zamora for attorney general, Stephanie Gonzales for secretary of state, Jim Baca for commissioner of public lands, Thomas Buckner for state auditor, and Sandy Jones for public regulation commissioner, District 5.

Of the attorney general candidates, Zamora has the best combination of vision and experience. He’s a tough litigator who has shown commitment to addressing the issues facing New Mexico, including corruption, drugs and drunken driving. In addition, his time arguing cases before the Supreme Court gives him insight the other candidates, though qualified in their own respects, lack.

The race for secretary of state also has a field of experienced leaders. Gonzales stands out because of her work to improve the accuracy and transparency of voting. With prior experience as secretary of state and in other positions, Gonzales is the clear choice.

Baca has the necessary experience to be land commissioner, having held the position in the 1990s. While his primary opponent, Ray Powell, has also been land commissioner, we feel Baca’s ideas for creating conservation areas within the state set him apart. His pledge to limit the power of the office of land commissioner, by permanently protecting tracts and creating a board to oversee the commissioner, complements his earlier efforts to increase oil and gas revenues for the state.

Buckner is our choice for state auditor, as the only candidate with experience in an investigative capacity.

For public regulation commissioner, Jones emerges as our choice over incumbent E. Shirley Baca. Jones brings credibility and knowledge of the regulatory process, and a solid foundation of how that regulation impacts New Mexicans. Baca’s embrace of public finance for her campaign is admirable, but questions remain about her service on the commission. None of the three Republican candidates for this office contacted the Daily Press for endorsement interviews.

In local races, Manuel Herrera receives our nod for the District 39 state representative seat. Herrera has shown dedication to the residents of the district, and his time as a representative cannot be overlooked. In addition, his continued support of the students and employees of Western New Mexico University, coupled with his forthright but balanced criticism of the school’s administration, is exemplary of his effective leadership.

Mary Ann Sedillo is our pick for District 1 Grant County commissioner, and we endorse Bayard Mayor Rodolpho Martinez for the District 2 seat. Sedillo has a wealth of knowledge of county operations, and did not hesitate to resume her position as county clerk when the County Commission called upon her. Despite recent allegations to the contrary, her record of service speaks of a dedication to good governance. In addition, she has taken a leave of absence from her position with the state police, as required by New Mexico law. Martinez has been a dedicated public servant, and can bring a unique perspective to issues facing the county and area municipalities.

We endorse Raul Holguin for Grant County sheriff. Holguin’s dedication to improving public safety in the area has been clear, and his use of grant and federal funding to improve the Sheriff’s Department shows he’s an effective administrator.

For the Division II magistrate judgeship, the Daily Press endorses two candidates: Mateo Madrid and Waldo Winborn. Both are law enforcement professionals, with many years of service to the area, and are community leaders throughout the mining district.

Joe Carraro is the only Republican candidate receiving our endorsement for the June 6 primary election. Of the three Republicans vying to take on Sen. Jeff Bingaman in the general election, Carraro is the only one with the necessary government experience. First elected to the state senate in 1984, Carraro has spent 20 years serving constituents in Albuquerque and, later, Rio Rancho.

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