New Mexico Business coalition held a social on Thursday at Merrion Oil & Gas Corporation in Farmington.
New Mexico Business coalition held a social on Thursday at Merrion Oil & Gas Corporation in Farmington. (Jon Austria The Daily Times)

Farmington — Local businessmen, politicians and community members gathered Thursday at Merrion Oil and Gas for a social event to raise awareness for the New Mexico Business Coalition.

The coalition tries to put pro-business politicians in office.

Carla Sonntag, a business manager from Albuquerque, started the coalition in 2009 and currently serves as its president. She said she has become frustrated with the politics in New Mexico and has considered leaving. However, she chose to "stay and fight."

Since its inception in 2009, the coalition has been involved in 65 different political races.

"We don't pick races we think we can win," Sonntag told the crowd Thursday. "We pick races that need to be won."

The coalition also lobbies against certain U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations, especially those that affect the oil and gas industry.

"Your community is built a lot on the success of the oil and gas industry," Sonntag said.

In addition to Sonntag, state Rep. Tom Taylor, R-Farmington, also spoke at the event.

Taylor focused his speech on "dependency" in New Mexico. He said there are too few providers of taxes and too many consumers of taxes.

"We have a very difficult future in front of us," Taylor said.

He said San Juan County needs to find a way to move the economy forward. And, he said, he is confident the county will do that.

"We're a very resilient community," Taylor said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.