Dec. 06SILVER CITY An announcement on Facebook is how District 28 Senator Howie Morales notified New Mexico that he was running for Lieutenant Governor in the 2018 election. The following has been enormous as supporters have thrown their hats in the ring for the senator.
"I made my decision last night (Tuesday) and announced it around 7 p.m. on a Facebook post," Sen. Morales said. "With the base I was able to build when I ran for governor in 2014 in the south and the name ID in the north I think it's a good start to run for the Lieutenant Governor's position."
Sen. Morales stated that his phone died last night and that when he finally turned it back on he had nearly 900 likes and more than 100 shares on his announcement.
"There were multiple comments of energy and that was very gratifying," Sen. Morales said. "I think that portion of the race was lacking and I look forward to building on that momentum."
Changes happened abruptly for the District 28 Senator who serves sections of Grant, Catron and Socorro Counties. He hadn't planned to run for any state-wide office throughout the field, but then front runner District 14 Senator Michael Padilla dropped out of the race.
"I received an enormous amount of phone calls and support and encouragement that I was the candidate that could bring energy and experience to this race," Sen. Morales said. "I considered it and then spoke with my family about it. I made sure that I could get the appropriate things taken care of and then I made my decision to announce it. It all happened so fast."
Sen. Morales was appointed to the District 28 seat after Sen. Benny Altamirano passed away in 2008. He won the general election after that and then made a run for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014 where he was defeated by Gary King who lost to current Republican Governor Susana Martinez.
Sen. Morales brings the experience of already presiding over the Senate during the Lieutenant Governor's absence. He is the only candidate thus far to have that.
"It's the primary duty of the Lieutenant Governor to preside over the senate and ensure it's carried out in a fair and orderly manner," Sen. Morales said. "I have experience with that as well as experience in finance, education and health care. I have a real understanding on what the needs are and I believe I have a strong platform and voice."
The president pro tem of the senate would rely on Sen. Morales to step in when the Lt. Governor needed to be away for meetings or other issues.
"I understand procedure and decorum," Sen. Morales said. "Whenever there was a need they could always rely on me to do that. I was a quick study and learned that well. The experience is worth it and it's something that is always important."
Investing in New Mexico is something that Sen. Morales wants to bring to the race. He stated that education has always been at the heart of what he's done and it will be no different.
"I have an investment in this because I want my children everyone's children to grow up in the best state possible," Sen. Morales said. "I've been very successful with education and this will allow me to promote it from early childhood to higher education and through adult basic education."
Another field Sen. Morales understands is healthcare and he stated that the medicaid and medicare issues are big ones for the quality of life our residents face.
Being a team player is also something that is very important as serving as a Lieutenant Governor.
"You have to work with all agencies and cabinet secretaries," Sen. Morales said. "Most important is working with the governor's office. You have to have team work and I've always been a team player and I look forward to working with the governor in 2019.
While the support continues to increase in the district and all around the state, Sen. Morales knows how tough it is to win something like this but he has been down this road before and is prepare for it.
"I will apply everything I've learned to this race," Sen. Morales said. "I am extremely appreciative of all the support my district has given me and in the state senate. The community has always been there and I am grateful for that. I want District 28 to be proud of me where these voters have trusted me enough to send me up there year after year."
The Democratic primary will see Sen. Morales along with Jeff Carr, Billy Garrett, Rick Miera, Dave McTeague and Michelle Garcia Holmes.
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