State auditor stops in Portales

Alisa Boswell: Portales News-Tribune New Mexico State Auditor Hector Balderas, right, who is running for the U.S. Senate, stopped in Portales Thursday morning to visit with city, university officials and community members at Eastern New Mexico University. Balderas told community members, such as ENMU faculty member Leslie Paternoster, he wants to bring the agenda of rural communities to Washington.

Hector Balderas, New Mexico state auditor and native of eastern New Mexico, is campaigning to fill the U.S. Senate seat of Sen. Jeff Bingaman, who is retiring.

The general election for the seat will take place in November 2012.

Balderas made a brief stop at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales on Thursday morning to discuss his goals if elected to the Senate and to receive input from local officials and community members on what changes they would like to see in eastern New Mexico.

“The people deserve a type of leader who will bring a real perspective, who’s lived the issues New Mexico’s facing,” Balderas said. “I’m nothing special. I’m just uniquely qualified to take a New Mexico agenda to Washington.”

Balderas told his small Portales audience that his main goal as senator would be to give rural areas, especially those in New Mexico, more of a voice in Washington by bringing the issues and interests of rural communities to the Senate.

“Washington thinks rural is Santa Fe. They don’t know what rural is,” Balderas said. “I’m really about promoting rural economy. I think it is the backbone of our nation.”