Donning his trademark black brimmed hat, leather jacket, black shirt & trousers, and a turquoise bolo tie, Gavin Clarkson walked around CPAC in his classic New Mexico style, almost as if he were the ambassador for the state at the conference. When I ran into him, I recognized him immediately: “Of course, it’s Gavin Clarkson!” As I spoke with him about the home state, I could tell he was completely serious about the future of New Mexico, especially regarding the crisis on the border.
Now, three months later, he has taken the advice of hundreds of New Mexicans and decided to run for the United States Senate. In this exclusive first interview about his candidacy, I asked him about his campaign:
1) Why do you want to be New Mexico’s next United States Senator?
I want to be New Mexico’s next U.S. Senator to bring some sympathy to the Senate for those whose voices are not heard in the halls of Congress- the victims of illegal immigrant crime, the unborn, and those who are economically disempowered due to federal regulations and corporate welfare schemes that benefit establishment lobbyists at the expense of entrepreneurs and small businesses. I’ve seen far too many of my students leave New Mexico after college. The brain drain is real, and New Mexico is one of the poorest states in the union. I want to create jobs here so they can stay here, and I have legislation ready for day one to bring $2B to New Mexico (without costing taxpayers a dime) and eliminate $1 billion a day in government waste.
2) How are you different from anyone else in this race (including those mulling a run)?
My professional accomplishments are quite different from most people who spend their lives climbing the political stepladder aspiring to be the next career politician. I’m a tribal member, I have a law degree, an MBA, and a Doctorate in Business Administration, I’ve taught for two decades as a conservative in higher education, I’ve served as a member of the Trump administration in the heart of the swamp, and, having chaired a pro-life crisis pregnancy center, I’m a lifelong pro-lifer.
3) How do you plan to stand up for the ‘forgotten’ New Mexico citizens, who feel like their voices have not been heard?
The reason Republicans have a shot at winning this Senate seat is because ‘forgotten’ New Mexicans are looking for some sympathy in the Senate. As a U.S. Senator, I will tell the stories of legal immigrants, like my wife, who followed the rules, for struggling farmers and ranchers, particularly those living along our unprotected border, for responsible, law-abiding gun owners who are constantly under attack from the coastal elites, and especially for the pre-born who as for nothing more than a chance to live the life God has given them.
4) What is the greatest challenge America faces right now?
The greatest danger on the horizon is the acceptance of socialism as viable in any way, especially among younger voters who are often being misled into blaming the symptoms of the socialism we already have on the conservative principles that founded and sustain this nation. Republicans want to unleash the energy of the American people to empower themselves, their families, and their communities, while the far-left Democrats increasingly want to transform us into a nation of takers dependent on government based on a philosophy of envy and greed.
5) How will you help fix the crisis on New Mexico’s Southern Border?
1. A multi-layered approach to the wall including primary barrier, technological monitoring, and increased personnel for the brave men and women of CBP.
2. Fixing our broken immigration system by closing asylum fraud loopholes and expediting the process for legal immigrants who will contribute to the American economy.
3. A permanent fix for the Dreamers, but not amnesty.
4. Guest worker programs with robust E-verify and immediate deportation for violations.
6) What will you do, as Senator, to encourage employment options, and ultimately stop New Mexico graduates from leaving the state?
The first step would be eliminating dual taxation on job creators in Indian Country, which could provide a $2 billion economic stimulus in New Mexico alone and up to $40 billion nationwide without costing federal taxpayers a single cent. In addition, we need to radically reform federal student lending practices to encourage students to pursue majors that are likely to prove practical in the competitive job market, and we need to do much more to support students who don’t want to go to college with technical training and apprenticeship programs.
7) Why should a New Mexico Democrat support your U.S. Senate run?
Mainstream Democrats are no longer being heard or represented by most of the leaders and presidential candidates in their party, and the bottom line is Democrats need jobs, too. Also, there are plenty of Democrats who oppose late-term abortion and literal infanticide and who support the 2nd Amendment to protect their own families.
8) If elected, you would be serving alongside Senator Martin Heinrich, whose primary residence is in Silver Springs, MD, where his family lives and goes to school. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, who would be your Democratic opponent, did not even show up for his own re-election party in 2018, even though he was on the ballot in New Mexico.
Since the U.S. Senate is intended to be the house of Congress farthest removed from the people (with an election every six years, and not every two), do you promise right now, that you will make it a point to visit New Mexico as much as possible, and listen to input from all New Mexicans, Democrat and Republican?
