A fifth-generation New Mexican, Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell, a rancher and an advocate of agricultural issues, says she is seeking re-election to her House District 58 seat. She has served as a state House representative since 2005.
Ezzell called for controlling and downsizing government, both municipally and statewide, so as not to infringe on individuals’ everyday lives. She said the state’s current regulations are too strict. “Business owners can’t even take care of business because of all the rules and regulations, forms, paperwork and everything else that goes along with it,” Ezzell said. She listed the EPA as a proponent of this type of overregulation. “I want clean air and clean water just like everybody else does, but they’re going a little bit overboard especially in the economic times that we’ve been having,” Ezzell said. She cited, as example, a time, when she visited with the home economics teacher at Roswell High. The EPA had shut down the school’s home economics kitchen because the items the students were making were not inspected. “That’s just wasteful in my opinion,” she said.
Ezzell indicated her support of providing tax incentives for new businesses coming to New Mexico. “We need to make sure the workforce in the state of New Mexico is viable. It’s not going to be (the) government that provides jobs. In the long run with government creating jobs we’re actually paying for it,” she said. Ezzell called for an overhaul of the state’s tax system. She said the state particularly needs to reform areas of double taxation. Some years ago, Ezzell carried a bill, which she worked on with Senate President Pro Tem Tim Jennings, D-Roswell, to combat this issue. The bill did effectively pass the Legislature. “A wholesale company was paying taxes on products that they were getting from another state and then having to turn around and pay taxes on it again. There seems to be a double standard there. The penalties that were assessed with this were unbelievable.”
A member of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association and a local 4H leader, among other involvement in agricultural organizations, Ezzell said, “I try to promote the agricultural industry every chance I get. If you eat you’re involved in agriculture.” She listed water use as a rising problem affecting this industry. Given the drought cattle numbers have hugely declined statewide. At her own ranch, where Ezzell and her husband raise beef cattle, the number of cows has decreased from 380 to 50. “We cannot use our water for speculation. It’s the livelihood of our area. It’s not just for farmers and ranchers. It’s for our municipalities and it is for businesses also,” she said.
As for education, Ezzell is in favor of banning social promotion. She said the key to student success depends on parental involvement. “Small schools are the schools that are succeeding right now mainly because our parents get involved in these smaller schools. … Take the time. They’re your children. They’re not the government’s kids,” she said. Indicating the need to revamp the state’s entire educational system, Ezzell said, “In 2006, I believe, New Mexico ranked number one in the nation as far as the amount of money per capita that we put towards our students and we ranked 49th in what we turned out. I’m tired of those statistics.”
Ezzell and her husband Calder have two children; Robert and Kathleen.