Dueling op-eds debate NM’s Senate race: Career politician or outsider?

The upcoming U.S. Senate race in New Mexico has sparked intense debate, encapsulated by two dueling op-eds in the Albuquerque Journal from state representatives Gail Chasey and Jim Townsend. Both pieces reflect deep partisan divides and sharply different perceptions of the candidates, incumbent Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich and Republican challenger Nella Domenici.

State Rep. Gail Chasey, a far-left Albuquerque Democrat, bends over backwards to prop up Sen. Heinrich’s record in a passionate piece. Chasey highlights Heinrich’s dedication to New Mexico, stating he “knows every nook and cranny of New Mexico” and has a track record of delivering “billions of dollars in federal investments,” despite Heinrich’s primary residence being in Maryland and every U.S. congressional representative and senator bringing money to the state. 

She praises his efforts in securing funding for infrastructure projects across the state, including water and sewer lines in Chama and a mental health clinic in Santa Teresa. Chasey asserts, “Heinrich’s ability to navigate the complexities of federal funding mechanisms and deliver concrete results demonstrates his effectiveness as a leader who puts the needs of New Mexicans first.”

Chasey contrasts Heinrich’s supposed extensive experience in Washington, D.C. with what she claims is Domenici’s lack thereof, arguing that Domenici, despite her impressive decades-long business background, “lacks a substantive record of public service, tangible accomplishments, or even a cursory knowledge of the state.” That could, very well, be the point of Domenici’s run — not being a career politician or Santa Fe/Washington, D.C. insider. 

On the flip side, State Rep. Jim Townsend, a Republican from Artesia, offers a starkly different view. He reminisces about Nella’s father, the late Sen. Pete Domenici, and criticizes Heinrich’s approach to governance by stating, “Martin Heinrich is no Pete Domenici.” Townsend accuses Heinrich of being “hands-off” in his responses to crises, notably in managing the aftermath of the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon wildfires, which he says led to “chaos, misery, and delay.”

Townsend praises Nella Domenici’s proactive approach, noting her quick action to meet with wildfire victims and her proposals for remediation. He commends her understanding of New Mexico’s energy needs, stating she, like her father, recognizes the importance of both traditional and renewable energy sources. Townsend criticizes Heinrich’s extreme focus on green energy as neglectful of the practical energy needs and economic realities of New Mexico.

Both op-eds vividly illustrate the high stakes and the sharp ideological contrasts at play in this Senate race. Chasey’s endorsement of Heinrich contrasts with Townsend’s portrayal of Domenici as a fresh, practical voice echoing her father’s legacy while bringing a new, amplified voice for New Mexico to the U.S. Senate.


20 thoughts on “Dueling op-eds debate NM’s Senate race: Career politician or outsider?”

  1. OK so I have never met Domenici and never heard of her here in New Mexico. She has, however, lived, worked and was educated in and around Washington, D.C. in her adult life. So is she a Washington elite, my sense is yes!

    When I asked where I could go see Domenici, I was provided a link to a $35 meet and greet. Interesting right?!

    I am no fan of Heinrich, no fan at all. However, I do not have any faith or trust that Domenici cares for New Mexico any more than Heinrich does. (not much at all!)

    Wolves just have better sheep costumes these days…

    1. You should know since you are a cheerleader for the do nothing, pathological liar, and embezzler, Heinrich. Heinrich needs to be voted out and to stay in Maryland. Regardless, of that endorsement from another pathological liar, Heinrich DOES NOT know any part of New Mexico, let alone the citizens he has betrayed over and over.

      1. You so got this right… And if you do not live here, then you should not be able to hold an office.
        We need to get rid of all the comrades of MLG and get some new blood in the legislature. The far left liberal/radical communist/socialists need to be removed. We need to have more conservatives in the round house to stop MLG (we have 2 more years to deal with her) from her continued murderous laws of NM and its citizens.

  2. critical to think

    I saw Nella Domenici for free at South Valley Pride event at park and Yvette Herrell, too.

      1. Concerned, if you are referring to this Mario, you could not be farther from the truth. I don’t even associate with Democrat baby killers.
        I do however, call out every politico who does not have New Mexico’s best interests.
        I am sure I contradict those who drink the cool-aid, but I have seen too much to blindly believe any politician.

    1. I wish I had known she was going to be there. I certainly would have introduced myself and would have asked some very straight forward questions.

  3. I agree with u all. It is really bad that we have no conservatives running for any seat in DC. Townsend is running for Grigs old seat, I heard Townsend speak in our community and he is clueless on what our community is about. Evette seems weak, I talked to her in person and she is also not tracking what folks in our community want. Now Domenici I am clueless about, but if she does not live in NM, has not been to community meetings she will be just like our current POS senators. I give credit to the two politicians that showed up to our community, at least they attempted to listen. The rest seem to be out for themselves and getting a piece of the pie. I say John Block needs to step up some time in the future. He is young and maybe honing his skills but so far that is one guy I would back 100%.