Speaking on behalf of New Mexico in Washington, D.C. is literally the job description, and the only way to effectively do that is to hear from real people in the real world as often as possible. I’m running to share the stories and aspirations of the ordinary people who make New Mexico extraordinary and who just want to see some sympathy in the Senate, and that will mean being in-state as often as possible. From Fly-fishing the San Juan River to the Lea County Pig Roast, from rallying on the border in the Bootheel to snowboarding in Taos with my son, and everywhere in between, I promise to visit every county in New Mexico every year.
For too long, regular New Mexicans from all walks of life and backgrounds have been ignored by our leaders. Each election cycle, elitist politicians spout off a new list of promises, and know full well they have no intention of keeping them. But, once those swamp-rat elected officials have won their races, they are nowhere to be found until a few months before the next cycle, and even then, one can only spot them at a $10,000 per seat fundraiser or an obligatory townhall. Rinse and repeat. Some don’t even bother to show up on election day for their own re-election parties, much less even vote for themselves, a prime example being Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, who now believes he deserves a promotion to the United States Senate.
Conservative students on college campuses in New Mexico are pelted daily with insults because they are not “progressive enough,” or don’t agree with liberal theories or ways of living. Parents still have to worry about their kids’ safety when they leave the house, not knowing if they will ever see their child again, or if their child will be exposed to life-altering narcotics as a result of the rampant crime in metropolitan cities. Responsible New Mexicans who choose to own guns are threatened each and every day by the Governor and current liberal politicians like Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, despite a majority of counties in our state passing “Second Amendment Sanctuaries.”
Each day, babies are executed on the date of their birth in New Mexico late-term abortion clinics. Massive caravans of migrants flood our southern border, compromising our safety, not just with drugs and crime, but with life-threatening diseases. New Mexicans are the most federally-dependent state, and our health care system is broken, with doctors leaving in record numbers.
The 2020 election is quite literally New Mexico’s last shot to turn the tides, or we will become the next California, with sky-high taxes, filthy streets, unreasonable gun restrictions, and staggering crime rates. If we are truly serious about salvaging what’s left of our once-great state, we need to be serious for once about who we send to the United States Senate to represent us. For the last 16 years, Senator Udall has not provided anything substantial for the people of New Mexico, to instead focus on issues that may sound good, but in reality cost taxpayers and restrict people from their liberty.
For these reasons, we don’t have time to mess around. We must act with urgency. There is one man and one man only for the job of United States senator, and that man is Dr. Gavin Clarkson. Gavin has dedicated his life to service for our nation. He honorably served our country in the United States Navy. As a life-long learner, he prized education, graduating from some of the finest American universities, even though you’ll never hear him bragging about it. Clarkson used his academic background to share his knowledge with others, educating the future at both the high school and collegiate levels for decades.
Gavin is strong on the Life issue, leading a Christian crisis pregnancy center, where he encountered countless mothers and children, who decided to choose Life because of the encouraging, uplifting ministry of his organization. As a tribal member of the Choctaw Nation, Clarkson has a deep understanding of the interests of indigenous people, and a respect for the diverse culture New Mexico has to offer. He worked to advance the issues most impacting Native people by lending his robust experience to serve in the U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Clarkson has shown how much he cares about our state by his actions and his words. Just by speaking with him, I saw how painful it is for him to see citizens of our state suffering because of decades of bad leadership. His humility, kindness, deep-seated concern for New Mexico and robust platform substantiate how serious he is about turning our state around. He’s not doing this for a title: He’s doing this because we need him, and he has chosen to answer our call.
Every New Mexican, from every background, should reflect on New Mexico now versus 15 years ago. Are we better off now than we were back then? You would probably say “No.” With decades of career politicians like Ben Ray Lujan, Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, Michelle Lujan Grisham, and others holding the highest positions in our state’s national and state government, have they delivered more prosperity for us or less? Have they made New Mexico more divided or less? Have they made positive change at all? No, they have not produced a thing, other than more stagnation and an increasingly rapid decline.
If we REALLY want to change our state, grow our economy, create new jobs, encourage graduates to stay in New Mexico, reduce crime, end illegal immigration, and save precious human lives, we don’t need 6 more years of the same failed leadership from the same dirty players who care more about adding the word “Senator” to their title than about you or I. Gavin is a man of principle who would serve New Mexico well if elected to the Senate.