Republican David Clements of Las Cruces, a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Tom Udall, was in Roswell Wednesday visiting with Chaves County party members.
The former prosecutor and employment attorney is taking time off from his career to campaign full time before the primary election.
Clements faces former New Mexico Republican Party Chairman Allen Weh, a businessman who finished second behind Gov. Susana Martinez in the gubernatorial primary in 2010.
Clements describes himself as a constitutional conservative. Outside of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, “everything should be left to the states though the 10th Amendment,” Clements said.
“That guides my decision-making on areas we should legislate and not legislate,” Clements said. “Most people in New Mexico agree, the federal government has gone too far in every aspect of their lives. I think what they need is someone that is treating this as an office of a public service employee who is working for the people.”
Clements’ position on national health care, he said, was free-market solutions and the ability to sell policies across state lines.
“This would improve care and reduce costs by aligning the interests of patients, doctors and hospitals,” according to his website. This would also give consumers the freedom to transition from the employer-based health care system.
“Udall voted for Obamacare without reading it,” Clements said.
Udall promised New Mexicans they could keep their insurance plans, Clements said.
“He hasn’t kept that promise,” he said.
He also had an opportunity to sign a two-page plan for residents to keep their insurance plans until after the rollout, but didn’t sign it, he said.
“He’s not listening to the people. He had an opportunity to stand by New Mexicans and instead he stood behind the president,” Clements said.
Clements said he will focus on policies to allow small businesses to create jobs, balancing the federal budget and fighting to preserve privacy rights and Second Amendment rights.
One of five children, Clements was born in Seattle. His family suffered hardship in his formative years when his father was laid off from the aerospace industry during a recession.
He moved to Las Cruces in 2001 and married his wife, Erica, a civil engineer. The couple has a 3-year-old son.
Clements earned his law degree from the University of New Mexico. He served as chairman of the Doña Ana Republican Party and started the Republican Liberty Caucus in 2012. He was a prosecutor in Doña Ana County and the 6th Judicial District.