Candidate Interview: Alexis Martinez Johnson, New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District

In April, the Piñon Post had a conversation with Republican congressional candidate for New Mexico’s 3rd District, Alexis Martinez Johnson to discuss her run for the U.S. House of Representatives. The full, unredacted interview is below:

Why did you decide to run for the Third Congressional District? 

I’m a native New Mexican, you know born and raised here. Typically somebody like me you wouldn’t really see in politics. So, I didn’t come from a wealthy family.

I didn’t come from the name of powerful recognition that we see here New Mexico. So I’m an everyday New Mexican as such, you know, I saw here in Santa Fe how there was such an assault on the New Mexican way of life — the values that we’ve held from our different cultures here. It’s such a diverse culture specifically in New Mexico. We have Indian Country, our Hispanic community, and all other races and everything like this. We all come to New Mexico, lived here, transplants here for the beauty of it, the beauty of the people and diversity. 

So, when I came into Santa Fe and I saw that there was an assault on our Second Amendment — that’s one of the reasons that really fueled me to run for this district. So, the defining moment … pretty much went back last year in around August in 2019. They were having this discussion there at Santa Fe New Mexican about doing away with gun ownership. They had several people go in. People in the community staying, you know, we don’t need guns, etc, etc. And there was no opposition to that. 

So, I walked in there and I said I opposed infringing upon that Second Amendment. And I said, ‘Are you preventing anybody from coming in here and speaking with an opposing view?’ They said, ‘No, you’re just the only one that’s come in.’ So, I laid that out and I put that on my campaign website. That was the first video that I did. And that was raw, candid, and very grassroots. But that is what this campaign is about. The very next day, I signed up to run for U.S. Congress because I saw that our rights are under attack. And if you don’t have the ability to defend your liberties, then you don’t have the ability to defend the rest of the Constitution or even make that document come into life. So, it’s just a document, and it’s up to us — the Constitution Bill of Rights, — it’s up to us as Americans to make that come alive and to follow that.

We are an experiment — this great American experiment — in one of the newest countries in this world. And we have to maintain that. And as a mother of four children, I also saw such an assault on the lives of the babies. And I don’t know if I’ve told you before, but I had babies born between 30-31 weeks of life. They’re twins. And they came into this world looking for their mom and they’re healthy now and everything. But I didn’t know what the truth was in New Mexico. I didn’t know ‘should I trust me or the government? Whose trying to treat them in regard to the lives of babies.

So what I did was I called the abortion clinic there in Albuquerque. I think it’s Southwestern Women’s Options. I just searched and that was the one that came up. Then I called them. I talked to the receptionist and I said, ‘If I have a friend that wants to come in, when is the last time she can come in?’ She said, ‘You can come in after 32 weeks.’ I said, ‘Okay,’ and I was really… I was like,  ‘Wow that’s amazing.’ And then I asked, ‘So, the mother and child have to have an emergency?’ And then she said ‘No.’

And after those two responses, I was flabbergasted, and that further fueled this campaign and that’s why I’m running. I’m running for the rights of New Mexicans, the unborn, and also our American Freedom. So, those are the main reasons. And other than that, there’s lots of other reasons. Especially here in Bernalillo and other parts of New Mexico — in the sanctuary city here in Santa Fe. I believe in securing our borders with a physical barrier, especially as evidenced by this pandemic, you can see it’s necessary. Creating jobs — that’s going to be number one coming out of this. And of course, supporting our Military and veterans. 

Here in Santa Fe, the headstones are laid down in one certain particular area of the cemetery here for veterans, and that was done by House bill. And the reasoning for that, from what I understand from what the veterans say, is that the homeowners here in Santa Fe, they didn’t want to look at the headstone from their property. So they had a horizontal placard. It’s wasn’t laid down, but it was just the way it is. It’s just on the ground. And then I thought it was just so disrespectful that they would rather disrespect the people that have lost their lives protecting our freedoms. They would rather not look at that, you know, and all of those things put together, are why I’m running.

What experience do you bring to the race that you feel can help the 3rd Congressional District?

The experience that I bring is quite different than that of the other Republican candidates within my same race. And that is I bring the expertise of a problem-solving background with strong negotiating skills. I worked in the oil and gas industry — Permian Basin, and that is my forte. And that brings in — that did bring in almost 39% of our state budget. A lot went to education and, as you know, we’re ranked last in education. And education has been for me, coming from humble beginnings, has been something that has allowed me to reach for the stars, to achieve in my life. And that has always been the very strong foundation in my household growing up being raised by my grandparents. So, I bring problem-solving expertise. I bring the know-how, the technical and economic experience to make very commonsense decisions for the betterment of New Mexicans. And that is something that the other candidates have no experience in.

My background was dealing with federal agencies, dealing with small and large private companies, as well as your citizens all coming together — and as well as environmentalists — all coming together to compromise and see how can we keep people employed while also being respectful for our beautiful New Mexico. 

What legislation would be your top priority if you were elected to congress?

Right now, we’re having a bill that you can see online — It’s 5717. And this bill is being proposed right now regarding, they say ‘ending the epidemic of gun violence’ and ‘creating safer neighborhoods by restricting the gun rights.’ So, my main objective will be to uphold that Second Amendment in any way possible. There has been such an assault locally here in New Mexico, here in Santa Fe where they passed SB-5, and then also here with the closure of the gun storefronts here in this crisis. And then we’re seeing this bill here in the U.S. Congress. So, that would be this bill, in particular. If I was there right now, I would totally opposed any type of infringing upon that Second Amendment. So, that is a bill I would oppose. 

