GOP field of lieutenant gubernatorial candidates grows

As the 2022 elections are right around the corner, more candidates are jumping into races to make a difference for New Mexico. As the Republican gubernatorial field remains at seven candidates, the lieutenant gubernatorial field is growing, with two more Republicans jumping into the race.

Once the lone Republican candidate for many months, Anise Golden Morper is joined by Isabella Solis, a former Doña Ana County Commissioner, Air Force veteran Zeke Rodriguez, and Anthony (Ant) Thornton, a retired aerospace engineer.

“I’m convinced New Mexico is in trouble, and we’re running out of time,” said Solis. “New Mexico is ranked the 44th worst economy among all the states in the country. We have the 45th worst infrastructure. We’re the 47th worst state for crime and safety, 49th for the opportunity to succeed, and worst of all, we’re 50th in the nation when it comes to educating our children.”

Solis is focusing her campaign on education, fixing New Mexico’s failing economy, and tackling the corruption in Santa Fe.

“We don’t have to stand for it.  We can transform New Mexico from one of America’s

worst states to one of its greatest. We can have schools that teach again.  We can have safer streets and communities.  We can unleash our economy and provide jobs for our people.  We can fix the corruption and hypocrisy in Santa Fe.  We can demand accountability from our leaders.  We can provide a future for our children,” Solis said.

Rodriguez currently owns a shop in Las Cruces that sells “Premium CBD Products” called Continual Growth. Rodriguez announced his candidacy at the end of August at an event in Taylor, Arizona, which he called “the most patriotic town I’ve ever been to. We need more of this everywhere for our great country.” 

He is attempting to run on a parallel ticket with Republican gubernatorial candidate Karen Bedonie and is hitting on many of the same issues. These include tackling voter fraud, fixing education, promoting public health, boosting the state’s economy, and championing law and order policies, according to his website

Specifically, regarding education, Rodriguez wants to “[e]iminate Marxist ideology” from public education systems, implement an “America First” curriculum into the public school system, and promote school choice, including charter schools. 

Thornton is focusing his campaign on four main issues, including education, public safety, jobs, and election integrity. An experienced aerospace engineer who worked for both Sandia Labs and later Lockheed Martin, Thornton writes on his website that “he became the first African American Director in Sandia’s history.” 

On his website, Thornton writes, “Under decades of Democrat rule, New Mexico has sunk to the bottom in education, economic opportunity and employment. Our Democrat leadership has, for years, instilled corruption in the halls of the Roundhouse, hurled us into fiscal chaos, mortgaged our future and stripped us of many rights. This must stop!”

“We need innovative leadership for the 21st century. A fresh approach requires leaders who demand more for our people, for our children, and for our future. I know that the future of New Mexico can be bright if we elevate our dismal national standing in education, adjust our policies to attract new business in our state, and make our cities safe places to live for our families.”

Regarding Thornton’s law enforcement stance, he writes that “Crime is local and should be addressed by community policing,” including hiring more police officers and properly prosecuting law-breakers. 

Golden Morper, whose campaign theme plays off of her last name, “Our Golden Opportunity,” is a third-generation New Mexican, a Christian, a sister of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.), a real estate broker, an auctioneer, an ombudsman, and member of the Federation of Republican Women.

Throughout her campaign, she has attended many pro-law enforcement functions and has made respect for law enforcement, including officers from local sheriffs to the U.S. Border Patrol, a key issue in her campaign, amid a national assault on law enforcers, with many far-left initiatives targeted at “defunding” the police.

All the candidates must first make it out of the primary election, which will be held on June 7, 2022. Whoever makes it out of the primary will run on a ticket with the Republican gubernatorial nominee to defeat incumbent Democrat Gov. Lujan Grisham and Lt. Gov. Howie Morales — both left-wing extremists. 

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