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Local optometrist, community activist announces bid for Dist. 43

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By Tris DeRoma

Lisa Shin, a local business owner who has become active in the county Republican Party and local politics, is ready to take her mission to the New Mexico State Legislature.

“This was an amazing opportunity for me to get involved in the political process,” Shin said. “I saw an opportunity and a door for something for me to talk about things I really care about.”

District 43 covers Los Alamos County and parts of Sandoval, Santa Fe, and Rio Arriba counties. Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard has announced her plans to vacate the seat and run for the statewide office of land commissioner.

Democrat Pete Sheehey announced in early December he would run for the seat. No other Republicans or Democrats have stepped forward.

Tax reform, health care and the Los Alamos National Laboratory are all issues Shin plans to talk about in her campaign.

Shin said she thinks there should also be more accountability on the health care front.

“As an optometrist for 20 years, I have demonstrated a strong commitment to patient-centered, accessible, affordable and effective health care,” Shin said.

Shin envisions a “fiscally sustainable and robust health care market for private and public health insurance.” Right now, she believes the state Legislature is threatening the system with too many proposed taxes and regulation.

“Our Legislature has proposed a tax on hospital services and decreases on provider reimbursements,” Shin said. “In September, our state pursued Medicaid premiums and co-pays to cover rising costs. Health care is becoming more and more unaffordable, and therefore, more inaccessible.”

Shin is in favor of Medicaid, she said.

“I think Medicaid is something that needs to be available and accessible for the disabled and children. That’s the priority I would have as a lawmaker,” Shin said. “As for able-bodied adults that can pay, I think there needs to be some sort of responsibility there.”

Shin points to Minnesota as one way New Mexico can solve the opioid crisis, in conjunction with programs implemented by Gov. Susana Martinez, such as the state’s prescription-monitoring program

Minnesota legislators have been toying with the idea of implementing a “penny-a-pill” tax on drug companies to help pay for programs to combat the addiction epidemic.

Shin moved to Los Alamos in 1997. “I was impressed with the safety of the town, the world-class education and the excellent quality of life,” Shin said. “I loved the spectacular beauty of New Mexico and knew that this would be a great place to pursue my dreams.”

Shin is first vice chair of the Los Alamos Republican Party. She received national attention during the 2016 presidential election when she spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland as a New Mexico delegate. She spoke about her parent’s emigration to America.

“My parents endured countless hardships and made tremendous sacrifices to pursue the dream, and they never imagined that one day, their daughter would be speaking you today. This is the beauty of the American Dream, to do and to be the unimaginable,” Shin said at the convention.

If elected, Shin said she plans to be a public servant, and not a politician.

“The problem with our government today is that we have too many politicians who care more about getting votes, than about the voters,” Shin said.

To find out more about Shin write Lisasfor43@gmail.com find her on facebook at facebook.com/betterwayforNM.