Democrat Stephanie DuBois, a longtime small business owner, says she is seeking election to the newly redistricted state Senate District 33 seat. The seat is currently represented by Sen. Rod Adair, R-Roswell, who announced in April that he was withdrawing from the race. DuBois will face Sen. Bill Burt, R-Alamogordo, in the general election.
Indicating the area has been dominated by Republican representation throughout the years, Dubois said, “We need to have a choice … I just felt somebody needed to run on the other side.”
In the 2010 general election, Dubois fell to Patrick Lyons for Public Regulation Commissioner, District 2. While she has run for several public offices, mainly yielding unsuccessful results, Dubois said, for her, it’s about the process. And she maintains, “I made sure a Democrat was running.”
DuBois is against Gov. Susana Martinez’s push to ban social promotion, the practice of promoting third-graders who have not mastered academic material. For DuBois the initiative is ineffective unless “you give them the special tutoring that they need so they stay with their peer group, and then move on to the fourth grade. If you’re just going to hold them back and we don’t have money to help them along, I don’t see how that’s really going to help them.”
Dubois proposed using money from the state’s permanent fund to support early education, beginning at preschool. “We’re going to have to invest some of that money … maybe float a bond to pay it back … for early childhood development. We just can’t keep being last in education. It’s not fair to the kids.”
DuBois is in favor of providing a three-year tax break to “legitimate companies that are sustainable … They’ve got to have a Dow Jones report and a Standard & Poor’s report.” Additionally, she indicated her support of providing low cost loans to existing companies in the state, that are looking to expand or even stay in business.
The owner of Halsem Kennels, a dog grooming and training business, for around 34 years, DuBois has had her own share of business experience.
From 1980 to 1983, she ran the Chamber of Commerce in Deming, taking its treasury from $140 to $9,000 during her tenure.
The daughter of a Pearl Harbor survivor, DuBois is an advocate of veterans issues. She cited the veteran population between Lincoln and Otero counties as 7,600. “We still have to take care of those that have served,” she said. DuBois plans to speak to U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and has drawn other legislators to the issue of homeless veterans being unable to vote. “They protected our rights. Here’s a right, and they’re not allowed to vote,” she said. While these veterans could use the address of a homeless shelter, DuBois said she’s been advised that veterans are only able to stay at these shelters for a short period of time. “After the president pulls out of Afghanistan, we’re probably going to have a bunch more homeless (veterans), and what do we do with them? We owe them more than that.”
DuBois said she’s focusing on door-to-door grassroots campaigning. “I’m not owned by anybody. I’ve not taken any big corporate money. I didn’t raise a whole lot of money yet. I’m unopposed in the primary so I might raise more after that. Nobody owns me. I’m an independent thinker,” she said.
DuBois volunteers as a mediator for civil cases in Magistrate Court, an experience which she said will benefit her, if elected, given “the Legislature is about a series of compromises to come to a resolution.”