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Alan Webber, a Santa Fe businessman, is one of five Democratic candidates for governor.
And Webber, who was in Los Alamos Wednesday, feels like he has the best shot at the nomination and also has the best shot of beating Gov. Susana Martinez in November.
Webber says he has raised more than $200,000 outside of New Mexico and raised more than the other four candidates — Howie Morales, Linda Lopez, Lawrence Rael and Gary King.
“This is the first time I have run for office,” Webber said while visiting the Los Alamos Monitor office. “I have worked in the federal, state and local governments. I feel like I have the best campaign team, I got over 7,000 signatures and I was second in the pre-primary (to King). The facts suggest I have the best shot at winning in November and I feel I can bring people togther for a common cause.”
Webber spent Wednesday talking to a group of people in Los Alamos. And he was asked how he could help Los Alamos if he was elected governor.
“We were talking about jobs and we talked about can we make Los Alamos the beginning of a sustainable economy for New Mexico. Can we do a better job of commercializing the technology at the lab and turn it into the future of New Mexico? Can we get some young people who are in school to stay and not move out of state?”
Webber said it’s a huge opportunity for Los Alamos to be at the forefront of the state economy. He cited Los Alamos’ quality of life, its education and technology.
“And the history of the place is remarkable,” Webber said. “You would think if the governor would want to make New Mexico an attraction for bright young people, one of the places she would focus on would be Los Alamos.”
Webber said he had not yet called on Los Alamos National Laboratory officials.
He said he will be hoping to call on them if he happens to win the primary on June 3.
“If I’m the nominee on June 4 and I pick up the phone and then it’s a different conversation. You have to respect people’s time and end energy. If all five candidates called them, it would be a rat race.”
Webber is well aware of some of the issues facing the lab, including the looming deadline to get waste off the Hill and also well aware of the problems at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
“The WIPP problem is troublesome,” Webber said. “The latest headline is kitty litter. They are still trying to figure out what happened and that is troubling. You have to be concerned and hopefully they can find out why those drums exploded.”
Webber then turned his attention back to Martinez.
He was asked how he planned to defeat Martinez.
“We are not thinking with enough creativity about the New Mexico economy and we sort of settle for whatever we get. That is status quo thinking,” he said. “We are No. 50 in job growth and overall child wellbeing. To me, that’s an indictment against Governor Martinez.”
“Four years ago, she ran against Bill Richardson, who was not on the ballot but that was still her opponent. Four years later, she can’t run against Richardson, she has to defend her own record.”
Webber said part of Martinez’s record included:
• Education and Hanna Skandera
• Lack of job creation
• Sacrificing the environment
• Kneecapping the film industry.
“I believe as a businessman and a entrepreneur, it’s not about her personality, it’s about her performance so I am going to focus on her lack of performance,” Webber said.
And he also is well aware of the PAC money coming in for Martinez.
“We have to nationalize the election,” he said. “You see Governor Martinez has the support of the Koch Brothers who have raised money all over the country. The Democrats have to nominate somebody who can raise money outside of New Mexico and I already have proved I can do it.”
The governor's office, meanwhile, responded Friday night.
Martinez spokesman Chris Sanchez said in a statement, “All New Mexicans need to know about Alan Webber is that he wants the
federal government to enforce a minimum gas price of $4.50 per gallon to
coerce people to buy environmentally friendly cars. His fringe views may
help him win friends from the far-left special interest groups in
Washington, D.C, but they are out of step with everyday New Mexicans."