Candidates stump for senate seat

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

In back-to-back appearances, two Republican candidates running for the U.S. Senate visited Tucumcari on Monday.

The candidates, U.S. Reps. Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce, are vying for the seat to be vacated by U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici. Domenici recently announced he would retire because of health reasons.

Wilson stressed four points of her campaign which are:
l Strong national defense
l Centrality of family and family values
l Temperament and experience to be the next junior senator.
l Support for New Mexico and its water and border.

Pearce also emphasized four points, which are:
l Fighting against terrorism because it threatens freedom.
l Keeping American economy strong and jobs at home. China’s low labor and production costs are taking industries and jobs out of the United States, Pearce said.
l Fighting cultural pollution and strengthening family values.
l Protecting water in New Mexico.

When members of their respective audiences asked about immigration and illegal immigrants, both candidates said they were for securing the border.

However, neither thought that building a fence at the border was going to do much good.

America has been late in addressing the problem at the border and overall, Wilson said.

And Pearce said the problem will take years to solve.

There are something like 55,000 people who check shoes at airports and only 12,000 who are guarding the border, Pearce said.

While FedEx can track packages all over the globe, America cannot keep track of who is coming in with a visa or not, Wilson said.

Each said they did not think amnesty was the answer for the same reason. There are many people from foreign countries who are applying legally to enter the states and they are also waiting 10 to 13 years to gain entry, said Wilson and Pearce.

Each said that solving the problem of illegal immigration and securing the border would not be easy.

Each candidate said it was important to stay the course in Iraq.

If Iraq were to fall, its neighbors would as well, Pearce said.

Wilson said the troops in Iraq should be supported and Iraq should not be allowed to become a haven for al-Qaida and other terrorists.