The Neighborhood Journal reached out District 24 State Representative candidates Democrat Elizabeth Thomson and Republican Khalid Emshadi, and although there was no response from either, the following information is on their backgrounds, priorities and policies.
District 24 runs south from Spain to Lomas, east from Wyoming to Juan Tabo and, in some northernmost neighborhoods, to Tramway.
To see a map of the districts, click Districts Map.
Elizabeth Thomson (D, incumbent)
Thomson has represented District 24’s interests in the state legislature from since 2017. She is a member of the Health and Human Services, Consumer and Public Affairs and the NM Finance Authority Oversight committees.
Thomson says she is a progressive who is actively engaged with her community, especially sensitive to the concerns of people with disabilities, determined to improve opportunities for education, dedicated to fixing crime and delivering quality health care.
The daughter of an educator and a nurse and raised on two Native American reservations, Thomson grew up understanding service to the community as central to a well-lived life.
She has consistently supported appropriations for teacher and state worker salaries and combatting substance abuse. She’s representing her district not to defend the status quo but instead to make a real difference.
“I realized I wanted to make a bigger difference for our state 29 years ago. My son was diagnosed with autism, and the services he required were not available in Albuquerque. I knew the only way to make change was to be the change I wanted to see. I am dedicated to being your voice in the New Mexico state legislature,” said on her site at https://www.lizthomsonfornm.com/about.
Here is a list of Thomson’s top four priorities.
Economy: “Our economic recovery is not being shared equally among all New Mexicans — especially those with lower incomes who bear the greatest financial burdens. It’s critical that we support working families with a tax code that levels the playing field so every New Mexican can thrive. The bills we passed this session implemented policies proven to help lift families out of poverty, stimulate spending in local economies, and protect New Mexico’s home-grown businesses and investments.”
Crime : “I hear your concerns about crime. I am committed to tackling crime with an emphasis on improving mental health, reducing substance abuse and restoring peace of mind for the residents of Albuquerque. It will take time and dedication from both sides to solve our crime problems. I’m taking proactive steps to effect change, and I promise that as your representative, I will continue to stand with our Police Chief and the men and women who keep Albuquerque safe. In the legislature, I was proud to co-sponsor a bipartisan public safety package that helps address crime in New Mexico at every level. My part of the bill strengthened requirements for the removal of DUI interlock devices. I am committed to reducing drunk driving in our state.”
Health care: “During the 2021 session, we made strides towards achieving a more equitable and fair health care system in New Mexico. In 2018 [I] worked with colleagues across the aisle to pass a bill that required insurance companies to provide the medications and treatments that doctors’ and patients’ need. Insurance companies are now required to provide the most effective treatment options. Health care decisions should be in the hands of experts and patients, not insurance companies. I have also worked to expand access to women’s health care in the state. I have consistently supported funding for crucial women’s health services including domestic violence services, mammograms and breast cancer screenings. As a mother, breast cancer survivor and advocate, I know how incredibly important these services are for women and families in New Mexico … New Mexico’s health care system must be able to help children of all income levels get the health care they need so they can grow up happy, healthy and well-educated.
Education: “Of course, the fastest way to create more educational opportunities is to better support the women and men who teach our youth. The Journal recently reported, ‘Albuquerque Public Schools has the highest overall need in the state, with 380 teachers and 90 educational assistant job openings for a student body of over 85,000.’ I introduced a bill that would create a New Mexico public educator appreciation day at the House of Representatives. With more funding and more support for our teachers and schools, New Mexico can improve our education system and help kids succeed.”
Khalid Emshadi (R)
Khalid was born and raised in Libya, a Middle Eastern country in Africa. Growing up, he worked on a farm with his father, mother, four brothers and five sisters. He spent his childhood making new friends, seeking to learn new things daily and attending social events, but life in Libya was never easy given the political and social circumstances of the country. The country became too dangerous for Khalid and his family. After finishing his undergraduate degree in physics, he made the decision to come to the United States in 2008 with his wife to pursue the American dream and to attend graduate school.
In 2010, Khalid enrolled in Washington State University and received a master’s degree in physics in 2012. Around this same time, Libya began to receive national attention. Revolution began to take place after the country’s dictator was assassinated in 2011. Khalid paid close attention and hoped for the best possible outcome from the revolution taking place back home. He was one of the first figures to march in the revolution and to this day, he defines himself as a Cyrenaica human rights activist.
In 2021, Khalid made New Mexico home for him and his family. He accepted a position as a R&D Principal Engineer at SolAero Technologies, a space and defense company that manufactures solar cells for space application and defense projects including NASA, the Department of Defense, the Air Force Research Lab, and more.
“I fled a civil war in Libya and came to the U.S. to seek the American Dream. That same dream is vanishing today, and I’m running to keep it alive for all New Mexicans!” he says.
Emshadi talks about migrant issues, children’s education, crime, gas taxes and his opponent via his Twitter account at https://twitter.com/k_emshadi.
Here is a list of Emshadi’s top four priorities.
Economy: Right now, irresponsible government spending is one of the biggest issues impacting New Mexico’s economy. Khalid will be a voice in Santa Fe to regulate the state budget. By reducing unnecessary government spending, we can reduce taxes in New Mexico and put more money in the pockets of hardworking New Mexicans.
Crime: “It’s no secret that crime in Albuquerque is out of control. Our so-called ‘leaders’ in office have exacerbated the problem and expect New Mexicans to be complacent. We need to work to strengthen relationships between the police and our community, bring back qualified immunity for first responders, and reform New Mexico’s broken bail system.
Education: “Our children are entitled to a quality education, and parents should never settle for less. Rather than funding institutions that fail students, we should instead fund students and give parents the allowance they need to send their children to a public, private or charter school of their choice.”
Energy: With Khalid’s background in solar energy, he understands not only the industry, but the science behind how to make New Mexico a leader in new energy technology.