“I envision an America that rewards people for an honest day’s work. If you play by the rules, keep your nose clean and work hard, you should be able to get ahead in America. That’s what I’ve done my entire life, and that’s why I’m running for Congress.”
As the Albuquerque Journal stated in its endorsement of Harry Teague, with a “businessman’s approach to problem-solving and the twang of the oil patch in his voice, Teague looks like a natural candidate” to represent New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District. As a successful businessman and community leader with strong ties to rural, Southern New Mexico, Harry fits the profile of a Democratic candidate who can win this open seat. Under Republican control since 1980, Democrats have rarely fielded a credible candidate in this District. This cycle has already shown signs of a changing political landscape: more Democrats turned out to vote than did Republicans in the June 3rd Primary, even though the incumbent GOP Congressman was in a dog fight for the Republican nomination for the open U.S. Senate seat.
Harry has a record of getting real results on the issues that matter most to New Mexico families. He has helped create thousands of jobs in the District, and provides healthcare and free college tuition to his employees and their families. His personal story is quite compelling. When Harry was 17, his father was injured and did not have health insurance, so Harry took a job in the New Mexico oil fields for $1.50 an hour. Through hard work and determination, he rose through the ranks and built a successful business that now employs 250 people.
Harry knows what it feels like to be without healthcare. And he’ll fight in Congress to make sure that other families don’t have to face the harsh circumstances of his childhood. Harry believes healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and he believes we should focus on preventative healthcare and reducing the cost of care. He will work to ensure that middle class families have access to the same quality of health care as Members of Congress.
His life experience shapes another progressive element of Harry’s political priorities – his commitment to quality education for our children. In addition to his support for public education, Harry provides free college tuition for his employees and their children go to the local community college. He firmly believes that American can only maintain its position as a world leader in business, technology and innovation by investing more resources in education. That investment will help give everyone a chance to realize the American dream.
Not content to watch his neighbors struggle as he built his business, Harry offered himself up as a public servant. He’s been elected twice to the Lea County Commission in a heavy GOP seat, and although the commission is GOP controlled, he was elected Chairman for 3 ½ years. He’s been a champion of economic development, helping bring over 3000 jobs to previously depressed Lea County. The county now has the lowest unemployment rate in the state.
Harry has worked in the energy sector his whole life. He knows how important it is that we act now to make New Mexico a leader in clean energy. Renewing and expanding tax credits and other incentives to invest in alternative energy will help create thousands of jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and benefit our environment. Harry will do all he can to make New Mexico the nation’s leader in alternative energy.
21st Century Democrats believes that Harry Teague is a man who fits this conservative leaning District like a glove, yet has a surprisingly progressive outlook. Harry’s strong field effort in this important part of the New Mexico will help get Tom Udall elected to the Senate and may bring New Mexico back into the blue column for President. Harry knows that his local roots, hard work and common sense approach to solving problems can break down partisan barriers, and we’re counting on his continued success, winning where the conventional wisdom may suggest otherwise.
Race Type: Open Seat (currently Republican) Primary Election Opponent: Primary Election Date: June 3, 2008 Primary Election Result: Won General Election Opponents: Ed Tinsley General Election Date: November 4, 2008 General Election Result: Won, 55.9% – 44.1%
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