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FARMINGTON — Anastacia Golden Morper, better known as Anise, has announced her candidacy for the Congressional District 3 seat currently occupied by U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-NM.

Morper will be running for the Republican Party nomination and has a few challengers in the race — Audra BrownAlexis Johnson and Karen Bedonie. The district represents the northern half of New Mexico.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has a crowded field of at least eight candidates vying for the nomination. Luján is not seeking reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives, opting instead to run for U.S. Senate after Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM, announced he would not seek another term.

Morper is a real estate agent who lives near Angel Fire. She said she has worked in real estate virtually all her life, having assisted her father in his real estate business when she was a child. She also has more than 30 years of experience as a small business owner.

Her experience in real estate has included multi-million dollar negotiations on behalf of other people. She is licensed to practice real estate in four states and also serves as an ombudsman for the New Mexico Association of Realtors.

She was born and raised in New Mexico and attended Albuquerque Technical Vocational School and the University of New Mexico.

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In addition to running businesses, she has a history of volunteer service, including volunteering at orphanages in Mexico, building houses in Juarez, helping at hospitals, volunteering as an emergency medical technician and working with abused children.

This is her first time running for an elected office. She said her ascent into politics was driven by the state’s struggles compared to surrounding states.

“I’ve seen my state falling further and further below mediocrity and I’m not okay with it,” she said.

She highlighted several lists including New Mexico ranking 49th in public safety and education, 47th in economy and 48th in opportunity.

Morper said her children had to move out of state to find jobs.

Morper said she would help New Mexico by reducing regulations and decreasing tax burdens. She also said it is important to help the farming and ranching industry as well as the oil and gas industries.

Morper said she is a supporter of the U.S. Constitution as it is written. She also voiced support for the Second Amendment rights.

In addition, Morper said she believes life begins at conception and would support a bill banning abortion once a heartbeat can be detected.

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She also supports strict immigration policies and said in the 1800s the U.S. restricted immigration to allow immigrants a chance to assimilate. Morper said people from other countries are used to different norms that are not always compatible with the United States’ norms, such as child brides.

Morper highlighted her grandparents as an example of immigrants who legally came to the United States. Her grandparents immigrated to the United States from Europe and her grandfather took a job at a candy store in Albuquerque when he was a teenager. He worked his way up and eventually became the store’s owner.

While Morper does not have a background in politics, she does not see that as a disadvantage going into the election. She said that makes her different than many other politicians.

“I don’t need a new career,” she said. “I need my state fixed.”

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

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