Martinez Johnson seeks to flip CD3 to Republicans
With Election Day next week and early voting underway, voters in Congressional District 3 will decide whether to elect incumbent Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez, or challenger Republican Alexis Martinez Johnson.
New Mexico in Focus Correspondent Gwyneth Doland with our media partner New Mexico PBS sat down with Martinez Johnson to talk about the newly redrawn district, climate change and her thoughts on abortion in the state.
GWYNETH DOLAND: After redistricting, CD3 now pushes far down into the eastern part of the state, picking up pieces of Hobbs, Artesia, Roswell, where you’re from. Looking at the district as a whole, what do residents in Roswell have in common with people in Santa Fe where you live now?
ALEXIS MARTINEZ JOHNSON: What we have in common is a love of New Mexico, a love of our families, you know, hard work, we always like green chile, of course. But you know we want a good economy, we want to prosper, we want to live in a state where there’s not that much crime, things of that nature. And going from Hobbs, going to Roswell, and up to the north, we hold those values to be the same.
DOLAND: What do you think we should do to address climate change?
MARTINEZ JOHNSON: I think what we should do is for someone like myself, an environmental engineer, who’s spent my entire career making sure our water, soil and air is clean, you need to have people that actually have the know-how. You do not want government official and extreme left party politics in play, because then what we do is we get a situation where like in New Mexico, we’re going to be subject to brownouts because they’re going to take out one of our coal generating stations in my district, and for what? So that we don’t have electricity? I mean, we have to do this in a way where it makes common sense.
DOLAND: New Mexico has relatively few restrictions on abortion, in stark contrast to some of our neighbors. In Congress now, there’s a proposal to ban abortion nationwide at 15 weeks. Would you vote for that?
MARTINEZ JOHNSON: Well, quite simply, it has been relegated to the states, and I think we should start representing New Mexicans. What do New Mexicans want? That should be the first thing that you’re asking as a person for the U.S. Congress or any type of leader here in New Mexico. And quite frankly, when you’re talking about ending the life all the way up to the point of 39 weeks, that’s barbaric. I mean, you’re talking Democrats, Republicans, and Independents overwhelmingly do not support up to birth elective, and they do not support all the way taxpayer funded, which the leaders in this state are doing.
DOLAND: Polls do show us that the majority of New Mexicans support access to abortion. So if you were elected and this came in front of you, would you vote for or against a nationwide ban at 15 weeks?
MARTINEZ JOHNSON: I would vote for what New Mexicans want, and what New Mexicans want is they want to be able to have their reproductive care taken at the personal level and with their doctor. I support them having a voice and a choice. And at that 15 week, I think that is a point where they can make that decision to carry on or do not. New Mexicans don’t want what’s currently going on right now, which is up to the point of birth, and you’re talking no emergency. You’re talking to someone that has had twins born at 32 weeks, who fought for their life for more than a month and a half at 32 weeks. Right now today, you can call Southwest Women's Options, you can say, I have no emergency, the baby has no emergency, can I walk in and end the life at 37 weeks and they’ll say come on in. That’s not what New Mexicans want.
Find the full interview online. KUNM’s Jeanette DeDios contributed to this report.