Giving Thanks

You know that Marion, who is no complainer, has been in pain when crutches and a walking cast merit a smile and a thumbs up. Talk about an attitude of gratitude!










Amidst this week’s chatter about the misdeeds of politicians, celebrities, and news media, there is the occasional heartwarming story of a U.S. military service member who was able to make a surprise visit home for the holidays.

Those stories help put my Thanksgiving into perspective. They cause me to stop and ponder all I am thankful for:

  • I am thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Christ. It is to Him we give thanks, because it is from Him that all our blessings flow.


  • I am thankful that I was born in the United States of America, land of the free. We remember the pilgrims this week because their search for religious liberty brought them to our shores almost 400 years ago.


  • I am thankful for my college sweetheart and wife, Marion, who wed me 35 years ago, and who has stuck by me through thick and thin.


  • I am thankful for our four wonderful adult children, Audrey, Jim, Grace, and Margaret, all of whom are healthy and leading productive lives with purpose.


  • I am thankful for the opportunity to grow a company with the help of our dedicated, loyal employees.


  • I am thankful for the dozens of communities throughout New Mexico that have invited us to be part of their lives by building there.


  • I am thankful for the opportunity to represent the people of our state in the United States Senate, and for the support and encouragement of so many people like you.


A fuller accounting of my blessings would require much more than a blog post. I hope that you share my feelings of blessedness, and that your list of thanks is long.

May you and your loved ones enjoy peace and abundance this Thanksgiving.


New Mexico for New Mexicans

It is not fair that individuals like my buddy Derek J Leyendecker are left at the gate because Martin Heinrich assumes people like himself are the only ones that want to experience our great outdoors.

You may have read last week that the U.S. Interior Department has accepted a donation of the Rimrock Rose Ranch. The Rimrock Rose Ranch will increase the 16,000-acre Sabinoso Wilderness by 3,600 acres, and provide the only access to the Sabinoso Wilderness from a public road.

This gift from the Wilderness Land Trust came with strings attached. The donated land must be designated as wilderness, which means “hiking only” – no vehicles of any kind, not even mountain bikes.

Currently, there are no hiking trails, nor are there funds to create new trails. Hiking on trails in the wilderness is challenging. Hiking without a trail is only for the most experienced hikers.

So, while some celebrate access to the Sabinoso Wilderness, a majority of New Mexicans are still left without access. Families with small children, people with physical challenges, and the elderly are still left at the locked gate miles away.

This follows an established strategy by the coastal elites (the 21st Century’s land barons) to remove our public lands from public use. It works like this:

  • Use money donated to environmental groups to buy large tracts of private land
  • Donate the private land to the federal government, with a never-ending requirement that the land be designated wilderness
  • The donated land is off the tax roles
  • The donated land never can be used by hard-working ranchers and their families, who make good stewards of the land

Clearly, the coastal elites view New Mexico as a place for them to enjoy vacationing – not a place for New Mexicans to support their families.

Sen. Martin Heinrich has been the foremost proponent of turning New Mexico into an environmentalists’ Disneyland. He could care less about miners, loggers, and others who have lost their jobs to expanded federal land restrictions.

Mr. Heinrich’s message to rural New Mexicans is clear: the long tradition that has enabled hard-working New Mexicans to earn a living and support their families has come to a close. It has been replaced by the federal government acting as gatekeepers to our federal lands.

As your Senator, I will support Rural New Mexicans. I will oppose the federal government limiting our access to our lands.

Martin Heinrich is lost in the wilderness – but that does not mean we have to be. Keep the blueprint of success for rural New Mexicans. Send a Hard Hat to Washington.

Why I Support the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Ever wondered why Tax Day (April 15) is about as far away on the calendar as you can get from Election Day?

It’s no accident. Senators and Congressmen don’t want us to pay our taxes and vote at the same time, because if we remember that every dollar they spend comes from our pockets, we’d vote them out.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doesn’t move Tax Day to November, but it will help New Mexico’s hardworking taxpayers and their families in several ways:

It lowers taxes for working people. An average American family of four that earns $59,000 a year will save $1,182. This alone should make the bill universally popular. Do you know anyone who begs to pay Uncle Sam more than they owe?

