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VOTE411 Voter Guide

NM State Representative District 57

Represents a district in the New Mexico House of Representatives, which has 70 members. In odd-numbered years, the legislature meets for 60 days; in even-numbered years, it meets for 30 days. The Governor may call for special sessions. Representatives sponsor and vote on “reasonable and appropriate laws,” represent the constituents of their districts, and serve on legislative committees. Positions are unpaid, except for per diem expenses. Elected for a two-year term.

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    Catherine Jeanette Cullen
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    John Richard Dantonio Jr
    (Rep)

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    Corrine Rios
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Michelle Eleanor Sandoval
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

What abilities do you have that qualify you for this office?

What is your top priority, and how do you plan to address it?

What additional water policies and actions, if any, are needed in New Mexico?

What, if anything, should be done to improve public safety?

What programs or actions, if any, would you support to provide more affordable housing?

How can New Mexico diversify its economy?

Should legislators be paid a salary? Why or why not?

Campaign Mailing Address 6975 Skylar Dr Ne
Rio Rancho, NM 87144
Campaign Phone 505-710-4462
Campaign Email cullen4nm@gmail.com
Facebook http://cullen4nm
Campaign Website http://www.cullen4nm.com
Occupation Real Estate Broker
During my time on the Rio Rancho School Board from 2013 to 2021, I gained valuable skills directly applicable to a state representative role. I have an understanding of education policies, funding, curriculum, school administration, budgeting and capital outlay. Engaging with parents and the community to build relationships and represent constituents effectively. My advocacy, negotiation, decision-making, collaboration, policy analysis, and communication skills further qualify me.
My top priority is to reduce crime rates in New Mexico by implementing strong legislation. This involves creating and enforcing laws that specifically tackle key concerns such as reducing repeat offenses, strengthening law enforcement capabilities, and improving community safety. I support measures that increase penalties for violent crimes.
New Mexicans are confronting escalating water scarcity and emerging threats to our existing resources. The goal of providing sustainable, clean water to communities hinges on a multifaceted approach. This includes strategic investments from federal and state funding sources, the widespread adoption of advanced technology, and collaboration with community members and leaders at all levels of government.
New Mexicans expect us to stop the "revolving door" for career criminals. We must provide law enforcement resources through increased funding and support, ensuring officers receive adequate training and equipment to prevent and investigate crimes effectively. We also need to provide additional resources for mental health and substance abuse.
We must continue investing in first-time home buyer programs, building new homes, and supporting rental assistance programs.
I support developing a skilled workforce to drive economic diversification. We should invest in education, career technical, and workforce development programs aligned with emerging industries. Sectors like technology, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing have significant growth potential. Providing entrepreneurs with resources, training, and mentorship programs can stimulate innovation and job creation.
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Campaign Mailing Address P.O. Box 45188
Rio Rancho, NM 87174
Campaign Phone 505-274-0680
Campaign Email DantonioForNM@gmail.com
Occupation Water Resources Engineer & Consultant
What I would like to emphasize to you is my EXPERIENCE that will make me an effective legislator and representative for my community. I have been a cabinet secretary under 4 governors, which means I understand the legislative process and what it takes to get things done. I have held senior-level positions on both Federal and the State Infrastructure Committees. I also have what I consider a great working relationship with many members of the members of the legislature and agency heads.
I have many top priorities, and you can visit my website to read my platform. However, I would say that as one of only a few engineers and possibly the only legislator with water policy chops and direct experience in designing and building important infrastructure projects, these are the areas I would be immediately effective. I would also stress the importance of public/private partnerships, along with collaboration with educational institutions as key to tackling many of our critical issues.
As the NM State Engineer for 12 years NM's Commissioner on the Upper Colorado River and Rio Grande Commissions, I am considered one of the West's foremost experts on water policy. I played an important role on the Texas v. NM US Supreme Court litigation, which set the stage on the importance of augmenting water supply in the Lower Rio Grande Valley through infrastructure development, increased administration and fallowing of farmland to maintain compact compliance. Check out my website for more.
Reducing crime will be one of my top priorities as a legislator. I strongly support funding a wide range of criminal justice programs and reforms, including programs for victims of crime, requiring prison time for gun-related offenses, requiring pretrial detention for violent crimes, revitalizing distressed spaces that attract criminal activity, providing proven support services for those transitioning from prison to society to reduce recidivism, and funding mental health-related services.
There is a desperate need for cities throughout New Mexico to increase its affordable rental housing inventory through multifamily and manufacturing housing developments. We can do this by continuing to support and fund the state's Municipal Housing Act, which permits public-private partnerships for various affordable housing activities.
NM needs to continue shifting its economy from its dependence on federal funds and toward a wider range of sectors and markets. To do this, we need to support entrepreneurs, foster innovation and collaboration between stakeholders, attract and retain talent, and continue to support community colleges and trade schools that engage with industry to offer industry-relevant curriculum. NM's rules and regulations also need to be streamlined, because they often are impediments to growth.
I see the arguments on both sides of this debate. Is the fact that NM has a citizen legislature preventing us from having longer sessions and passing a greater percentage of bills? Are part-time and low-compensation legislatures less professionally diverse? Is our legislature overwhelmingly comprised of representatives who own businesses, such as law firms, and can afford to meet the demands of serving? Those are all questions that should be debated with a lot of public input.
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