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Dear Editor,

As you know, misinformation spreads wild during election. I would like to set the record straight on something the opposition is saying about me. My opponent, Rebecca Dow claimed that I do not support the extractive industries. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I worked for Phelps Dodge (Freeport McMoran’s predecessor) in the Environmental Department for 8 ½ years. I worked in the corporate office for 6 years before I came home to Tyrone for 2 ½ years. I was brought to Grant County by the mines. I returned to Grant County because of the mines. I met my husband at the mines. My husband still works for the mines. In addition, my godfather works at the mine, and my brother-in-law works in the oil and gas industry. Quite simply, I support the mines!

The mines in Grant County are reaching the end of their life. Future mining will be more technologically advanced and will need less workers. I also do not support a fracking ban. What I support is a diversification of New Mexico’s economy from the extractive industries. For the past four years I have worked in the New Mexico Legislature, and I have seen how harsh the extractive industry cycles impact New Mexico’s economy. We have had to cut education, healthcare, infrastructure and other areas that have severely impacted how New Mexico and New Mexicans operate daily. It is crucial that we find other industries to create jobs and stabilize our economy if New Mexico ever wants to come out of poverty. But make no mistake, the extractive industries are extremely important to my life personally as well as to the state of New Mexico. Let’s support our economy together.

Karen Whitlock
Grant County, NM