It’s simpler. America’s 75,000-page tax code is the biggest and most complex in the world. So a lot of us need help to figure out what we owe. That adds insult to injury. Wait, I have to pay someone to help me figure out how much to pay the government?

It’s fairer. Lobbyists pay millions of dollars every year to elected officials to win tax deductions for special interest groups. Hard-working taxpayers and small business owners can’t afford lobbyists, so we pay full sticker price. That’s not fair. This bill eliminates many special interest deductions.

It creates jobs. When we cut business taxes, businesses hire more workers. This is especially true for mom-and-pop business owners, who pay their workers before they pay themselves.

In the coming days, you will hear many arguments how this tax bill is not perfect. No bill is. Government is a blunt instrument. But for hard-working New Mexico taxpayers and small business owners, this bill brings needed relief.

Please join me in telling New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation to support the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Then watch how they vote. And on Election Day 2018, hold them accountable.

To that end, my opponent, Martin Heinrich, already has spoken out against the bill.

New Mexico Air National Guard Needs A New Mission

Our Democrat U.S. Senators were AWOL when President Obama stripped the New Mexico Air National Guard (NMANG) of its F-16s. Our Air National Guard now has no airplanes. It’s the only state that doesn’t. (Even Puerto Rico’s ANG has airplanes.)

Instead of working with the Trump Administration to find a new mission and new planes for our Air National Guard, Sen. Martin Heinrich attacks it. It’s no surprise that Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson (from New Mexico) says she is not optimistic about New Mexico regaining its F-16s.

New Mexico needs a U.S. Senator who will engage with the Department of Defense to ensure our military bases and Air National Guard have the right missions, and that those missions are supported.

As New Mexico’s next U.S. Senator, I will propose that our Air National Guard be assigned at least one wing of C-130 cargo transport aircraft. Why? Kirtland AFB is already home to C-130s, and our ANG helps maintain them. We have great air space for training. New Mexico and Albuquerque are not susceptible to bad weather or natural disasters. Cargo planes based in New Mexico would be out of harm’s way and ready to transport needed relief supplies to disaster areas anywhere in the United States at a moment’s notice.

“When your community is hurting, New Mexico will be there to help.” Can you imagine the public goodwill created by that statement? It’s a much better headline than New Mexico has received in recent years. Businesses would see that if the U.S. government trusts New Mexico to keep our nation’s emergency resources safe, then New Mexico is a safe place for their manufacturing plants, inventories – and most importantly, their loved ones.

It is time for a new Senator for New Mexico, and a new mission for the New Mexico Air National Guard.

Why I Am Running for U.S. Senate

When people ask me why I’m running against Martin Heinrich for U.S. Senate, or why I criticize him, it tells me they don’t know who Martin Heinrich is.

I’m running to unseat Martin Heinrich because he is ineffective, uncaring, and damaging to our state. If he were not, I would not oppose him.


Martin Heinrich has served nine years in Congress. During that time, New Mexico has suffered.

– New Mexico has the highest unemployment rate in America.

– We are the only state in the Southwest with net outmigration, as people move away for jobs.

– We have the worst property crime in America, and one of the worst violent crime rates.

– We are worst in child hunger and second worst in overall poverty.

– We have one of America’s highest rates of people dependent on government assistance.

– We have one of America’s worst high school graduation rates.

– Martin Heinrich is ranked by nonpartisan groups as the least effective Democratic Senator.

I could go on.


– Martin Heinrich rarely visits New Mexico, unless he is campaigning for re-election.

– 94 percent of Heinrich’s votes support the positions of Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi (California) and Chuck Schumer (New York). California and New York are highly populated coastal states whose needs are very different from New Mexico’s. Buy putting his own political career aspirations above the needs of his state, Heinrich has earned the nickname, “California’s third Senator.”

– Though Heinrich introduces few pieces of legislation, 63 percent of all his sponsored or co-sponsored bills involve either the environment or renewable energy. His voting record shows that he views himself as an environmental Senator, not New Mexico’s Senator.


