Republican Mike Frese, a scientist who runs a computer modeling business, is pushing his maiden campaign forward to bring jobs to New Mexico.
“I’m going to be a tireless advocate for scientists,” Frese said. “I do know that people who graduate from UNM can’t find jobs. They leave the state and go where they can find jobs: Texas, Arizona, Utah, Oklahoma, Colorado; all have added jobs at a much greater rate.”
Frese knows this story first hand: his two sons went to college out of state. One graduated from Dartmouth and then Georgetown Law School. The other graduated from John Hopkins University. They both live in Maryland.
At the age of 16, Frese left his hometown of Roswell, NM to pursue a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at New Mexico State University. After meeting his wife, Sherry Donohoe at NMSU in the late 60’s, they attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Frese earned a doctorate in applied mathematics while his wife earned one in pure mathematics.
“I’ve been studying for 15 years economics, law, Constitutional law, and history. I’m convinced that we’re a great nation and we will be again a great nation,” he said. “The American dream will be strong in everyone’s heart but it’s gonna take some work on our part to achieve that.”
Frese said he is qualified to weigh in on the debate of CO2 emissions causing heat waves.
“For the last 20 years, surface temperatures have held relatively constant. Global warming has paused. Models don’t seem to care they go right on charging toward the ceiling. We need to evaluate those models,” he said. “As a congressman, I will know more about that than most of my colleagues.”
Frese owns a small business, NumerEx, which is a wireless provider of machine-to-machine services. His company programs devices to connect to a network resulting in solutions such as security systems that report alarms. He and his wife have operated it since 1988.
NumerEx is listed on his business website as “ a micro-business located in Albuquerque, New Mexico that delivers research and development services in computational physics and engineering on contract.”
While Frese is seen as an underdog against U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham in the Nov. 4 election, he said he won the Republican primary against Richard Priem 63 percent to 37 percent because he “stands for economic freedom.”
“I believe we need freedom, economic liberty to help all the people. All the people will be better off if we have more economic freedom in a vibrant growing economy instead of stifling jobs with regulations … a person trying to strike out and start his or her own business has to buy health insurance mostly to support health care for people older than they are. That particular type of regulation is known as Obamacare, is keeping people from starting their own business.”
If elected, Frese said he’s interested in representing as many people as possible. Democrats in 2009 took control of the district, which includes Albuquerque and central New Mexico.
“I’m interested in everyone in the district. People who believe in the American dream that if they work hard they’ll improve themselves and if others improve themselves their life will be better. I’m a dreamer kind of guy. I’m a big vision, big picture kind of guy.”
Frese’s campaign finance report from Sept. 15 shows he has raised $58,588, just 13 percent of the $432,666 U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham has raised.
Brian Sanderoff, president of Research & Polling, said the race has been low key so far.
“This has been a quiet race. It’s been quiet because Frese doesn’t have a lot of money and Michelle doesn’t feel like she has to spend any of hers right now.”
Congressional candidates will participate in Twitter town hall debate
The New Mexico News Port is hosting a virtual debate with U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Mike Frese on Oct. 23 from 12:45 to 1:45. Tweet us your questions and follow the debate with hashtag #nm2014.