Heather Wilson talks election issues

Tonjia Rolan

U.S. Senate candidate Heather Wilson believes government deregulation is key to a healthy economy and job growth.

Wilson called recent Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Labor and Dodd Frank regulations “Job killing, stifling regulations that are killing people’s way of life.”

“This country’s in really deep trouble and it’s not going to be easy to get out of,” Wilson said Tuesday.

A former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Wilson threw her hat into the ring last March for retiring New Mexico Jeff Bingaman’s Senate seat.

“I’m particularly concerned about the financial management of the country and the role of the federal government.” Wilson said.

“Our debt is now larger than the size of the economy. This is not a good situation. It’s not sustainable. We have to get back to strong economic roles and job creation,” said Wilson, who noted the U.S. economy is in the same condition as Greece in 2008 when its economy began collapsing.

The Republican candidate, who stopped Tuesday in Clovis to meet with constituents and attend a fundraiser before heading to Lovington, answered questions about local concerns.

What is your position on immigration?

Border security and immigration are two separate issues. More people, newer technology, better policies and increased resources since 2005 have helped border security, but we need to be concerned about heavily armed cartels and insurgents in northern Mexico coming across the border into New Mexico. I’m opposed to amnesty because I don’t think it’s fair to people waiting to immigrate legally. I support legal immigration.

What’s going on with Cannon Air Force Base at the federal level?

The Secretary of Defense has proposed another round of base realignment and closures. I don’t think it will happen this year, but if we do have another round of BRAC, we’ll need a very strong delegation. I think BRAC is a terrible thing and I voted against it every single time. Cutting the military budget won’t and can’t solve our deficit problem.

What are your views on economic development in New Mexico?

There’s a large federal presence here with the air force base and we want to keep that strong. New Mexico is an energy producing state. There’s good job growth in southeast New Mexico based on oil, gas and uranium enrichment. In Lea County, the uranium enrichment plant wouldn’t be there without strong leadership. That kind of leadership, to bring industry to New Mexico is important. It also depends on getting the federal government out of the way with things like permitting and licensing and access to public lands, and even the ability of businesses to get loans.

Do you support the Ute water project?

A lot of that has to be worked out at the local level first. It’s going to take a great deal of cooperation at a local level because there’s conflict between Quay and Roosevelt county on whether it’s the right thing to do. It’s not something where a federal delegation can force a solution.