Gun control is an issue driving at least one local to the polls and to an Albuquerque gun show.
Scott McLeod is a teacher at West Mesa High School and works at CNM as an automotive instructor.
“I came basically to help out with the [Steve] Peace campaign,” he said. “It’s part of getting involved instead of talking all the time.”
He supports Pearce because of his conservative views on the economy and because of his pro-gun voting record in Congress. But he says he’s not a straight-party voter.
“I try to go and get myself informed, which is something I try to tell my students to do. ‘Get yourself informed, don’t go off my opinion,’” McLeod said. “So I pull up every candidate’s website and then I read through it and when I see stuff that turns me off, then I bail.”
He said Pearce and his Democratic rival Michelle Lujan Grisham both have problems with the PARCC test, but as an educator, he believes the model is helping students improve.
“We didn’t really embrace it that well, but I administer and proctor the PARCC tests. It’s turning around,” he said. “We’ve made it past the negative and now numbers and scores are starting to go [up].”
On guns as an election issue, McLeod thinks the answer to ending gun violence in New Mexico is by beefing up the state’s mental health care systems.
“I think when we rolled back a lot of the mental health services and we closed some mental hospitals in the state – I mean on one hand they said, ‘They have the right to be free and the right to not be locked down and they have their rights. Well, while we gave them their rights, they’re living under a bridge,” he said.
His support for the GOP goes all the way up to the White House. He said he supports President Donald Trump because his policies are helping out New Mexico.
“I’m not always a fan of all the rhetoric maybe that comes out of him, but I’m a big fan of results,” he said. “As a teacher, I got a pay raise because of this. We had extra money left over.”
McLeod actually identifies as an Independent, and he used to be a Democrat.
“What I see is happening to the [Democratic] party and what just happened with Justice [Brett] Kavanaugh now, it’s just scary where our country is at right now,” he said.
Support for KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, the Con Alma Health Foundation, and from KUNM listeners like you.