Throughout a day of meetings, media and mixers, Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., listened to area concerns and shared her views on local and statewide issues.
While visiting the Family YMCA, Wilson talked with staff and board members about youth issues and initiatives the organization is embracing. They also discussed collaborations with Española, including the Teen Technology Center and JUNTOS.
Wilson met with employees at Los Alamos National Laboratory, mingled with business owners attending a networking event at the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, and was interviewed on KRSN, on PAC 8's "Behind the White Coat" (which Carol A. Clark hosts) and at an editorial board meeting at the Monitor.
Wilson is running for U.S. Senate against Rep. Steve Pearce. With the primary election taking place June 3, Wilson said she expects the race with Pearce to heat up soon. "We're personal friends and I think we will be friends when this is over," she said. "We do have some policy differences. New Mexico Republicans need to nominate a common-sense conservative who's going to stand up and fight for New Mexico."
Wilson supports securing U.S. borders with a combination of people, barriers, technology and she opposes amnesty for people who have broken immigration laws. "We need to make it harder for people to cross the border illegally, make it easier to catch those who try and immediately deport those who get caught," she said.
Congress recently approved, and Wilson supported, funding for 10,000 new Border Patrol agents over five years, 500 of whom will be deployed on the New Mexico border.
Wilson voted against base closures in New Mexico and said she will continue to "fight to keep our missions strong and our labs and bases in good shape."
Wilson called LANL the "premiere national security research science lab in the country. She discussed the Complex Transformation proposal saying she liked the idea, adding "I think Sandia probably got the short end of the stick on supercomputing and I think we'll have to take another look at that."
New Mexico makes a disproportionate contribution to our nation's defense and many New Mexicans work in the state's bases and labs, she said. "We must stand strong on missile defense, fully funding those programs that protect America." She also commented that environmental restoration funds for the laboratory are too low and wants to see an increase.
Wilson is an Air Force Academy graduate and Rhodes Scholar, and the only woman veteran serving in the Congress. If elected to the Senate, she will become the first woman in New Mexico history to serve in that body.
Before being elected to the Congress nearly 10 years ago, Wilson was New Mexico's Cabinet Secretary for Children, Youth and Families and also a small business owner. She served on the National Security Council Staff at the White House during the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Warsaw Pact.
Wilson is married to Jay Hone, an Albuquerque attorney. The couple have one grown son and two school-age children.