Candidate Profile: Harold Pope
Senate District 23 is a long held Republican seat. Harold Pope is challenging Senate District 23 incumbent Sander Rue, who has been in the senate for 12 years.
Harold brings a strong background in public service to his first campaign. He is an Air Force Veteran, worked for the City of Albuquerque, was a substitute teacher in APS and has led many volunteer organizations. Harold has always put service before self.
That is why he will make an excellent Senator and represent the Westside honorably. Running against an incumbent in the time of Covid is difficult. Let’s help get Harold Pope elected to the Senate. Volunteer!!!
- Why did you decide to run for the Senate?
I decided to run for Senate in January of 2019 after talking with Rep Joy Garratt and constituents of District 23. I feel that our district is not getting the representation it deserves, and that my background as a veteran, educator, and chemist will serve to give our community the data-driven decisions it deserves.
- Campaigning in a pandemic. How is that going?
We are making the best of it but it’s definitely a struggle. I believe the best way to talk to voters is by knocking on doors and having in person events where you can listen and talk about issues. Unfortunately, it is unsafe to do that so we are relying more on phone banking, mailers, letter writing, and digital ads. Moreover, we have to rely more on digital media advertising to reach voters with a positive message, meaning that fundraising has become even more important.
- What do you hope to accomplish in the legislature?
First, we must address COVID-19 ensuring we are addressing public health, testing, and vaccines. Next, we must have a plan for an economic recovery that makes investments in our small businesses and diversifying our economy. We must also properly fund Public Education and fund Early Childhood Education. In regards to healthcare, we must ensure all New Mexicans are covered and address the increased costs of healthcare and prescription drugs. We must also protect Women’s Reproductive Rights and make a renewable energy transition. We must also address public safety reform, increased behavioral health programs, pursue a higher minimum wage, develop sensible gun legislation, and legalize recreational cannabis.
- What are you focused on for the Westside?
Members of the district have the same concerns as those around the state like COVID-19, Education, Healthcare, and the Economy. At the same time the westside has been neglected when it comes to infrastructure needs in roads, a library, a multigenerational center, investments in businesses and the creation of jobs on the westside.
- How do you differentiate yourself from Sander Rue?
I believe that my policy stances are more in line with the district. At the same time, I will be more available and present to constituents. I believe in data-driven decisions, but more importantly, I will work with community members and leaders and communicate with constituents to find the best solutions for New Mexico.