Attorney General Candidate Grading

Grading based on NMD4D's policies and candidate interviews, forums and debates.
THE CANDIDATES

Attorney General Candidate Grading

Hector Balderas (D)

Overall Grade: A
(92.5%)

NO INTERVIEW GIVEN

A. Blair Dunn (L)

Overall Grade: A
(94.5%)

WATCH INTERVIEW

Michael Hendricks (R)

Overall Grade: A
(94.5%)

WATCH INTERVIEW

Overall Experience

Hector Balderas (D)

Category Grade: A

New Mexico Attorney General

Experience: State Attorney General, State Auditor, certified fraud examiner, a former prosecutor, and special prosecutor.

Education: University of New Mexico School of Law (JD), and New Mexico Highlands University (BA)

A. Blair Dunn (L)

Category Grade: A

Attorney in the City of Albuquerque

Experience: 10 years of litigation regarding open records, water law, and civil rights.

Education: Bachelor of Science (Geology), NMSU; Juris Doctor and UNM-SOL

Michael Hendricks (R)

Category Grade: A

Attorney in the City Albuquerque

Experience: Lawyer, 15+ years of business management, a watchdog for efficiencies, Spanish speaker, communicator, servant, and upholder of the law.

Education: Bachelors: Political Science (UNM), Juris Doctor (UNM SOL) and MBA International Business (Walden)

What would be your top priorities as New Mexico’s attorney general?

Hector Balderas (D)

Category Grade: B

To protect vulnerable children from violent crime. 

I will protect hard-working consumers by combatting political and corporate corruption.

I will work with local and federal authorities to recover millions of dollars of restitution by targeting Medicaid fraud, fraud against taxpayers and human trafficking.

A. Blair Dunn (L)

Category Grade: B

Prosecute corruption of all government officials that break the law regardless of party affiliation.

Fix a broken family law system by addressing the violations of civil rights by the judiciary and providing an opinion to the legislature.

Protect our water resources.

Michael Hendricks (R)

Category Grade: A

Working with local law enforcement to quell crime.

Crime is what has hampered our business development.

Investigate to root out corruption within government and the private sector.

Resolve the water rights issue (Texas v. NM).

"Less crime equals more businesses coming to NM. More businesses equal more jobs. More jobs equal more gainfully employed New Mexicans. More gainfully employed New Mexicans equals less poverty and a larger pool of tax contributions.

A larger pool of tax contributions equals more income to government surplus. Surplus equals the conversation about lowering taxes. Lowering taxes equals more businesses looking at NM for investment equalling more jobs.

This is a winning cycle that starts with lowering crime. Lowering crime is one of the AG’s most important job functions."

What would be your approach to ongoing litigation on water right issues with the neighboring state of Texas?

Hector Balderas (D)

Category Grade: B

New Mexico was sued during the previous administration, so he strengthened our scientific approach to improve water allocation.

He has unified diverse water users with national and local water experts to work toward a reasonable framework that is in the best interest of the State New Mexico.

He believes we are well represented with Robles, Rael, and Anaya. 

(The committee is very concerned with the legal group as Balderas has a personal relationship with the firm, where they have hired Brian Colón - Candidate for State Auditor and have no experience with water right litigations. )

A. Blair Dunn (L)

Category Grade: A

Blair believes that New Mexico is in a difficult situation that will not be alleviated through a litigation strategy in the case with Texas.

He thinks there needs to be an engineering solution to deal with the Texas litigation.

Further, Blair believes that Texas is engaged in the same conduct in the Pecos River Valley that they have sued New Mexico for on the Rio Grande.

Blair believes that we must address the groundwater depletion by pumpers in Texas.

He is very concerned about the law firm hired and why they have given thousands of dollars of donations to receive million dollar state contracts.

Michael Hendricks (R)

Category Grade: B

Michael wants to go back to the table with the relevant parties to work out a common-sense solution without spending millions of taxpayer dollars and protracted litigation, if possible.

Make sure that all relevant stakeholders and actors are acting in good faith concerning a potential common-sense, non-litigation solution.

He too has concerns with a law firm that has no water rights experience hired with personal relationships with the AG.

Government Corruption, Inspection of Public Records Act
Would you prosecute members of your party?

Hector Balderas (D)

Category Grade: B

Gave examples where he and his office prosecuted Democrats and Republicans.

He strongly supports strengthening IPRA, and in addition enhancing penalties.

Hector strongly supports strengthening the enforcement provisions so that the Attorney General’s office has more authority to enforce against agencies directly.

Supports the increased ability to use fines and penalties by the AG’s office.

A. Blair Dunn (L)

Category Grade: A

He feels the current AG has turned a blind eye to corruption in NM.

Blair would prosecute anyone breaking the law.

He also believes that the Attorney General’s office should not be allowed to shield records from the public under attorney-client privilege the way that the current Attorney General is doing.

Michael Hendricks (R)

Category Grade: A

Michael feels the Attorney Generals in our state have a history of not prosecuting individuals in their party.

He has a major issue where a sitting AG endorses personal friends and elected officials from his party or any party.

Wants transparency in government actions, especially with taxpayer funds, and believe it is essential to proper, and democratic governance.

Our legal system is built on various theories one of which is to deter actions with penalties. If the penalty is not enough to prevent illegal activity, then we must revisit the deterrence and respond accordingly.

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