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For Greg Zanetti, much of what plagues New Mexico stems from what he sees as the concentration of power in Santa Fe, a dynamic he promises to reverse if elected governor.
Albuquerque Financial Advisor – and retired New Mexico National Guard Brigadier General who served as Joint Task Force Deputy Commander of the U.S. Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp – Zanetti is one of seven Republicans standing for the party’s nomination in next year’s governor election. .
The other suitors are business owner Karen Bedonie; Tim Walsh, who was an adviser to former Governor Gary Johnson; Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block; Louie Sanchez, a medical sales representative; State Representative Rebecca Dow, R-Truth or Consequences; and Ethel Maharg, former mayor of the village of Cuba.
After the June primary, the winner will face Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, in the general election.
In a recent interview with the Roswell Daily Record, Zanetti, 63, said his knowledge of sprawling bureaucracies gained from stints in the US Army and later in the New Mexico National Guard, combined with his financial expertise, distinguished him from his main adversaries.
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“Who has the skills to guide the state? I believe it’s me. That’s why I run, ”he said.
Zanetti, who is married with two sons, has never held an elected post before, but he is no stranger to politics. He served as chairman of the Bernalillo County Republican Party, made an unsuccessful bid in 1994 to be the party’s candidate for lieutenant governor, and before the 2010 election he briefly considered running for governor.
In his current campaign, Zanetti defines the future of New Mexico as a choice between what he calls “great government” and “great community.”
“We got to the bottom of this state on the side of the big government,” he said.
Zanetti accuses state government agencies and the legislature of imposing policies and rules on communities across the state regardless of their individual circumstances, which he says is ineffective and autocratic.
Political solutions and most decisions, he said, should be made on a community-by-community basis, with the state government playing a supporting role.
“If you are looking for a philosophical point of view on how to govern, it would be that we should reduce government and encourage community,” he said.
Zanetti cites the New Mexico Department of Public Education as an example of what he describes as a top-down government approach that took hold in Santa Fe.
He attacks the ministry for what he sees as their failure to improve the state’s education system and for its decision in August to suspend members of the Floyd School Board for voting to make masks optional instead of mandatory in their district.
Zanetti said he would likely like to eliminate the ministry or diminish its authority through the executive rule-making process, with most of the power over education matters resting with school boards.
Such a message, Zanetti insists, resonates with voters from all political backgrounds.
“They say ‘Yeah, I’m for that.’ People are tired of being told what to do, ”he said.
Zanetti has spent most of his life in Albuquerque. He then graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1980, before spending six years in active service in the United States Army, including being stationed in Eastern Europe.
He holds an MBA from Boston University and began working in finance. He would later become an independent financial advisor, while simultaneously serving in the New Mexico National Guard.
Zanetti accuses Lujan Grisham of what he calls “governing by decree,” or of proclaiming a broad goal without following through with a rational, cohesive and cohesive plan to implement it.
Lujan Grisham, he said, failed to adequately explain the reasoning behind his public health orders, and he accuses him of imposing a single statewide standard without examining the impact of these ordinances on individual communities.
“It’s these broad statements that cause… chaos. This is no way to run a state, ”he said.
Lujan Grisham gave the commands credit for saving lives and easing the pressure the pandemic has placed on the state’s medical system. Zanetti argues that the measures taken to curb the transmission of the virus should be decided at the local level.
An opponent of the vaccine warrants, Zanetti said whether an individual receives the vaccine is a matter of individual choice.
Economically, Zanetti believes the combination of New Mexico’s wealth of natural resources and research facilities demonstrates that the state has great potential.
New Mexico, he said, should maintain its status as an energy-producing state, lift regulations on the oil and gas industry while seeking to harness solar and wind power as well as technologies for early stages of development.
“I think there are breakthroughs coming in hydrogen and fusion,” he said.
Rather than chasing big, established companies like Google, Zanetti said New Mexico needs to attract and encourage new tech companies and bring manufacturers to the state.
To do this, he said, the state will need to remove many state regulations on industries and overhaul the state’s tax structure by eliminating New Brunswick personal income and gross revenue taxes. Mexico. The state, he said, could be funded through property taxes and a more traditional sales tax.
For more than a decade, Zanetti’s conservative activism included being an executive member of New Mexico Right to Life.
The right to abortion is once again placed at the center of the political arena. In Texas, a law was passed and enacted that bans all abortions after six weeks and allows individuals to bring civil suits against doctors or people who help a woman get an abortion.
Zanetti has said as governor that he would like to restrict late abortions, and while there are government solutions that can be effective, Zanetti said reducing abortions can be best achieved through persuasion.
“You have to change their hearts,” he said. “So, yes, I’m open to legislative solutions to reduce abortions, especially term (abortions), but this other long-term way is more effective. “
Like many Republicans, Zanetti believes voters should be required to show valid ID in order to vote.
Prosecutions for electoral fraud are rare, but Zanetti has nonetheless said he wants safeguards in place to prevent this from happening. “The issue of electoral integrity is a big problem,” he said.
When it comes to crime, Zanetti thinks the state needs to toughen up. He accuses the state of prioritizing the rights of criminals over public safety.
The New Mexico bond reform measure that removed bail for most criminal suspects is something Zanetti said has turned into a catch and release program for criminals.
Solutions to the crime problem, Zanetti said, will be achieved through community efforts and not through a single statewide plan.
“How are we in Roswell going to handle this with our neighbors, our friends, our courts, our community, against Jal, who will handle it in a different way, against Albuquerque, who will handle it in a different way?” he said.
If elected, Zanetti will likely have to work with a Democratic legislature to pass his platform. Although he expresses a desire to work across the aisle, Zanetti said if that couldn’t be done, he would take a page from Trump and use his executive authority to implement his monitoring agenda. local.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or [email protected]
To follow coverage of this election and others of local and regional interest, visit rdrnews.com/category/news/elections/.