Martinez and King debate mano a mano in Spanish
Incumbent Gov. Susana Martinez and challenger Gary King sparred over employment, immigration, health care and education in a live Spanish debate Monday night.
The governor answered questions in Spanish while King answered in English. His responses were relayed through an interpreter.
The debate was hosted by KLUZ-TV Univision Nuevo Mexico and focused on issues relevant to New Mexico Hispanics and Latinos, who make up 47 percent of the state’s population.
Both candidates said they are in favor of raising the minimum wage, an issue that affects more New Mexico Hispanic people than Anglos, according to the non-partisan group New Mexico Voices for Children.
Martinez said the topic has to be approached carefully, in order to not hurt small business or lose business to other states.
“Yes, I am in favor of raising the minimum wage,” she said in Spanish. “But we also have to stay competitive with Texas, Colorado and with Arizona.”
King, on the other hand, said “a major part of his plan” is raising the minimum wage and would seek to raise it to at least that of Santa Fe’s, currently $10.66, for the whole state in his first year.
Both candidates brought up the other’s past records. King cited the governor’s veto last year of a law raising minimum wage to $8.50 and Martinez brought up King’s votes against raising the minimum wage in 1989 and 1990.
Questions about immigration focused on granting undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses, a topic the moderator, Univision News Director Ricardo Mendoza, called “of great interest for our Hispanic viewers.”
Martinez stuck to her platform of not allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, saying it’s an issue of security.
“The problem is 65 percent of New Mexicans want this law repealed,” she said in Spanish.
“This is not an immigration problem, but a problem to secure New Mexico from the people who come here to commit crimes.”
King said all drivers should have licences and is worried that the repeal of the law would lead to police profiling of people who look like immigrants.
The two will square off one more time before the Nov. 4 general election on Oct. 19 in a debate hosted by KOAT-TV and the Albuquerque Journal.[/text_output][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][TS-VCSC-Youtube content_youtube=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abGEbro_v4Q&list=UU5Gx1eGLvZSI6PekT1X-EmQ” video_related=”false” lightbox_play=”false” content_lightbox=”true” content_youtube_trigger=”preview” content_youtube_image_simple=”false” content_image_height=”height: 100%;” content_youtube_iconsize=”30″ content_youtube_iconcolor=”#cccccc” content_youtube_buttontext=”View Video” lightbox_group_name=”nachogroup” lightbox_effect=”random” content_tooltip_css=”false” content_tooltip_position=”ts-simptip-position-top” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″][text_output]Gov. Susana Martinez and Attorney General Gary King sparred in a Spanish debate Monday night on Univision. The last debate will be Oct. 19 on KOAT- TV, Channel 7.[/text_output][/vc_column][/vc_row]