Longevity doesn’t necessarily equate to most effective person in office

-A A +A

At a workshop in May I was having a conversation with a fellow participant and the presenter. They were supporting rival candidates. Each of them proclaimed that their candidate was a listener, and each had direct experience with the other’s candidate not listening.
I realized how important other information is for choosing a candidate. In the last five years I have spent many days in committee rooms and in Roundhouse galleries while bills were debated and voted on.
I’ve learned that legislative skill and seniority are poorly correlated and some freshman legislators are much more capable than some in the upper quartile of  longevity.
I have known Jeannette Wallace and members of her family for decades – at times carpooling with her husband and doing research with her son.
Jeannette received my support from the time of her first campaign, and my gratitude for her dedicated service.
Now I am supporting her opponent Stephanie Richard. Why? Partly, because after four decades registering as a Republican I transitioned to the Democratic Party. Beyond partisanship are more compelling reasons.
As a legislator, Jeannette is invited by many organizations to attend dinners and meetings. Several friends who have had such contacts with her this year have told me how she appears to be so incongruous with their expectations for a Los Alamos Representative – can’t we do better?
One way to assess what we might expect is to look at the positions held by legislators from north central New Mexico counties legislators that our District 43 Representative ought to have a peer relationship with.
Of those ten, seven have leadership positions (Jeannette does not), yet only three have more seniority than Jeannette.
When I learned that many of Jeanette’s outstanding House colleagues have endorsed Stephanie Richard, I had another reason to believe that electing Stephanie will give Los Alamos more effective representation now.

Carl Newton
Los Alamos