Marco Gonzales, a 10-year legislative assistant to Sen. Pete Domenici, was in Las Vegas on Friday to announce his candidacy as a Republican for the 3rd Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M.
The GOP candidate spoke to a group of five supporters at Spic and Span. The 5 o’clock evening hour might have been part of the reason for the small turnout.
Gonzales said maintaining and expanding the mission of Los Alamos National Laboratory would be a primary focus if he were elected to Congress.
The former defense aide said his first professional job began in 1987 working with Domenici.
“I learned a tremendous amount from Sen. Domenici about the inner workings of the Congress and how to get things accomplished within the congressional framework of our government.”
Gonzales said he would not need any on-the-job training and said he believed there was too much partisan bickering in Washington between Republicans and Democrats resulting in the people’s work not getting done.
“We have no governing agenda because Republicans and Democrats are focused on tearing each other down instead of lifting the people up. I am running because I want to be part of the new era Arnold Schwarzenegger calls ‘post-partisanship,’” Gonzales said.
On the issues, Gonzales said he wants to work on fiscal policies that will let the economy grow so the United States can compete with China. He said the federal government must also keep the promises it has made to Social Security and Medicare recipients.
“By 2017, the Social Security surplus runs dry and the system begins taking in less revenues than it pays out in benefits. Serious problems are on the horizon for everyone,” Gonzales said. He said as for Medicare, which provides health care to millions of America’s seniors, the problems are even more severe.
Concerning global warming, Gonzales said that it couldn’t be disputed that in recent years global warming has occurred.
“But what are the causes, how do you examine its effects and what do you do about it? My mind is open to taking a closer look at that issue. I’d like to be a Republican that’s thought of as environmentally-friendly and open-minded,” Gonzales said. “I think we ought to have a government that’s of the people, by the people and for the people, not of the party, by the party and for the party. I’m not going to be beholden to any political party or president. I’m going to come back home every weekend and listen to the people in my district and get their views on what it is they think their congressman ought to be doing,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said he would also fight for New Mexico’s children, 25 percent of whom have no health insurance. He said he would also fight for the rights of people with disabilities and mental illness.
The candidate said he would promote affordable energy policies, including clean and renewable fuels such as biomass, wind, solar and hydroelectric power.
Regarding the war in Iraq, Gonzales said the strategy pursued by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was wrong.
“I think the war has been mismanaged and misguided, and I think getting rid of Rumsfeld was the right thing to do. I want peace, and I would like to see our troops come home as soon as is practicable,” Gonzales said.