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The Demon Tattler

Who Will Win the Governor’s Race?

Greg Agard, Author

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The gubernatorial election for New Mexico to replace current Republican Governor Susana Martinez will take place Nov. 6. The two candidates are Steve Pearce and Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Steve Pearce, the Republican candidate, grew up in Hobbs, N.M., in relative poverty and worked his way up to become a U.S. congressman, representing New Mexico in Washington for seven terms. He decided to step down from the job to focus on helping his native state. “There, you’re working on national policies,” Pearce said. “Only some will affect New Mexico.” Pearce says that as governor, he can attack the problems much more efficiently.

Pearce has many goals in mind for an improved New Mexico. According to his campaign website, he wants to fix schools by increasing funding, dropping the teacher evaluation system, and allowing more local control. He also wants to bring more jobs into the state, stop crime, and solve poverty. Pearce said in a debate with Lujan Grisham that New Mexico’s most vital resource is its people, but its biggest problem is the lack of spirit. He aims at bringing all kinds of people together, Democrats, Republicans, all races and all cultures.

Pearce’s competition is Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat who also serves in the U.S. Congress representing New Mexico. Growing up in Santa Fe, Lujan Grisham has held several prominent positions in her life. She was a lawyer, the secretary of the Department of Health, and Bernalillo county commissioner.

Lujan Grisham has a large focus on education and poverty. Grisham speaks about raising millions for the police force and specific public schools. According to her campaign website, she has a plan for solving the educational issues in New Mexico: Increase teacher salaries, drop the PARCC in favor of other accountability measures, and ensure that children receive a quality education.

The two representatives promise to attack the same pressing issues, but they have entirely different views on how to approach them. For example, they both are tired of New Mexico suffering from poverty. Lujan Grisham’s solution is to raise the minimum wage, starting at $10 an hour and working up to $12. On the other hand, Pearce opposes raising the minimum wage, saying that it will hurt small businesses. He wants to focus on diversifying the economy and moving New Mexicans off of welfare.

Recent polling data shows that Lujan Grisham is ahead in the race. A survey done by the Albuquerque Journal that concluded Sept. 13 showed that 50 percent of New Mexicans surveyed were in favor of Lujan Grisham, 47 percent favored Pearce, and 10 percent were undecided. (In August, the race was more even.)

Winning the governor’s race is very important to both representatives. Both are spending large amounts of money to target each other viciously with spiteful advertisements. Both claim that the other is corrupt and attack the other’s past with labels of failure. They are even quitting their prestigious jobs in Congress to pursue winning over New Mexico voters.

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Who Will Win the Governor’s Race?