In Senate race, NM’s future is in Balderas
Why would we nominate the candidate who leads the pack with money, polling and political endorsements? Hector is one of the most well-respected candidates my generation has seen in New Mexico politics.
In the race to fill New Mexico’s open U.S. Senate seat, our voters have a unique opportunity to send a native son to Washington D.C. As a native of Colfax County who works in Washington and cannot vote in this election – or for any voting member of Congress for that matter – I am urging Mr. and Mrs. New Mexico to support the one candidate who I believe can truly represent our voices in the halls of Congress. That candidate is Hector Balderas.
By now voters are aware of Hector’s hometown roots – roots which I share and believe make him uniquely suited for the office he seeks. What other candidate knows what it’s like to grow up from the land, in a town of less than 300 people, as I did? What other candidate was raised in public housing and created a future for himself despite all odds? Which candidate will take the community values cultivated at New Mexico high school basketball games and county fairs with him to Washington? Which candidate carries with him the weekend visits from Highlands back home on I-25 or en route to the Legislature in Santa Fe to fight for his community? Which candidate can bring those experiences with him the U.S. Senate?
There is only one.
Supporting Hector simply because of where he comes from is not enough, and I know this. I also support Hector for his stalwart dedication to issues important to our citizens, and because I truly believe – and I say this as a young gringo with a brown soul – that New Mexico needs a Hispanic voice to represent our state at this moment in time. The Senate needs one as well, and we are lucky to have that voice in Hector.
For the past several years, New Mexico has had a loyal watchdog in Hector Balderas. As state auditor, he has combated wasted, fraud and abuse in government – a collective problem that has plagued our state and Washington for too long. Voters from all four corners and throughout the country are frustrated at the lack of oversight and accountability of their tax dollars. Why not elect someone whose primary job has been – on a statewide level – to do just that?
Focusing on education and job training is exactly what our congressional leaders should be doing for New Mexico’s future. But this isn’t just a campaign platform for Hector – it’s part of who he is. A product of our educational institutions, Hector will no doubt be a fierce advocate for our high schools, vocational centers, junior colleges and universities to prepare our state for the future – a future that has too often been neglected by those who know not the challenges and potentials of New Mexico’s youth. As a product of Colfax County schools myself, I can tell you it is the most important issue for my generation.
It’s our future at stake
This election is very personal and important to me, and I have been frustrated at what has been imbalanced coverage in favor of establishment candidates. With such an important election, why would we allow the incumbency factor to dictate our nominee? It’s crucial that our coverage represent the diversity of New Mexico, and that our candidates are presented on equal footing.
Much has been said about experience in this race, but I wonder, with all the disenchantment of government and politics, why would we nominate the candidate who leads the pack with money, polling and political endorsements? Hector is one of the most well-respected candidates my generation has seen in New Mexico politics. It’s our future at stake, and with all due respect to the other candidates, no one represents New Mexico’s future better than Hector Balderas.
On June 5th, this native New Mexican in D.C. won’t be able to cast a ballot for him in this race – but I hope you will.
Jake McCook is a native New Mexican working on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. He was part of the 2005 New Mexico Fellows Program class with the Department of Cultural Affairs, and later worked for Gov. Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign. He grew up on an organic farm in Colfax County and is a 2001 graduate of Maxwell High School.
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