– Heinrich consistently opposes New Mexico’s oil, gas, and mining industries, which has led to the loss of thousands of good-paying jobs. These industries provide more than 30 percent of New Mexico’s general operating revenues, which pay for teachers, school breakfasts and lunches, and anti-poverty programs.

– Heinrich stood by as New Mexico’s Air National Guard lost its airplanes. He does not vigorously defend and advance the missions of New Mexico’s three Air Force bases, which provide vital jobs to the surrounding communities.

– Heinrich has failed every New Mexico Senator’s duty to ensure that our two national labs have clear missions that are properly funded. Our labs are not only two of the state’s biggest employers, they attract high-skilled workers who create more jobs.

– Heinrich continues to steal jobs from hard-working rural New Mexicans, by making our public lands off limits to firewood and Christmas tree harvesting, hunting, and other uses that have supported New Mexico’s families for generations.

– Heinrich has publicly snubbed or opposed the confirmation of top cabinet secretaries, including Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.

How I Will Be a Better Senator than Martin Heinrich

– I will focus on creating and protecting good-paying jobs that support families, as well as opportunities for our young people, so our best and brightest do not have to abandon their home state to survive.

– I will work with the Departments of Defense and Energy to protect, fund, and advance the missions of our military bases and federal labs.

– I will keep alive our long tradition of hard-working ranchers, farmers, and others being able to earn a living and support their families, while still being good stewards of our federal lands.

– I will support New Mexico’s oil, gas, and mining industries, for the jobs they create and the state operating revenues they produce.

– I will support all efforts to secure our southern border, to end the flow of drugs, drug gangs and crime that have entrenched themselves along the I-25 corridor and made all our communities less healthy and less safe.

And that’s just a start.


A New Coalition of New Mexican Voters

Twice this year, Santa Feans have voted down tax increases by wide margins.

In May, they rejected a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg spent more than $1 million promoting the tax to fund preschool education.

This week, they rejected a 1/16th of a cent gross receipts tax increase to fund behavioral health services and public safety jobs.

Santa Fe is overwhelmingly Democratic. Republicans could not have defeated these two new taxes on their own.

Rather, these elections revealed a clear split between traditional New Mexican Democrats and the radical progressive Bernie Sanders wing of the national Democratic Party, a.k.a. the “alt-left.”

Working with Santa Fe business leaders and everyday hard-working taxpayers of both parties, the Republican Party of Santa Fe County assembled a new coalition of voters who stand up for common-sense government.

They were vastly outspent. The odds were against them. Yet they prevailed – twice.

As a Republican, as a candidate for U.S. Senate, and most importantly as a New Mexican, I am incredibly encouraged by this resurgence of common-sense governing principals – what I call Hard Hat values.

Common-sense government does not belong to one political party. Common-sense government belongs to the people who create, fund, and allow that government.

Traditional New Mexican Democrats are becoming aware that their elected representatives have abandoned them. For example, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich were two of only 16 Democratic Senators who co-sponsored Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” bill – which even Hillary called ‘unrealistic, and which nonpartisan study groups have said would double the national debt.

It’s an old story: we elect them, they go to Washington D.C., they get national political ambitions, they forget the people who voted them into office, they lose their heads.

When this same coalition of common-sense voters elects me to replace Martin Heinrich in 2018, I know I will not lose my head, because I am going to keep my Hard Hat Values firmly in place. I am on record that I will serve no more than two terms.

Between now and then (it’s only 58 weeks from Tuesday), I will continue to address the concerns of all of New Mexico’s hard-working taxpayers.

I have hope and faith that the people of New Mexico will continue to hold their governments accountable. If Santa Fe can do it, so can the rest of the state.

Why the ObamaCare Repeal Didn’t Happen

Mick, Audrey, and Jim Rich at Audrey’s White Coat Ceremony at UNM Medical School.

Congress has adjourned for its traditional August recess after Senate Republicans failed to repeal, revise, or replace the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. ObamaCare). As a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, this news grieved me.

But it did not surprise me. Why not?

Because I am a realist, and it would be unrealistic to expect members of the current Congress to vote for the interests of their country and its hard-working taxpayers above their own careers.

