Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Small, Skaggs go head-to-head in House District 36

LAS CRUCES – Democratic incumbent Nathan Small and Republican challenger Kimberly Skaggs are going head-to-head this election season for New Mexico Representative for House District 36 in southern New Mexico.

House District 36 encompasses parts of Doña Ana County including west Las Cruces and extending north through Rincón and Hatch. Small has represented people of this area since 2017. His background is in conservation.

Skaggs’ experience is in launching and operating several companies.

Skaggs did not respond to multiple interview requests from the Sun News. Small was asked a series of questions concerning critical issues and topics impacting southern New Mexico. Check out the questions and his responses.

What role, if any, do you believe the government should have in a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy?

“I do not believe that the government belongs in people’s most personal healthcare decisions,” Small said.

Small said he does however support expanding access to healthcare and affordability for New Mexicans, including pregnant mothers.

The state is planning for increased tax revenue from the oil and gas and cannabis industries. How do you believe the state should spend this money?

Small said the revenue should continue to be funneled into the general fund. From there he said he supports focusing the money toward healthcare, particularly addiction treatment and behavioral healthcare, raising teachers salaries and attracting more well-trained law enforcement officers.

New Mexico House Rep. Nathan Small, D-Doña Ana, has served District 36 since his election in 2016.

Should the legislature enact rebuttable assumptions into the law to allow judges to hold people accused, but not convicted, in jail? Why or why not?

Small said he believes more support should be given to public safety, particularly investing in public defender offices and district attorneys’ offices. Shrinking the time between arrest and prosecution is the goal so that the system is not as backed up as it is currently.

Is there any specific election law policy you would support implementing/abolishing in New Mexico? Name and explain the most important one to you.

“I think we need to continue key things like having the paper ballot for every vote that’s passed,” Small said. “I think we have a transparent and very strong and safe election system in New Mexico.”

Small said he supports opening primary elections so that registered voters of any party or not affiliated with a party can cast ballots in June. Currently, only voters registered to parties appearing on the ballot in June can vote in their party’s primary election.

Spaceport America was built with taxpayer money on the promise of a space tourism industry for southern New Mexico. What are the most critical next steps for this facility and what laws/regulations will you support to ensure that vision?

“I absolutely believe that public support, including (Gross Receipts Tax) or other approaches, should be spread beyond just Doña Ana and Sierra Counties, and I recognize that Spaceport and the really forward-looking investments ensuring that technology … has a long and storied history in southern New Mexico,” he said.

Small included the Spaceport among other tech areas, such as White Sands Missile Range, NASA Test Facility and New Mexico State University’s Physical Sciences Laboratory. He said the Spaceport is a significant economic opportunity and that there are opportunities currently to “encourage and recruit private sector investment.”

Education, child welfare, healthcare, energy and the environment are among the critical topics that we haven’t asked you to delve into at great length. What’s a specific policy in one of those areas that you plan to support?

“I’ve led the way in saving billions of gallons of water, specifically through treating and reusing water in industrial processes,” Small told the Sun-News. “Now we are developing technology out of New Mexico State University to treat brackish water, very salty water.”

Small said reducing the use of water and making use more sustainable is important to continue to support, especially since southern New Mexico continues to experience a significant drought.

Where can readers find out more about your platform and how can they contact you?

More information on Small’s campaign can be found at www.nathanpsmall.com and he can be contacted via email at [email protected].

Information on Skaggs and her campaign can be found online at kimberlyskaggs.com. You can also be contacted through the website.

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Leah Romero is the trending reporter at the Las Cruces Sun-News and can be reached at 575-418-3442, [email protected] or @rromero_leah on Twitter.

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