Other than the Second Amendment, the life issue, and oil and gas, are there any other issues that are at the top of your agenda? I heard you talk about education a little bit. What would be your plan there?

When you’re in Congress, you’re making decisions based on taxation and whatnot. But, as far as schools are concerned and education, that is, for me personally should be left to the hands of the states and also, more importantly, our teachers that are doing such a wonderful job. And I think that I would always promote in any candidate down-ballot, those candidates that would be for promoting the initiatives of teachers because they know the children and less restrictions for them would allow them to teach instead of being bogged down by constantly doing assessments, constantly going online and filling out all of these different regulations. That really can set them back, and it’s not a plus for our students. So, that’s going to have to go back to the states and the locales. 

I know some folks may make the argument that the state under the last Administration, they actually kind of expanded more government into the states or into the local schools, such as with the new testing standards and Common Core. What are your thoughts on those sorts of initiatives in the schools?

Whenever you have a lot of government involvement into the affairs of teaching students, you have a lot of different elements that are taught that are almost regressive. You always do these different things online where the parent is there trying to help their kid do a basic addition problem. And the parent doesn’t even know what’s going on because there’s all these strange ways of coming up with basic addition. I think that this goes to the core of more government involvement. You have just a bungled job of teaching the basics, which really should be your math and your reading and your writing And then everything else from there any kind of influence of far-left leanings that we’re seeing in the school should really be done away with.

I’ve spoken to all the other candidates. I spoke with Harry Montoya and Karen Bedonie. And I asked them the same question. So what’s the biggest misconception about you that you’d like to clear up that people may think differently about you that is not a fact, pretty much? 

Well, one big misconception that is coming about just recently is there’s a person named Joaquin Roybal who everyone thinks is my campaign manager. And I just want to clear this up for a lot of inquiring minds, a lot of phone calls that I’ve received. Joaquin Roybal — this gentleman was a buddy of mine there at New Mexico Tech. He was the student body president when I went to school there. He has a master’s in engineering. And we’re buddies. And initially, you know, I talked to him like a buddy. ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’ Because I’m very grassroots.

And we went into the New Mexico GOP office, and I brought him with me and I said, ‘This my campaign manager Joaquin Roybal.’ Fresh off the scene, right? I’ve never been in politics, I’m just getting into the fray. And since I didn’t come from wealth, I didn’t come from power. And then he and I, we had a parting of ways quite before the pre-primary convention. In fact, I hired another wonderful gal by the name of Dierdre Cornish, and she, in fact, is my campaign co-chair. So, that is one misconception that is at the forefront right now. And the reason this is at the forefront is because this gentleman voices his opinion, his First Amendment quite broadly. Then everybody associates everything from a supporter as coming from my mouth. So, that, in fact, is not true. 

You know, he definitely is a supporter of mine. We left on good terms, but he has no role in this campaign as a formal employee or a paid staff member of any sort. I just want to clear that main misconception. That’s something that came up this last week and whatnot. So, who’s running the Alexis Martinez Johnson campaign? And basically, it revolves around me as a candidate. There’s no puppeteers behind me that have said, ‘Okay, this candidate fits A, B, and C in the box and we’re going to have her face out there for our mission.’ There’s no there’s not a group of five men or women around the table making the decisions here of New Mexico. There is me,  home-grown native New Mexican trying to bring the collective voice of the forgotten New Mexican into policy to fight for the rights of us.

CD-3 is a Democrat +8 on the partisan index. How do you plan on winning those Democrats that you need to carry the district in November?

Well, one thing about my candidacy — and I’m not sure if you know this — is that I definitely have not run this campaign purely on identity politics. I don’t bust out of the door saying, ‘I am Hispanic and that’s why you have to vote for me. I have Native American ancestry and that’s why you have to vote for me.’ When I go into a job interview as a Conservative Republican, I’ve never said that. And this is a job application for me for each voter. And I plan to earn each voter in District 3. So, this is how I do it: Instead of staying, ‘Oh, I’m such a smart person,’ I just go out there and I do it. Instead of saying, ‘Oh I’m Hispanic, I have Native American ancestry, I go into the home and I spread the message of our state, our family, our freedom, and our new Mexican pride. And when I walk into that door, I say ‘Buenos Dias. Me llamo Alexis Martinez Johnson. Mucho gusto.’ And let me tell you how far that goes changing the hearts and minds of moderate Democrats and Independents. They respect my expertise. They know that I have a specific skill set to offer and I’m the only candidate that has it. 

In Indian Country, I’m very comfortable walking in there and assisting them with major issues that are going on. Whether they don’t even have running water, there’s very specific skills that I can contribute to these communities to better their lives: Solar panels out there, drilling water wells, getting these communities into the American Dream instead of a third-world country. And giving a helping hand, but not holding the hand all the way throughout life as the far-left tries to push the victimhood mentality onto New Mexicans.

More information can be found about Alexis Martinez Johnson at her website AlexisJohnsonNM.com

Interviews with the two other Republican CD-3 candidates, Karen Bedonie and Harry Montoya, will be released by alphabetical order. 

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