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Lieutenant governor candidate says he will be governor’s asset

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ARTESIA — Saying he was “born to be a public servant,” Democratic Lt. Gov. candidate Rick Miera spent some time in the region this week.

Democratic Lt. Gov. candidate Rick Miera was in Artesia and Carlsbad Tuesday talking with residents during his MainStreet Tour. Miera’s website says he will visit Roswell early next year. (Submitted Photo)

He served in the New Mexico House of Representatives for 24 years out the Albuquerque area. During his time in the Legislature, Miera said he was the chairman of the Education Committee and was the Majority Floor Leader of the House.

When he wasn’t serving in Santa Fe, he worked at the department of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico and he also worked at the Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center.

Miera said the political climate in New Mexico looks “very positive for Democrats taking back the administrative arm of government.

“So I decided with my history, my expertise and my knowledge, that I could be a great asset to the governor, whoever the Democrats choose to be the governor,” he said.

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Miera is part of a crowded field looking to be the state’s second-in-command. Other Democrats that announced are: Jeff Carr, Billy Garrett, Javier Gonzales and Dave McTeigue.

“It’s a large field,” Miera said. “I’m still feeling very comfortable about my running and my position. I have by far the most experience and knowledge of the legislative arena and I think that’s the most important part.”

Miera added that the office for him is more than the yearly legislative sessions. “I feel the lieutenant governor has to have a full-time job being an advocate for the state of New Mexico.”

If elected, Miera would be sitting on numerous committees, “also the office serves as an ombudsman for the entire state of New Mexico,” he said.

“People need to call up and have something answered in regards to them versus MVD, there should be an office for people to come and ask for some support and that’s pretty much how I see the office operating,” he added.

Miera’s visit Tuesday to Carlsbad and Artesia is part of his MainStreet Tour. Miera said his platform involves safe communities, a good educational system and a behavioral health system.

“We need to get back treating teachers as professionals and getting them back to teaching,” he said.

Miera hasn’t been a fan of Gov. Susana Martinez’s stance on education during her time in office.

“We’ve lost way too many teachers because of evaluation, the fact that we’re teaching to the test and it’s all about testing and it should be all about teaching and education,” he said.

Miera added that he will support Main Street businesses in New Mexico. His meeting place in Artesia Tuesday evening was the Wellhead Restaurant and Brew Pub located on 332 W. Main St.

He said Main Street businesses “are a good indicator of what’s going on in rural New Mexico. That’s why I’m doing my tour here, I’m going to go all around the state,” he said.

Miera was asked to give his impressions of what he’s seen of the business climate in Eddy County.

“The oil and gas (industry) has pretty much been the source of income for the state of New Mexico,” he said. “We’ve always depended on that for the services and the money that go along with that.”

During his tour of Artesia, Miera said the community is built around oil and gas.

“The people feeling very comfortable about needing support services, they go out and ask the oil and gas people for that support,” he said.

“But, I think New Mexico as a state, needs to play a role in developing of issues that oil and gas can’t take care of. That’s like fixing the roads and taking care of the needs of the community, like education, mental health and things of that nature.”

Miera said the main need he’s heard from people in this area is the need to fix roads and bridges.

“This administration has been sorely behind the wheel of that one,” he said. “It’s been a constant talk that we need to fix the roads here and that’s where the New Mexico Legislature and New Mexico in general, where tax dollars need to take care of roads and bridges.”