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GOP candidate touts partnership with Pearce in Farmington stop

Michelle Garcia Holmes seeks lieutenant governor's job

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
Michelle Garcia Holmes, right, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, meets with local Republican Party members on Thursday at St. Clair Bistro in Farmington.
  • Michelle Garcia Holmes is a retired police detective and served as chief of staff for the New Mexico Attorney General's Office.
  • Garcia Holmes is the sole Republican lieutenant governor candidate.
  • Holmes said it is the role of the lieutenant governor to assist the governor.

FARMINGTON — Republican lieutenant governor candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes says New Mexico must address problems with crime, education and economy.

The sole Republican in the race made a stop here on Thursday. The 55-year-old Albuquerque resident has campaigned alongside the sole Republican gubernatorial candidate, current U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce.

The primary election will be held June 5.

Because both Pearce and Garcia Holmes are unopposed in the primary election, they are focused on the November general election.

Pearce and Garcia Holmes likely will run against the winners of the Democratic Party primary. U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, state Sen. Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces and former media executive Jeff Apodaca are seeking the Democratic Party nomination for governor.

State Sen. Howie Morales of Silver City, former state Rep. Rick Miera of Albuquerque and Doña Ana County Commissioner Billy Garrett are campaigning for the Democratic Party's nomination for lieutenant governor.

Garcia Holmes said her background in law enforcement and Pearce’s background in economic development will help the state.

Garcia Holmes is a retired Albuquerque Police Department detective and worked eight years as the chief of staff for the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. Pearce has a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master's degree in business administration. He also owned an oil-field services company in Hobbs.

“New Mexico is getting two people who have experience in the areas where we especially need leadership and experience,” Garcia Holmes said.

GOP lieutenant governor candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes says she will work closely with Steve Pearce, the presumed Republican candidate for governor, if both are elected in November.

Holmes said it is the role of the lieutenant governor to assist the governor.

“Steve Pearce and I, we’re going to work together and we’re going to share the load,” she told The Daily Times.

She said she and Pearce already have discussed staffing their Cabinet if they are elected.

During Thursday's meet-and-greet session, Garcia Holmes answered questions about illegal immigration, President Donald Trump’s plan to send troops to the Mexico border, drug trafficking, school security, hydraulic fracturing and how she and Pearce will handle disagreements if they are elected.

“You have to know who is in your state,” Garcia Holmes said about illegal immigration, adding that it contributes to terrorism, cartels and drug trafficking. She described drug trafficking as a “plague to our communities.”

Garcia Holmes said she has plans for combating drug trafficking in New Mexico.

“I have some tools in my toolbox that I think we’re going to hit the ground running with,” she said.

She said she supports the president’s decision to send troops to the border.

“Other presidents have done it before,” she said. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think it’s a good thing.”

When asked about school security, Garcia Holmes said she thinks schools need to have standardized active shooter training.

“You can’t prevent a school shooting,” she said. “You can’t prevent any shooting.”

When asked about hydraulic fracturing, Garcia Holmes said she supports extractive industries, including coal, oil, natural gas and timber. She said the extractive industries create jobs.

Garcia Holmes said she and Pearce agree on almost every topic, and if they have a disagreement they will pray together.

“A team that prays together stays together,” Garcia Holmes said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.