Las Cruces, NM – Democrat incumbent Joni Gutierrez has held the position since 2005 and is up against Republican Virginia Robertson.
Gutierrez says her top priorities for the district and state are education and jobs.
Gutierrez-"It is interesting because they go hand in glove. We can create programs in the state of NM such as expanding our vocational education programs here at the high school level. We have been remiss in doing that and I think we need to do that and look at those educational opportunities as well as our afterschool programs or work with NMSU to look at some large scale job training opportunities."
Three weeks into the new fiscal year which began in July, New Mexico was around one hundred and sixty million dollars in the hole. Gutierrez serves on the state Appropriations and Finance Committee and says dealing with the current budget issues boils down to projections.
Gutierrez -"Unfortunately, it's not like we get the same paycheck every month. It's based on taxes oil and revenue, different income that we get. So, our income is a projected income and we have economists that projected our income and unfortunately they were not exactly right. As the income actually comes in that's when we have to adjust it. I think statewide we really have to look at the best practices to project our income better and how to make sure that we don't get into these situations where we have to cut."
This year only lawmakers in the House of Representatives are up for election on November 2nd. Early voting is taking place now through October 30th at the Dona Ana County Government Center. Go to KRWG.org's Election 2010 section to hear a previous story on Republican candidate Virginia Robertson.