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ABQ JOURNAL - OPINION: New Mexico needs a moderate, bipartisan senator like my dad

By Nella Domenici / U.S. Senate candidate, Santa Fe Republican

Mar 2, 2024 Updated Mar 15, 2024

I am a native New Mexican born in Albuquerque to a family with very strong roots and involvement in the state. Hard work and dedication to public service were family values and our way of life.

This is why I want to be the next United States senator for New Mexico. That desire also emanates from my love and awe of the state.

My priorities as a senator would include securing the border and improving our safety; unleashing our energy potential; ensuring a strong economy with a vibrant climate for business and jobs; improving education through choice and competition and destigmatizing and addressing mental illness.

My entire professional life has been negotiating, and achieving results — skills needed in the U.S. Senate.

I received a wonderful legal and business education, which made me a better leader. I focused on management, economics and finance. These skills will be invaluable as Congress battles inflation, high interest rates, and a $34 trillion national debt. These economic strains are being felt by every New Mexican.

I spent years working in financial services, which is a highly regulated business sector that must answer to multiple agencies. I know how to navigate bureaucracies and to get results. On behalf of New Mexicans, I am eager to take on the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the fire victims, the Social Security Administration for our seniors with benefit problems, the Veterans Administration for our veterans, and the EPA for the oil and gas and manufacturing sectors.

I have been hopeful, and then disappointed, at bipartisan efforts to address issues like border security and immigration. The Senate needs members who embrace a collaborative approach to solutions and who won’t give up until an agreement is reached. I will be that moderate, bipartisan senator.

I have been significantly involved in New Mexico, both from a business and philanthropic perspective. Some highlights include:

My father and I ran an advisory firm. We assisted the Rio Grande Jewelry Supply Company, based in Albuquerque, on securing an investment from Berkshire Hathaway Company, the first by Warren Buffet in our state. I will use my network and skills to bring other investors and companies to New Mexico.

We also advised a client on legislative strategies to address infrastructure needs for Santa Teresa in southern New Mexico. I understand that border trade should be an economic engine. Unfortunately, the Biden-Heinrich open border policies are threatening that potential and instead have precipitated a fentanyl, crime, gangs, sexual trafficking crises and other problems — not just for New Mexico, but the nation. When a country doesn’t have control of its borders, its national security is threatened.

A bipartisan group of leaders, including me and my husband, founded Excellent Schools of New Mexico (ESNM), a nonprofit devoted to ensuring that all New Mexico children fulfill their potential and lead healthy and meaningful lives.

As a board member of the LANL Foundation, I helped initiate a mentor program for LANL Scholars during college and supported the New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge.

For my first job after college, I chose to work for the city of Albuquerque, where I studied the homeless situation through extensive grassroots interviews. Then, as it is today, alcoholism, drug addiction and mental illness were key drivers of homelessness.

I am a natural collaborator. My husband and I have organized many educational and philanthropic events to bring together leaders in the community, to address issues and opportunities related to the state. These get-togethers have been illuminating by virtue of the diverse ideas shared and leaders represented.

I will represent the state as a hard-working, solution-driven centrist senator — the way my father did.

Nella Domenici, the daughter of the late Sen. Pete Domenici, is running against incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich in November’s general election.


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