Martinez, King battle in first televised appearance
Gov. Susana Martinez and Attorney General Gary King took several jabs at each other during their first joint televised appearance of the 2014 gubernatorial election Monday.
During a forum sponsored by a commercial real estate association, King accused Martinez of not spending time with New Mexicans and Martinez suggested King is an “extreme environmentalist.”
“My shoes are all dusty and worn out from talking to New Mexicans every day, and the governor’s shoes are highly polished from meeting with corporate executives,” King said.
Martinez in turn worked to differentiate herself from King as a “leader, not a politician,” hinting at King’s long time in elected office.
The forum was sponsored by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, a commercial real estate association. About 500 people attended the event at the Albuquerque Marriott.
NAIOP members wrote 15 questions for the candidates, who received them about a month ago. Albuquerque Journal editor Kent Walz moderated the forum.
The candidates also tackled more substantive topics, including job creation in New Mexico.
“We have to make New Mexico more competitive, we have to recruit companies to New Mexico and ensure that our small businesses stay in New Mexico,” Martinez said.
King criticized Martinez’s past attempts at creating jobs. “We need to have a plan in place to deal with the downsizing of federal facilities when they happen,” King said.
Martinez discussed how education has improved under her administration.
“We have provided more money into the classroom and not the bureaucracy…..we’ve made progress. The number one state in the country, we have had the greatest graduation growth and we are also closing the achievement gap,” she said.
King talked about how he would improve education in the future.
“Well, I believe the best thing we can do to improve education is to put control of education back in the hands of professional educators and take it out of the hands of corporations that are now driving massive standardized tests,” King said.
Both candidates criticized the Affordable Care Act and discussed how they want to handle health care in New Mexico.
King said, “the Affordable Care Act is really an insurance bill, it’s not a health care bill, and I have actually said in some of my speeches that there is no good idea out there that Congress can’t screw up…we have to work together as New Mexicans to develop a plan.”
Martinez made it clear that she did not support Obamacare but said that, “it is the law of the land and I am committed to ensure that New Mexico is a leader in responding to it on our own terms.”
The forum came as King is trailing Martinez in the polls and in fundraising. The most recent Albuquerque Journal poll showed Martinez rising in popularity against King. The mid-September poll showed Martinez ahead 54 to 46 percent.
Two gubernatorial debates are scheduled ahead of the Nov. 4 election, one on Oct. 6 on Univision and Oct. 19 on KOAT.
The NAIOP forum will be re-broadcast at 9 p.m. Sunday on Channel 4.
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Next gubernatorial debates:
Oct. 6 on Univision
Oct. 19 on KOAT, Channel 7 at 6 p.m.[/text_output][line][text_output]
our profiles of the gubernatorial candidates.
Learn about Susana Martinez
Read about Gary King[/text_output][line][/vc_column][/vc_row]