Change and prosperity for New Mexico

September 25, 2018

As New Mexicans, we have many choices for the people who will lead our state forward, even in this age of political chaos.

I am proud to say I always have been, and always will be a proud New Mexican. My family has been here for centuries, many of them making a difference in state politics, such as my grandfather, former Democratic corporation commissioner Johnny Block.

Although my grandfather lived in a much different time with less partisanship, he was a fair man, who gave people the benefit of the doubt. Following in my grandfather’s political footsteps, I started paging at the New Mexico House of Representatives, where my grandmother, Eloisa, was the assistant chief clerk. I interacted with legislators of both parties and learned how lawmaking happened.

In high school, I worked at Guadalupe Café, next to the Capitol. One summer day, I served Republican Congressman Steve Pearce and his wife, Cynthia, for lunch. Although he was a member of Congress and had every reason to brush aside a young high-schooler like me, he didn’t. He had a friendly conversation with me and treated me like an equal, asking about my schooling and family.

In college, I had the fortune of working once again at the House as a committee attendant, where I met Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-N.M. I could tell she was a standout, especially with a notable banking committee exchange between her and Democratic Rep. Debbie Rodella over the Real ID Act, which is now law. Herrell knew how to get things done, and she fought passionately for her constituents.

Last summer, I interned in Democratic U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich’s Washington, D.C., office. There, I heard a lot of side chatter about Republican Senate candidate Mick Rich. Seeing Rich’s travels across the state was a stark difference between him and my then-boss. I barely heard of Heinrich traveling the state, and when he did, it was to advocate for his starkly partisan message.

From all the candidates I have met, spoken with and heard from, I proudly endorse Steve Pearce for governor, Yvette Herrell for Congress in District 2 and Mick Rich for Senate. As someone who loves our great state and wants only the best for it, these candidates are the best options to bring substantial change and prosperity to the place we all call home.

John Block is a native of Santa Fe.

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