Republican congressional candidate state Sen. Mark Moores is looking to build on the GOP’s strong showing in Texas last week in a special election slated for June 1 in New Mexico.
The district “is going to flip from blue to red, and they’re very worried that when we win this, the House of Representatives is only going to be two votes different and it’s going to be much, much harder for them to pass their radical agenda,” he said.
The current breakdown in the House of Representatives shows 218 Democrats and 212 Republicans holding seats.
However, in the Texas 6th district special election last week, two GOP candidates advanced to a run-off, boxing out the Democrat in the race, so the party divide will be 218 to 213 when the winner of that race is seated.
A Moores victory would bring it to 218 to 214, meaning Pelosi could only afford to have one member defect and still pass legislation: A 216-216 tie would mean the bill fails.
“My opponent is incredibly radical, way out of step with this district. So [the Democrats] didn’t expect this to be a race, and they’re having a bad week,” Moores said.
The New Mexico 1st congressional district, which includes a significant portion of Albuquerque, came open when Democratic Rep. Debra Haaland stepped down to serve in the Biden administration as secretary of the interior.
It has been over a decade since a Republican has held the seat in the first district, which President Joe Biden won by 23 points, according to The Washington Post.
Haaland won re-election in November by a smaller 58 to 42 percent margin.
Moores sees different dynamics in play in a special election.
“They nominated an incredible far-left radical, and I’m a state senator who has a strong conservative background, but also a pragmatic conservative who’s been able to accomplish things in a Democratic legislature,” he said.
Moores is facing off against state Rep. Melanie Stansbury, who served in the Obama administration’s Office of Management and Budget.
Moores pointed to Stansbury’s support for the BREATHE Act — promoted by “Squad” members Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — as evidence of her radical bent.
The day former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted, Stansbury tweeted, “We must pass the BREATHE Act in Congress. We need to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. We need to end qualified immunity at the federal level.”
The system is broken.
We must pass the BREATHE Act in Congress.
We need to pass the Geroge Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
We need to end qualified immunity at the federal level. #nmpol
— Melanie Stansbury (@MelanieforNM) April 21, 2021
The BREATHE Act “would abolish ICE. It would abolish the Border Patrol. It would abolish the penalty from the crime of entering the country illegally,” Moores noted.
“It would call for the destruction of federal prisons. It also calls for the closing of all border detention facilities. So it’s an incredibly radical agenda,” he added.
“In New Mexico, about 40 percent of our state revenue as a state government comes from the oil and gas industry and 134,000 jobs. And she is for shutting down the industry,” Moores said.
Most of the Permian Basin in southeast New Mexico — where the oil has been located — is on federal lands, he explained, and closing it down will “cripple New Mexico’s economic development.”
The issue came up at a KOB-TV-hosted candidates debate earlier this week, with a debate moderator highlighting how important the oil industry is to the state’s economy and its government’s budget.
Stansbury’s answer indicated she supported Biden’s decision to stop oil exploration on federal lands.
“The science is clear: We have to address climate change now, and in order to do that, we have to address greenhouse gas emissions,” Stansbury said. “We have to bring good-paying jobs home to New Mexico and renewable energy industries.”
“I will work with President Biden and my colleagues, hopefully across the aisle, to ensure that we are addressing our climate change crisis, that we are diversifying our economy and we are leaning into the clean energy revolution and good jobs for New Mexicans,” she added.
The candidates were also asked about former President Donald Trump’s border wall.
A KOB-TV moderator stated that gaps in the wall have become common spots for drug smuggling.
“What should we do with the Trump border wall? What are your ideas to secure our nation’s borders?” the candidates were asked.
“Not a single dollar should be spent on that border wall,” Stansbury responded. “We can address our challenges by leveraging those resources [currently at the border], addressing comprehensive immigration reform, supporting our asylum system and ensuring that we have a just, fair and equitable immigration and asylum system.”
In contrast, Moores stated plainly, “We need to finish [the border wall].” The gaps must be closed, he said, “because it’s creating a dangerous situation for many New Mexicans.”
The New Mexico 1st congressional district race will be one worth watching to see if Republicans can continue the trend begun in last November’s election of cutting the Democrats’ majority to a mere few seats.
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