Get to know the Republican candidates in CD1 | KOB 4
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Get to know the Republican candidates in CD1

Chris Ramirez
Updated: May 13, 2020 06:58 PM
Created: May 12, 2020 06:00 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Three Republicans will face off in the primary election for the New Mexico's 1st Congressional District, which makes up most of Bernalillo County and Torrance County, along with some parts of Valencia County and Sandoval County.

Three republicans include:

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  • Jared Vander Dussen, a recent law school graduate who works as a lawyer for his family's dairy
  • Bret Kokandis, a small business owner who specializes n telecommunications and startups
  • Michelle Garcia Holmes, a retired police officer, former chief of staff for the state attorney general and also once a candidate for Albuquerque mayor and lieutenant governor  

All three candidates spoke with KOB 4's Chris Ramirez to talk about why they are running to ultimately unseat Democrat Deb Haaland. 

Michelle Garcia Holmes: You know what? I'm passionate about New Mexico. I've lived here all my life, all my life in District 1, raised our kids here, watched our highs and lows. To do things for New Mexicans and help families would be a great honor and a great blessing to me.

Jared Vander Dussen: I'm running for this seat because I see the potential New Mexico has. I love New Mexico. This is where I was born and raised. This is where my family is, this where I want to raise my family, and we need politicians in place who will put New Mexico first.  

Brett Kokinadis: We have to start looking at New Mexico as a whole, we have to start working as a team. This is a big difference between the Republican and Democrat party.  Democrats like to work together on issues, and you see them pushing things forward at all levels of governments. As a walk-away democrat myself, that is one of the characteristics that differentiates myself as a new Republican candidate in this race.

Chris Ramirez: What do you think the federal government can do for New Mexico to get our economy jump started?

Jared Vander Dussen: I think as we slowly come out of this pandemic, we'll have to look at how much are families hurting, how much is the economy hurting, and then re-address that and see if we do need to put more stimulus money into the economy.  That's a job of the federal government.

Michelle Garcia Holmes: This is a real exciting time while we have this huge challenges. The reason I see it as exciting is it's the time to downsize government. We've been using these terms essential and non-essental. Let's think about that and see what is non-essential government now and start downsizing and spending taxpayers money wisely.

Brett Kokinadis: Yes, we're going to have to do things in Congress. Those things can range from employer tax credits to things like that.  The point is-- we don't want to get to that point. We want to get New Mexico back to work, we want to get the economy going. It depends on what the governor will do, on how Congress will do or I will react in Congress to support New Mexicans.

KOB 4 invited all three candidates to submit a one-minute video message to voters to state their case. 

Click on the following links to watch the videos: 


Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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