  4. You vote for a demo and you get liberal ideologies and more “bottom of the list” New Mexico. Something needs to change to get the state out of the hole it is. Stupid is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. A vote for a demo is a vote for irresponsible government.

  5. All you had to say is she bends over backwards to prop up Hiney-lick! QUIT VOTING THESE CORRUPT POLITICIANS IN!!!! New Mexico will NEVER clean up or outshine other states, or succeed in economics as long as voters keep pulling the same lever over and over!!

  6. Anything Gail has to say make my stomach ill. I approached her in her Santa Fe office regarding the later term abortion bill. In so many words their minds were already made up about passing the up to nine months termination of pregnancy. I consider Gail part of the swamp mentality. Thank God in Greyhound she’s gone. It is a song and the lyrics are so Gail.Maybe the theme song for the Democratics.

  7. Michael Gallegos

    Martin is anti 2nd amendment, he is for open borders, and he is all electric; he does not support the New Mexico oil and gas industry and actively works against them. He doesn’t care that rural New Mexicans have to travel far and pay high gas prices and he doesn’t say anything to recognize the 18% overall inflation by the Biden presidency. Gail Chasey is finally retiring and has been a far-left democrat all the years she served. I’m happy to see her go since she was my neighborhood’s representative and never gave conservatives any consideration. I knew Pet Domenici and felt he was fair minded to New Mexicans and I suspect his accomplished daughter Neela, who lives in Santa Fe, will be a lot like him. I will take my chances with her since Martin did not turn out to be the statesman I hoped for. He is only for far-left political positions and himself. We can do much better with Nella Domenici!

  8. Gail Chasey, the walking talking cadaver is just as big a loser as Heinrich. Good riddance to both of them

  9. Heinrich and his family packed up and moved out of New Mexico years ago and he is out of touch. I have spoken to former US senators from other States and they have said that Heinrich is not a very smart man. New Mexico can do better.

  10. John Torrey Baird

    Looks like a bunch of smoke and mirrors. Domenici needs to support the America First agenda and President Trump’s reelection. If she’s a RINO forget about it.

  11. Gail Chasey is a professional prevaricator of the First Water and couldn’t see the truth if it jumped on her shoulders. We can’t get shed of her quick enough, but I am loathe to contemplate who will replace her. Regarding her praise of Hineylick it’s just more of her flatulence and fraud.

  12. This article has certainly created significant conversation and discussion. I will not spend too much time on Heinrich as he is a known quantity and his conduct, ideology, worldview, and those things for which he advocates do harm to not only New Mexico but to the whole of the United States as well.
    Candidate Domenici I believe presents a conundrum for Republican voters, especially conservative, America First, Trump supporting Republicans. I would suggest, based upon the candidate’s own words that she is anything but a conservative and to date it has rather difficult to understand exactly where she is on many issues. One thing that I believe that it is important to note is the fact that were her name not Domenici we probably would not be having this conversation. Early on her campaign focused in large part on the ‘legacy’ left by her father, Pete Domenici. While it is true that Senator Domenici was the longest serving senator in New Mexico history, one might opine that he might not have been able to set that record had his transgressions been made public in a more timely manner.
    Candidate Domenici has characterized herself as ‘a moderate’ and ‘a collaborator’, her words, not mine. These words to this writer raise concern. I am sure that her campaign has come to the realization that for her to win this contest she will have to appeal to and get the votes of ‘soft Democrats’ and Independents. That being said, given her educational background (BA and Law Degree from Georgetown University along with a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard) coupled with her private sector banking, investment and corporate governance positions, the majority on the east coast of the U.S. I do not believe that true Conservatism is in her DNA. Add to the fact (in and of itself not especially damning) that her residence in in Santa Fe, I must conclude that her own characterization of herself is accurate. She has voiced concern about the situation on the southern border, but has not really said specifically what she would do about it as your Senator. My fear is that she would be willing to ‘collaborate’ (again her word) with the opposition to come up with some scheme favored by the Democrats under the banner of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”! We have been down that path before; Comprehensive Immigration Reform is code for a general amnesty for all undocumented (illegal) immigrants along with a promise (never kept) of border control.
    We do not know where she stands on the matter of ‘life’; we have not heard her position concerning the candidacy of former president Trump. There are many, many questions that New Mexico Conservatives would like to have answers to. I think that Republicans need to ask themselves if they would be happy with a Senator who would be similar to a Mitt Romney, or Susan Collins, or Lisa Murkowski; if the answer is yes then ‘go for it’.

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