The vast majority of U.S. Senators and Congressmen are career politicians who put political calculation – doing whatever it takes to remain in power – above the demands of leading our nation.

Career politicians contradict my view of public service, which is why I’ve pledged to serve no more than two terms in the U.S. Senate. To quote Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security and former Governor of Pennsylvania: “You run to win. But, you win to govern; not to win again next time.”

I believe career politicians also contradict the role of public servants as envisioned by our Founding Fathers, who themselves were businessmen, farmers, soldiers. They required newly elected members of Congress to swear an oath of office. This oath pledges them to support and defend the Constitution – the muscle and bones of our Republic.

So when Senators refuse to repeal or enact a law because they fear it will lead to defeat in their next re-election campaign, they are breaking their oath of office by putting career above country.

A week ago, I attended a different swearing in ceremony – one of great importance to me. It was the White Coat Ceremony for my eldest daughter, Audrey, at UNM Medical School.

A White Coat Ceremony is when medical students pledge their oath to treat and care for their patients and members of their community.

As I stood with my family witnessing Audrey’s next big step into her profession, I thought, “If only members of Congress took their oath of office as seriously as doctors do.”

Could you imagine going to a doctor with the same track record as Congress? You’d better hope you stay in good health.

In construction, we take no oath of office. But we take very seriously our work to construct buildings, because as with medicine, if we fail in our jobs, people could die.

A Congress full of negligent career politicians probably won’t cause the death of our Republic. But it very well may lead to a prolonged decline in our national well-being.

Fortunately, replacing a career politician is fairly easy: you vote him out. Martin Heinrich, whom I intend to replace in the U.S. Senate, is one of the career politicians who created the problem of ObamaCare. He will continue to vote for his own career in the Democratic Party above the needs of the people of New Mexico.

To date, Martin Heinrich has voted with Democratic Party leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer 94 percent of the time. This cannot possibly represent the best interests of New Mexico.

Here’s my oath to you: If you elect me as your Senator, I will uphold my pledge to the Constitution. I will work hard to do what’s best for America and New Mexico. And I will never become a career politician. After two terms in the U.S. Senate, I will come home and hang up my Hard Hat for good.

Heinrich’s Trip to Southeast NM Proves He’s Out of Touch


Last weekend, New Mexico’s junior Senator, Martin Heinrich, conducted a brief three-city tour of Southeast New Mexico as part of his re-election campaign. He visited Carlsbad, Roswell, and Ruidoso.

But Mr. Heinrich’s tour was more notable for what he didn’t do and say than what he did. To begin, he didn’t meet with all New Mexicans – he met only with registered Democrats.

Why would he meet only Democrats? He does not have a Democratic primary opponent. Why not hold town hall meetings open to everyone, as does U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce?

While Mr. Heinrich was meeting solely with Democrats, I attended a bipartisan business meeting in Roswell on Friday, and on Saturday morning met with a group of hard working New Mexicans in Albuquerque who happen to be Democrats.

What did Mr. Heinrich discuss? His opposition to Republican attempts to improve health care, and our state legislature’s failure on early childhood education.

Mr. Heinrich has done nothing to fix his broken promises about the Affordable Health Care Act. He promised New Mexicans that our health care costs would drop, and that if we liked our health care provider, we could keep it. That didn’t happen. Mr. Heinrich was one of the legislators who broke our healthcare system, and he hasn’t lifted a finger to fix it.

As for early childhood education: that is our state legislature and Governor’s responsibility. Instead of blaming others for our problems, here is what Mr. Heinrich should have discussed:

In Carlsbad, he should have addressed the huge sinkhole that threatens a large portion of the city, and could interrupt all truck and passenger traffic in Southeast New Mexico. The sinkhole resulted when federal bureaucrats approved a brine mine in southern Carlsbad. The federal government created the problem and the federal government should fix it.

Speaking of which, the two passenger elevators at Carlsbad Caverns National Park are still not operating. This limits the Caverns’ elevator capacity, which dampens tourism and hurts the local economy. It’s a federal issue with a simple fix (emergency repair funding), but our junior Senator has taken no action.

