ARTESIA — James G. (Jim) Townsend, a Republican from Artesia has announced plans to seek another term to the District 54 seat in the New Mexico House of Representatives.
This district generally covers the western half of Eddy County, the eastern and southern part of Otero County and the southern end of Chaves County.
According to a press release, Rep. Townsend, is currently finishing his second term, and is retired and devotes his full time to serving his constituents in District 54. He has led efforts to support agriculture, oil and gas, pharmacies, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and education within the district.
During his first two terms he has worked extensively with Sacramento Mountains ranchers to secure water rights and to ensure area ranchers fair and equitable treatment while working with New Mexico State Engineer’s office, New Mexico State Game and Fish as well as the U.S. Forest Service. He has also worked to provide a better foundation for new jobs within New Mexico, an effort that he believes paramount to New Mexico’s future. Townsend said that New Mexico’s infrastructure, roads and bridges, is critical today to provide a safe consistent work environment for companies and their employees to succeed in while allowing area residents the ability to enjoy their livelihoods.
The release said his efforts during the most recent legislature were successful in restoring a portion of education cash balances that were swept in 2017 to balance the state budget. He also sponsored legislation to support the brine well remediation in Carlsbad with other area legislators that was successful. Townsend also has pushed the legislative processes to be more efficient and transparent for all constituents around the state. Townsend has sponsored efforts to more efficiently collect fuel taxes, without raising taxes, to provide funding for better roads and infrastructure and has consistently worked to pass legislation to repeal the prevailing wage law which would save New Mexico a minimum of $40 million annually.
Townsend currently serves on the House Appropriations and Finance Committee and the Health and Human services committee and in the interim has devoted all of his time to the Legislative Finance Committee this past term. He believes his time spent focusing and learning the state budgeting and finance processes, in detail, will be beneficial to his district and the state overall. In the past, he has served on the Agriculture and Water Resources Committee, Legislative Education Study Committee and Energy, Environment and Natural Resources. His effort to serve on multiple committees has developed a broad prospective to serve the constituents of District 54, according to the release.