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Dr. Jon Hill seeks House District 53 seat in New Mexico's Democratic Primary

Dr. Jon Hill is a Democratic candidate running for New Mexico's House District 53 seat.
Dr. Jon Hill is a Democratic candidate running for New Mexico's House District 53 seat.

Dr. Jon Hill is the challenger running in the Democratic Primary for the District 53 House seat in New Mexico. He shared with KRWG Public Media why he is running.


Anthony Moreno: Joining us is Dr. Jon Hill. He is a Democratic candidate seeking the seat of state representative for District 53. Jon, thanks for joining us.

Dr. Jon Hill: You're welcome. I'm. I'm glad to be here.

Anthony Moreno: As we begin, can you share a little bit about yourself for our audience?

Dr. Jon Hill:  Sure, I'm a retired educator. I worked as a teacher and a principal, a Superintendent, and then after I retired, I sat on the school board for eight years, so I have a pretty deep background around school-related things. I had the good fortune to be in a fairly visible role where I was working in the in the capital, regularly working closely with the legislature, where I was considered a subject matter expert. My doctoral work is in school finance, particularly targeting rural and remote schools and so in addition to all this lobbying for money on the one hand, I was also called upon to help design funding programs and funding schemes for schools that were fair to rural and remote schools and so I got a pretty good background in legislation and how it works. So, I was here and looking at my situation and I didn't feel very well represented. So, I decided that I had a pretty good background in in those things in a lot of state government and that I could do a good job, and so I put my name out there to see if I can win the nomination.

Anthony Moreno: All right, now I want to follow up on that. Share with us a little bit why you are seeking this seat.

Dr. Jon Hill: Well, I find the incumbent not very responsive and not representing me. And to me the challenge of this district, and District 53 is is big, it goes roughly from Sonoma Ranch Road, east into Otero County past the military base, but not as far as the White Sands Park and from Highway 70 to Texas. So, it's a big district and it's complicated, it's got a number of parts to it, and I think the challenge of a state representative is really to try to build a unit out of that district. We have eight years left to do that, and I've done that sort of thing. I've represented individuals or interests at the state level. I understand how that works. I understand how you build a network and build a sense of unity within the district. And so, to me that's a big challenge, but it's also the basic function of the job, and so I think I can do that and do it well. I've done similar work in other settings and so I put my name out.

Anthony Moreno: So, what do you feel are the biggest issues in District 53?

Dr. Jon Hill: Well, I think that the unifying element is the need for infrastructure and for what I what I call anchor places, anchor pieces in the community. Anchor pieces are things like...well, we have the community college which is in both the north end, south end of the district, and that's a that's an important anchor piece. We have our building in the North End, we're building the 4th recreation park, but the idea is to create some stability, long term stability for the district and making sure that there's infrastructure, there's that grounded district. There's not just residential, but rather it's got some, well, what I call anchor points that are secured for the future. So, I think that building the infrastructure is important. I also think that a critical piece of the job is to be sure that the state funding and state activities get to the district. Too often, and it's easy for state money and state services to get hung up in the city and not get to the more rural parts of the state, and I've done that work. I think it's important to make sure that the state activities, whether it's services or programs or dollars, are getting into the district and not just one end or the other, but the whole district. I think those to my mind those are those are both important pieces, and then the other piece that I talk about is just show up, be present in the district to attend events to be visible in the community. I'm on my way to Chaparral next week and having lunch with the senior citizens, but being out and among the people throughout the district, I think those are three key pieces to the job and the things that I can do well.

Anthony Moreno: OK, now you mentioned some issues there, but if elected, how do you plan on addressing those issues?

Dr. Jon Hill: My doctoral work, as I said, was in finance and economics, and so I have a pretty good understanding of how that works. In addition to that, I've spent a good amount of time working at the county level, where I've really come to understand the dynamics of a local economy and how you build it and sustain it over time. So, I've got a good background in doing that, but it is a matter of weaving some pieces together that that are a challenge. You know, it does not help that particularly in the community of Chaparral the fact that it's part in Otero County and part in Doña Ana County, and it's it doesn't have standing of it’s own, it's not a city or village, it's just a colonia, that has tremendous economic needs, but it's hard to do that. This particular position is one of the few that represents the whole community of Chaparral. So, in building that economy, it's a matter of helping folks in the community weave together their economic vision, and then trying to push state money down to make that happen.

Anthony Moreno: Dr. Jon Hill is a Democratic candidate running for District 53 in the New Mexico House of Representatives. Thank you so much for joining us.

Dr. Jon Hill: OK. Thank you.

Anthony Moreno serves as the Director of Content at KRWG Public Media. He also is host and executive producer for "Fronteras-A Changing America" and "Your Legislators" on KRWG-TV.