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Republican Congress candidates energize election

Gavin Clarkson addressed attendees of Chaves County Federated Republican Women after the luncheon on Wednesday. (Alison Penn Photo)

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Two of four congressional candidates spoke at the Republican women’s luncheon on Wednesday.

Monty Newman stands at the lectern sharing his varied experiences in New Mexico at the GOP Luncheon on Wednesday. (Alison Penn Photo)

Seeking incumbent Congressman Steve Pearce’s seat as Pearce prepares to run for governor, Republican Congressional District 2 candidates Dr. Gavin Clarkson and Monty Newman were present at the luncheon, while other candidates Clayburn Griffin and Yvette Herrell sent their regrets to Teresa Barncastle, president of Chaves County Federated Republican Women.

“We do have some races that will be decided in the primaries,” Barncastle said. “So we do need everyone to get out there and vote.”

The Primary Election is June 5 and the General Election is Nov. 6. Madeleine Hildebrandt and Xochitl Torres Small are the Democratic candidates for District 2.

Andrea Moore, phone committee chair, introduced the guest speakers after the lunch was served.

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A leading scholar in tribal finance and economic development, Clarkson is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation, holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Rice University, a doctorate in technology and operations management from Harvard Business School, and graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. Clarkson is also a member of the Federalist Society and served in the Native American Law Students’ Association. Currently, Clarkson is a professor with a leave of absence from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

Newman has lived in Clovis, Portales and is the second elected mayor of Hobbs where he worked in real estate. He has also served as city commissioner, participated on university and economic development boards along with serving as chairman for Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance as well as the New Mexico Republican Party.

American pride 

“Now, I am running on a platform of three E’s for the land of enchantment,” Clarkson said. “First is expand the economy. We need to create more jobs and I have a plan to do that — a very specific plan to do that. I’m also running to empower ordinary Americans to protect our cultural values and finally, I am running on enforcement — enforcing our borders and enforcing government accountability.”

Clark said he learned these principles from his father, beginning as an orphan Choctaw child in Chickasha, Oklahoma, who rose out of poverty and joined the Navy. Clark said his father was the first American-Indian to fly a jet and senior nuclear strategist for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Native American poverty is not a life sentence, which Clark said is relevant to this district. Clark said he would follow Pearce’s strategy to keep the seat in Republican hands by making sure American-Indian nations would support the candidates, which he believes is an advantage to his campaign. Keeping the seat in Republican hands was something Clark stressed throughout his speech.

Newman said he was honored to be at the luncheon and quoted John Adams saying the Constitution was made for moral and religious people and was holy not comparable to other governments.

“What we are defending today, in my opinion, more than anything else, is our liberty,” Newman said. “And we are not defending it as conservatives or progressives. We are defending liberty from the standpoint that we do not want socialism in our country and I would tell you that is the fight today.

“The priority for me is not just the federal side of this government — it’s you,” Newman said. “It’s the growth, expansion and belief in this state that you and I live in.”

Newman said he liked Trump’s judicial appointments and rolling back of the regulatory environment to ensure the country would have the ability to become energy dependent. Newman said securing and protecting borders and free enterprise was important to his campaign.

Call to arms

Both candidates showed their support to bear arms for Americans.

“First thing that I want more than anything else is the First Amendment,” Newman said. “The right to speech, the right of religion, and the right of the free press. I have no interest — whether I agree or disagree with the press — I have no interest in the government owning the press. I have no interest in the government owning the religion that you have to be a part of. I have no interest in the government keeping me from being able to speak my mind or my thoughts as relates to public matters and those matters of government.”

Newman said he was pro-gun and referenced the Second Amendment almost ensures the First Amendment in today’s society. He said he would never support anything that would erode these rights.

Clark said he was the only educator calling for concealed carry in the classroom and referred to the recent Maryland shooting that was stopped by a school resource officer.

“I’m an endangered species,” Clark said. “I’m a Christian conservative Republican pro-life pro-gun college professor and I know my message is working because four days after I announced my candidacy — the university gave me a leave until 2020 to go work for the president.”

Referring to when he ran a Christian crisis pregnancy center in Boston, Clark said he was also the only pro-life candidate in the race. He also said he was the only Trump official running for Congress nationwide, economic development professional and candidate with a federal energy portfolio.

Examining NM

“Imagine, we send our kids off to trade school,” Clark said to paint what he called the desired picture of New Mexico. “We send them off to college and then they come back home — and they get a job here. They can raise their families here. How many of y’all have grandbabies? How many of your grandbabies are out of state? Or out of town? Because again, if our kids can’t have jobs here  — we don’t get to watch out grandbabies play soccer on the weekends, or Little League or T-ball, or things like that, or if they do rodeo mutton busting.

“Yes, I was President Trump’s deputy assistant secretary for policy and economic development. It was an absolute honor and pleasure to serve the president — but I was concerned when I looked back home in New Mexico that we were going to have a repeat of 2008 all over again.”

Newman said that the state is the most paid by the federal government in the union, which he would like to change that through free enterprise.

“I believe in progress, but for political reasons, I’m not a progressive,” Newman said. “I love the term progress because I want to see Roswell grow. I want to see Chaves County grow. I want to see the state of New Mexico grow. I’m for progress.

“As Americans, we need to be big, bold and proud. As citizens of the state of New Mexico, we need big, bold and proud. I’m proud to be an American.”

Clarkson and Newman both can be found on social media and on their websites.

The next meeting is April 18 with Chaves County Sheriff candidates Britt Snyder and Mike Herrington presenting speeches.

City reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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