Editor’s note: Lucille B. Tucker is seeking the Republican nomination for state representative of district 66 in the June 6 primary. She is running against incumbent Keith Gardner.
Q. Why are you running for state representative?
A. I am a life-long educator concerned about what is happening or not happening within the educational structure of the state of New Mexico. I retired as an elementary teacher and have been substituting at all levels from pre-K to high school for several years. I have a strong caring for children and their families and want to work to make the system better.
Q. What is the most important issue in this race and why?
A. I believe that the most important issue is the need for change. I feel that the people of southeastern New Mexico have been short-changed for the past few years in getting what we need and deserve from the ‘money pot.’ The ‘good ole boy’ attitude must go. I have no ties to anyone. I have no favors to pay back. I am a strong woman, who will do her best to represent the citizens of Southeastern New Mexico.
Q. What are your views on a statewide minimum wage?
A. I believe it is imperative that we raise the statewide minimum wage. How can we expect anyone to live and raise a family on such a small amount of money? If we want our citizens to be independent and get away from government assistance, we must make it possible for them to put food on their tables and to provide for their families by giving them decent wages.
Q. What do you believe the state legislature should do to alleviate funding crunches in the schools?
A. I believe that every school district in New Mexico should be asked to look within their structure to find where the money is going. They should look at each employee and be able to justify each position and how that person is working for the betterment of children. There is waste in every business and running our schools is a business. In fact it is or should be the most important business within our state.
Q. How will you work to bring project funding to Roosevelt County?
A. The funding allotted to each legislator to bring home to his/her district should be distributed throughout the counties of that legislator equally, based on need. I think all too often that the wants and needs of a select few are answered before those of the general public. If I am elected, I would strive to listen to the input of needs from all of the constituents of my district.
Q. What is the most important thing for you to accomplish if elected?
A. As an educator, I believe strongly in getting 3- and 4-year-old children into a learning environment — not a classroom setting, but a learning environment. This was a critical time for each of us in our own lives, though we did not realize it at the time. It is the time when you learned nursery rhymes (which are important for the pre-reading), you learned your manners, your ethics, how to get along with others. If morals are ingrained at this early age, they will last throughout the child’s entire life. This is money well spent at this critical time in a child’s life, so we hopefully will not see that child later in the prison system.