Too far right for the state

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 

There is an important legislative race going on in New Mexico’s Senate District 19, which encompasses far southeast Albuquerque as well as the East Mountains. Ultra-conservative challenger Gregg Schmedes narrowly defeated respected longtime incumbent Jim White in the June Republican primary and is now running against Democrat Claudia Risner. Schmedes, a physician, is proud to be the state director for the American Academy of Medical Ethics (ethicalhealthcare.org), an ironically named organization that I believe is overtly homophobic and anti-choice; opposes autonomy in end-of-life decisions; and even opposes medical cannabis, birth control and in vitro fertilization, which for many couples is the only way of achieving pregnancy.

Schmedes, who has been a state representative since 2018 (elected by a 0.8 percent margin), has a 92 percent rating from the National Rifle Association and has vocally opposed body cameras for law enforcement. These examples of his views and record reveal an extremism that does not represent the values of most New Mexicans. In addition, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Schmedes has consistently called for an end to public safety measures instituted by the governor. In doing so, he has downplayed the threat of the coronavirus that has taken the lives of over 800 New Mexicans in five months.

There is no reason to support such an out-of-touch candidate when we have an excellent alternative: Claudia Risner is a Navy veteran with three master’s degrees and a Ph.D. She believes an emphasis on education and promoting renewable energy are the keys to strengthening New Mexico’s economy and investing in its future.

Elizabeth Buchen, M.D.,

and 17 other doctors