U.s. Congress: District 1

Republican Primary

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Job Description: The federal representative for New Mexicans living in the First Congressional District. Drafts and votes on legislation.

Term: Two years

Salary: $169,300

Office Held By: Heather Wilson, who’s vacating the seat after a decade to run for U.S. Senate.

Darren White

We had to make Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White’s suit diamonds because White’s got plenty of them in his pockets this election season—way more than his primary competitor, Carraro. And President Bush came to Albuquerque on Tuesday, May 27, to help White top off the pile. White was an Albuquerque police officer for eight years, is a military veteran and spent five years as the secretary of the Department of Public Safety under Gov. Gary Johnson. He also worked at Channel 13 as a reporter. (And, we’d like to note, he was a lead singer of The Force, APD’s all-star rock ’n’ roll band.)

He supports limited government and fiscal discipline as "central Republican values," he says. "They say Congress spends like drunken sailors, which I say is an insult to drunken sailors, because drunken sailors pay their own way, and at some point, they’re cut off." He addresses his lack of political experience by saying he isn’t a career politician. Because he’s involved with the community as a law enforcement agent, he says he knows what the issues are and how to address them. "Anybody who wants to run is qualified," he says. (We don’t necessarily agree.)

He doesn’t believe in removing funding from U.S. troops while they’re deployed. Though huge mistakes have been made in the Iraq War, the United States needs to push the Iraqi government toward reconciliation before troops can come home safely, he says. Withdrawal would be wrong, he adds, as the instability it would create in Iraq would be a nightmare for the United States.

On the economy, White says he favors no tax hikes and Congress needs to slow down its spending. There should also be support for small businesses, which he says would make a large percentage of new jobs. An addiction to foreign oil has created high gas prices, he adds, and the United States should be developing alternative energy options like wind, solar and biofuels. He is a supporter of nuclear energy and would like to consider drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

He’s not in favor of a national health care system, which he says is just a system of mandates. Workers should be able to keep their insurance when they change jobs, he says, and small businesses should be able to pool together to buy insurance.

No Child Left Behind has lost its way, and the federal government shouldn’t be directing schools, he says. Border security is vital, he adds, but the country needs to develop a compassionate and generous border policy that allows workers to enter the country legally.

While we don’t agree with many of White’s stances, they’re here and they’re clear. And we respect that he’s at least upfront and honest with his positions.

Joe Carraro

It’s always a challenge to make heads or tails of what Carraro would like to do should he obtain his desired position, which leaves us wondering if he reads these endorsement thingies from year to year. You’d think the state senator would know we’re seeking specifics. In fact, no matter how many times we ask questions using the word "specific," we’re left looking at a pageful of question marks where our notes are supposed to be.

We’re talking about a congressional candidate who at the time of his interview didn’t have an opinion on the Iraq War, aside from that he would like to “ask more questions” once he gets to Congress. "What happened to Osama bin Laden?" he asks. He adds that the United States needs to "make sure when we leave, we leave so we don’t have to go back again."

He says he favors ethics reform and ending government corruption by supporting campaign contribution caps and open committee meetings. But it was revealed last week that Carraro worked for $5,000 per month as a consultant for an artificial turf company while using his legislative position to net government cash and work for that company.

Carraro says he’s a great candidate when it comes to issues of the economy, having worked as a stock broker, financial analyst and small business owner. Young people need a seat at the table when it comes to the Social Security debate, he says. The border should be secure, but the United States should figure out a way to expedite the process for immigrants to enter the country legally. And that’s pretty much all we could make out.

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