Photos and article by Mary Alice Murphy

On Friday afternoon, a large motorhome with signs for Steve Pearce and Michelle Garcia Holmes, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, drove into the parking lot of the Grant County Veterans Memorial Business and Conference Center.

Pearce and Yvette Herrell, candidate for Congressional District 2 strode across the lot to the center.

Several other vans, cars and motorhomes followed behind.

A number of statewide Republican candidates for office spoke to a full lobby of folks.

"We felt New Mexico was headed in the wrong direction." Pearce said he and his wife had talked about the state they love and had prayed hard before they decided he should run for governor.

Herrell said the stakes are so high in the CD2 race. "I believe our shared values outweigh the progressive agenda of my opponent. I support life, the second amendment. I want to fix health care. I promise I will not vote for (Nancy) Pelosi for Speaker of the House. I will take your values to Washington."

Gavin Clarkson, candidate for NM secretary of state, said: "I'm an educator. We need vo tech, because our students need skills. Democrats need jobs, too."

Wayne Johnson, current state auditor, running to remain in the position said: "All I want to do is keep people following the rules. I will go after anyone, Republican, Democrat or Independent, if they are not following the rules."

Michael Hendricks, candidate for attorney general, said: "What is supposed to be happening at the attorney general's office isn't. We are at war over values. Our core values are the fabric of our state and country. It's a red, white and blue thing—life, liberty, family, protection and national security. When the value system erodes, we have New Mexico, the late-term abortion capital of the country. It is imperative this year, in a year when redistricting will begin. Our state will go up with Pearce or burn to the ground with his opponent."

Garcia Holmes said corruption is why New Mexico is 50th in so many rankings of the states. She also said they she has been campaigning on the issue of life and protection of the unborn from abortion.

"We have to run the state, not through legislation, but through the heart," Pearce said. "The governor is the chief management officer of the state. We need a manager, not a lawyer. We have to grow and diversify jobs all throughout New Mexico, but we also need skilled labor. Then we have to put our kids in jobs. Seventy-five percent of students coming out of high school are not going through college. We will create a system of apprenticeships and train kids to fill jobs."

He echoed what Garcia Holmes had said. "New Mexico has too much corruption and crime. Corruption breeds incompetence, then breaks the spirit. Even if we fix corruption, companies won't come to New Mexico with its crime. Albuquerque has the highest vehicle theft rate in the country. I make the commitment to create a new economy, put all our kids to work here and fight corruption. We will fight crime 24/365. We are going to fight it and stop it. I will create a task force, with former law enforcement officer and investigator Garcia Holmes as the head. We will also stop what people do to kids. Child abuse must be stopped."

Pearce repeated a quote: "'Friends don't let friends vote alone.' Take your friends to vote on Election Day. And keep us in your prayers."

The candidates chatted with individual attendees before heading to Hatch for a later rally.


Live from Silver City

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