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Heinrich urges Democrats to get involved

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By Bennett Horne

Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich likes the momentum his party is picking up in Los Alamos County and urged a crowd of supporters to continue the unified fight heading into the November general election. 

Heinrich spoke at a Democratic Party meet and greet event at UnQuarked, which was also attended by Christine Chandler, the party’s candidate for the District 43 House of Representatives race, and municipal judge candidate Elizabeth Allen, as well as county council candidates Sara Scott, James Robinson and Randall Ryti.

“The purpose of being here tonight is to urge all of you to become part of a coordinated campaign,” Heinrich said. “I’ve been through too many campaigns in New Mexico where this group was off doing this thing, and this group was doing that thing, and the delegation was doing something else and the governor’s candidate had their own operation … this is the first truly unified effort I’ve ever seen.

“So we’re here today,” he continued, “to say please sign up and get involved.”

The senator said volunteering to help the Democratic candidates in their respective races is the only way the party can help set the policy it believes needs to be set.

“The only way we’re going to make sure that science is once again used as your North Star when you set policy,” he said, “the only way we’re going to invest in our kids and give them the kind of debt free college education and technical education that they need to thrive in the work place, the only way we’re going to close the incredible income gap that has festered in the country for too long is for all of us together to rise up and work together. And that means you’re going to have to volunteer.”

He told those in attendance that every policy that “frustrates” them or “fires them up” during this election cycle can be changed, but that it “goes through the ballot box.”

The election cycle, he said, is “the way we turn things around.”

Heinrich said one of the most important races on the state level was Chandler’s bid for the open seat in the House of Representatives.

“If you elect Christine, what you’re doing is sending someone there who can be a voice to say, ‘It’s long past time that we took a sustainable portion of our permanent fund and put it into early childhood education,” he said. “That’s a difference you can make.”

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg on the state level.

“The focus shifts to states, the focus shifts to local governments, the focus shifts to county commissions – county councils in Los Alamos’ case,” he said. “That’s where the action is.”

On the federal level, he said this election is about “an executive, a president, who does not respect the fundamental institutions that make this the greatest democracy on earth,” and said while it’s one thing to disagree over policy, it’s another “to have a White House that doesn’t believe in due process,” or a White House that “doesn’t believe in an independent judiciary, or thinks that the Department of Justice and the FBI are his personal attorneys.”

He added, “So the way we’re going to put some guard rails on this president is for all of you to get involved in this election.”

Heinrich said while most elections are billed as the “most important ever,” none is more important than this November’s election.

“I’ve been through a lot of election cycles and somebody’s always standing up here saying, ‘This is the most important election ever, blah, blah, blah,’” he said. “No folks, this is it. Our kids and our grandkids are going to look back at this era in our history and they’re going to say, ‘What did you do? What did you do to stand up to the things that were happening at this moment in time?’ And that is what all this is about now.”