Candidate Q&As: Attorney general

The following are candidates for state Attorney General in the June 1 primary election.

Incumbent Gary King is running unopposed for the Democrat nomination.

Matt Chandler is running unopposed for the Republican nomination.

Both were asked the same set of questions.

Their answers:

Matt Chandler

Republican

What are your specific goals for this position if elected?

My number one goal as attorney general will be to unearth political corruption in New Mexico and hold those that are involved accountable.

My experiences as district attorney prove that I am willing to take corruption cases head-on, opposed to one that makes prosecutorial decisions based upon political beliefs and same party agendas. I will not turn a blind eye to government corruption, rather make it a goal to protect taxpayers’ money.

I have the utmost respect for law enforcement officers and I have seen the benefits citizens receive when law enforcement officers work together. So in addition to my pledge to lead the fight against political corruption in New Mexico, I will work with all federal, state, and local law enforcement officers to deploy the full arsenal of resources available to reduce crime in New Mexico.

New Mexico businesses have been wrapped with so much red tape that it’s driving millions of dollars out of our state.

Most of the regulations as of late are based on political opinions, not facts, and are being imposed without legislative authority. As attorney general I will intervene to make sure regulations are not imposed on businesses without good cause, which will allow businesses to get back to work in New Mexico.

What persons or organizations have you accepted money from to finance your campaign?

I am extremely pleased with our grassroots campaign and fundraising efforts.

So far 93 (percent) of my contributions are from New Mexico citizens, which is evidence that New Mexicans want a change in the attorney general’s office. To date, I have over 220 personal donors.

What do you know about laws concerning open government in New Mexico and how would you change them?

Government officials ought to conduct the public’s business in the public. The laws in New Mexico about open government are straightforward. New Mexicans are entitled to the greatest possible information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of public officers and employees.

Our open government laws do not need to be changed, they need to be enforced. An open government creates an honest government, and as attorney general it will be my goal to bring transparency to those that are trusted with our tax dollars.

Tell us about someone who was an important influence in your life.

The most influential people in my life are involved in my faith and my family.

For example, my father’s career as a police officer greatly influenced my career path. As a child I was always so proud to see my dad working to protect our community, and I wanted to follow those footsteps.

He taught me to have faith and trust in God, compassion for people that need it most, and to do the right thing for the right reason regardless of the circumstances.

What do you think is more important: Education or experience?

Education is important in life because it is the vehicle that leads you to great experiences. Without my education, I would have never had the opportunity to take on drug dealers, violent gangs, or successfully prosecute over 20 murder cases in court.