Voters in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District have an important choice to make this November: Whether to re-elect Democrat Xochitl Torres Small, or her Republican opponent, Yvette Herrell.
As a Republican and former New Mexico state senator who appreciates the contributions of the oil and gas industry to New Mexico’s economy, I think the choice is clear: Xochitl Torres Small is the superior candidate and she deserves to be re-elected, as she will be more effective in advocating for the industry, as well as for other important concerns of New Mexicans.
The best way to support our oil and gas industry, and New Mexico’s economy as a whole, is to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and reopen our economy responsibly. Despite warnings, this administration was unprepared, with insufficient supplies of masks, ventilators and testing and contact tracing capabilities. President Trump (who has Herrell’s support, has) dismissed the need to wear masks and maintain social distancing, thereby prolonging the pandemic and slowing our economic recovery. Republicans and Democrats must put politics aside and implement a national strategy to fight COVID-19 and rebuild our economy.
Reopening businesses by itself is not sufficient. Demand for petroleum products will not recover so long as people are reluctant or financially unable to purchase, invest, dine out or travel due to COVID. Trump’s behavior and attempts to politicize health institutions like the Centers for Disease Control do not inspire the confidence required for recovery.
Unlike Herrell, Torres Small is willing to stand up to those in her own party when necessary to defend the interests of her constituents. She has stood up forcefully to those who have wanted to ban fracking and exploration for oil and gas on federal lands, and she will continue to do so.
When some members of her party wanted to exclude oil and gas workers from coronavirus relief efforts, she fought successfully to ensure that all workers were covered.
As a member of the Problem Solvers caucus in the House, composed of members of both major parties, Torres Small has worked hard to break the partisan logjam that has prevented progress on many issues. Recently the Problem Solvers introduced a new middle-of-the-road proposal for coronavirus relief which won the support of the president and has pushed both parties to work together again on a coronavirus relief bill.
Torres Small supports improvements to our health care system that will improve access to health care, especially in rural New Mexico, while reducing costs. She opposes measures that would eliminate private health insurance.
Seeing delays in the U.S. Postal Service, Torres Small has fought to ensure that the Postal Service has the funding needed to deliver the mail in a timely manner – something especially important in rural communities where many depend on the mail for timely delivery of medicine and other goods, as well as to send and receive payments.
An experienced water rights attorney, Torres Small has the knowledge necessary to deal effectively with complicated water issues and ensure the continued viability of New Mexico farmers and ranchers as well as the water supplies necessary for our growing communities.
She has worked to implement a strong, smart and fair border and immigration policy and to increase New Mexico’s exports to Mexico and other countries. Torres Small called on her party’s leadership to vote on the USMCA – even following the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee into a coffee shop to get it done. She worked to improve the USMCA by eliminating provisions that would have raised prescription drug costs and worked across the aisle to make sure dairy provisions were enforced.
She is a strong advocate for small business and has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for “having the courage and leadership needed to govern.”
Open- and fair-minded, Torres Small is an effective leader, not a follower like Herrell. She deserves your vote.
Tom Lewis represented District 15 from 1981 to 1984. He was a Spanish linguist in the U.S. Navy at Guantánamo Bay during the Vietnam War and later publisher of the Valencia County News Bulletin.