In Roswell, if Mr. Heinrich had met with Republicans as well as Democrats, he probably would have had to defend the fact that he has upheld burdensome federal regulations on the oil and gas industries, costing jobs in Southeast New Mexico and tax revenue for the state. If Mr. Heinrich wants the keep the burdensome regulations, he should seek federal financial relief for people left unemployed, and for our state schools left underfunded.

Mr. Heinrich’s third stop, Ruidoso, comes close to matching his vision for New Mexico: plenty of restaurant and hotel jobs to host tourists. Unfortunately, those jobs don’t earn enough to support families. New Mexico has the #1 unemployment rate in America and the #2 poverty rate. We need more good-paying jobs in Southeast New Mexico.

My vision for New Mexico? We once again lead America in energy independence, while also treating the environment responsibly. Our federal labs once again guide America’s technology development, leading to a vibrant high tech industry. Our young professionals can find exciting and fulfilling careers right here at home. And New Mexico once again has a U.S. Senator who is more concerned for your job than his own.

Mr. Heinrich’s tour to three Southeast New Mexico cities made headlines in the local papers – proof of how rarely he is seen here. It should be a frequent occurrence for our U.S. Senator to meet with, and hear the concerns of, all hard-working New Mexicans.

New Mexicans deserve a U.S. Senator that will work as hard as they do. That is why I am running for the U.S. Senate.

Associated Builders and Contractors Endorses Mick Rich for U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2017 – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), a national construction industry trade association of 21,000 members, has endorsed Mick Rich for U.S. Senate.

The endorsement includes a campaign contribution from ABC’s political action committee of $5,000, the maximum allowed under Federal Election Commission rules.

“I’m honored to receive ABC’s endorsement,” Mick Rich said. “I know of no other trade association so committed to hard-working Americans.”

At the same time, ABC’s New Mexico chapter endorsed Rich, and ABC New Mexico PAC contributed the maximum allowable $5,400 to his campaign.

“We’re proud of Mick – he represents Hard Hats all across America,” said ABC New Mexico President, Roxanne Rivera-Wiest. “Mick will bring common sense values to Washington, and help get our state back to work with good-paying jobs.”

Rich has been a a member of the New Mexico chapter of ABC for 30 years, and has served on its board of directors. He helped the chapter establish a construction trade apprentice program in Albuquerque to teach young adults carpentry skills.

In the 2016 election cycle, ABC PAC contributed nearly $1.2 million to federal political candidates, 100 percent of which went to Republicans. In addition to financial support of candidates, the PAC exists to educate its members about the importance of political activism.

Rich said that as Senator, his priorities will be to ensure America’s security and to help businesses flourish so they can create more jobs.

In D.C. Speech, Mick Rich Blames Career Politicians For New Mexico’s Problems

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2017 – Addressing a legislative breakfast today for the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) immediately prior to Vice President Mike Pence, Mick Rich, candidate for U.S. Senate, blamed New Mexico’s problems on “politicians who care more about their own careers than doing what’s right for the people who elected them.

“If we keep electing career politicians to represent us, we will never get ahead,” Rich said.

He cited a recent poll showing that 73 percent of New Mexicans believe the state is on the wrong track.

“We need more members of Congress who believe in free enterprise, smaller government, and fewer taxes and regulations. Simply put: Congress needs men and women who are comfortable wearing a hard hat, who find dignity in work,” Rich said.

Rich said that as Senator, his priorities will be to ensure America’s security and to help businesses flourish so they can create more jobs.

“Business, not government, moves this country forward,” Rich said, pointing to his work with ABC’s New Mexico chapter to establish a construction trade apprentice program. Rich has been a member of ABC New Mexico for three decades, and has served on its board of directors.

“For hard-working taxpayers who want America to succeed: I will be your voice in Washington,” Rich said, and repeated his pledge to serve no more than two terms in the U.S. Senate.

Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association of 21,000 members. Rich’s speech was part of ABC’s legislative week, designed to educate Congress about the issues that affect the construction industry and to showcase how its members create jobs and boost America’s economy.