The former Chairman of the Socorro County Republican Party is hoping to represent the newly redrawn 38th Congressional District.
Sandra Hammack is one of four Socorroans hoping to fill the seat. High school teacher Melba Aguilar will be running against her in the Republican primary in June. Two other Socorro residents— Positive Outcomes CEO and school board member Tara Jaramillo and Mayor Ravi Bhasker—are vying for the seat. They will both be in the Democratic primary.
Hammack grew up in Luis Lopez and raised three children in San Antonio, New Mexico. She’s worked as a beekeeper, a bookkeeper, a store manager and even at her son’s cow calf operation. Hammack has never held public office before.
Hammack said she is running because she is “tired of being last or next to last in everything that New Mexico does.”
The economy, law enforcement and education are her top three priorities.
“I have heavy roots in agricultural, so I understand the rural areas in New Mexico outside the cities, and I think that one-size-fits-all government doesn’t work for the rural areas like it does in Albuquerque or Las Cruces or those areas,” said Hammack.
She believes teachers need more resources in classrooms, like classroom supplies such as paper and books. She thinks the bail reforms that allow for more people to access pretrial release without bail should be walked back.
“Because these people get picked up, they go in, they don’t have to pay a bond, they’re out in a couple hours and they commit the same crime or a worse crime,” she said.
She believes the state’s gross receipt taxes are too high, and questions how high the taxes are for oil and gas industry businesses. She’s also concerned with border security.
“Maybe we need to urge the governor to put the National Guard on the border to help with the people coming in because there’s so much fentanyl coming across the border.”
An issue she believes affects rural areas especially is shortages of nurses and doctors.
“We need to figure out a way to incentivize them to stay here. Bring down the rent. Have more things for them to do. Places to shop.”
The general election is on November 8. The new districts go into effect on January 1, 2023.
“I really believe if we can get our economy moving, get people back to work, and people aren’t wanting to work, I don’t know why but, get people back to work. I think that makes a big difference and cuts down on our crime issues,” she said.