Gubernatorial candidate anticipates close race


FARMINGTON — Republican gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce is asking local residents to show up to the polls and vote, to take friends and family members to vote, and to keep his campaign in their prayers.

“We believe the future of this state is in the balance,” Pearce said during a campaign stop Saturday at the Republican Party of San Juan County’s headquarters here.

Pearce visited Farmington Saturday evening after campaigning in Shiprock.

The election is Nov. 6, and early voting continues through Saturday.

Pearce was joined by other Republican candidates, including U.S. Senate candidate Mick Rich, state auditor candidate Wayne Johnson, lieutenant governor candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes, magistrate judge candidate Rena Scott, state House District 4 candidate Sharon Clahchischilliage and secretary of state candidate Gavin Clarkson.

Pearce is running against Democratic candidate U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Pearce said he anticipates the election will come down to a margin of 10,000 votes, and he warned that the Democrats are turning out to vote in large numbers in other parts of the state.

Pearce is campaigning on a promise to bring jobs to New Mexico and support industries like coal mining.

“We’re going to make sure every kid comes out of high school ready to get a job,” Pearce said.

He said he will push for apprenticeship programs in high school.

In addition, Pearce said he favors work requirements for able-bodied people who receive Medicaid or Medicare benefits.

“The value of earned success in the human experience is one of the biggest things ever,” he said.

Pearce also promised to be tough on crime and to increase funding for police departments. He said he will establish a crime task force if he is elected.

“We’re going to stamp crime out,” he said.

Rich discusses campaign against Heinrich, Johnson

Rich faces two candidates in the election — incumbent Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

Rich said Johnson’s positions, like supporting open borders, are similar to Heinrich’s, and he anticipates Johnson and Heinrich will be fighting for the same votes. Rich said if he can hold the Republican vote, he can win the race.

Rich encouraged Republicans to vote.

“If we don’t turn out the vote, we’re not going to win,” he said.

Republican chairman urges people to vote

Drew Degner, the chairman of the Republican Party of San Juan County, said people should ask friends and family members to vote, know where they are supposed to vote and know which candidates to vote for.

He said there are two write-in candidates on the ballot in San Juan County this year. Both write-in candidates are Republican.

Sarah Weaver is running for district judge and Pete Atcitty is running for County Commission District 1. Both candidates are Republican.

Degner said people voting for write-in candidates must fill in the bubble completely and write the candidate’s name.

All the candidates stressed the importance of voting.

“We’re going to win this thing in the last month,” Pearce said.

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

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