Candidate profile: Joe Carraro

State Sen. Joe Carraro, Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate

State Sen. Joe Carraro of Albuquerque is campaigning for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate against Allen Wilson McCulloch and David Pfeffer.

The position is currently held by Democrat Jeff Bingaman, who is seeking re-election.

Carraro was elected a state senator in 1985. He has attended schools of finance, business and energy, and has taught in undergraduate and graduate schools. He has worked as a stockbroker and financial analyst, and sold pizza by the slice from his Albuquerque restaurant. He is now an international business consultant and writer.

Carraro is a past president of the Executive Management Association of New Mexico and founder of Project Share, a homeless feeding project.

Q. What is your highest priority if elected?

A. Immigration reform. We need to secure our (United States) borders by making sure we close our borders. The United States should not issue amnesty to illegal immigrants. We need to make sure they (illegal immigrants) go back to their own country and then come into the United States legally, as my father did when he came from Italy via Ellis Island.

Q. What unique tools do you bring to the job?

A. I have experience. I have learned about every community in New Mexico — what its needs are and what its aspirations are.

I’m also an energy consultant. I go around the world and talk to heads of state. We (United States) need to be more democratic. We need to form coalitions. My expertise is energy. We have diminished reserves. We should be drilling here in the Gulf or the Terra Mesa.

I put the bill in to remove the gasoline tax. People need relief from high energy bills. We are going to see our economy start to suffer from high gasoline prices.

So, we need to build refineries. Currently there aren’t any refineries because no one wants one in their back yard.

Q. What do you think about alternative fuels?

A. I think they are terrific. It is definitely one answer, but there is such a demand for fuel that the supply is really getting pinched.

Alternative fuels are going to take a while to develop. We need to tap into the reserves we have available so we are not so dependent on foreign suppliers.

— Compiled by Tonya Garner