Wednesday night, KRQE News 13 hosted the first Gubernatorial debate. 

The candidates sparred over how they would fix New Mexico’s economy, schools and crime problem. 

Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham and Republican Steve Pearce both came polished and prepared. They took turns taking jabs at each other, while explaining why they should be your next governor. 

Both Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham and Congressman Steve Pearce had stark differences on how to fix the problems facing our state, starting with the economy and if we should raise the minimum wage. 

This is the first time in state history that two sitting U.S. Representatives have faced off in the race to the Governor’s Mansion. 

Each candidate came ready to take jabs at their opponent, but in the end, they both say they’ll fight to make this state better.

When it comes to crime, Lujan Grisham says we need more officers, while Pearce says we need to hold violent, convicted criminals in jail. 

So, who won the debate? Hundreds of viewers voted on and they said Pearce. 

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. 


1. You both have lived in the state of New Mexico for virtually your entire lives. You have both represented New Mexico in Congress for years. What is the most pressing issue in our state? 

2. Despite governors promising to turn the state’s economy around, we have failed to climb out of an economic hole largely dependent on the volatile oil and gas industry, and government jobs. What is the single most important thing you would you do, that has not been tried before, to boost the state’s economy?

3. Would you support a raise in the state’s minimum wage? How high?

4. Does the state spend enough money on education?

5. The state recently lost a lawsuit, with the court finding that New Mexico’s education budget does not adequately fund our K-12 public schools. Would you tap the permanent fund to expand pre-K?

6. The education system in our state has a history of promoting students to the next grade level, even in cases where they are not reading at grade level. As governor, would you end social promotion?

7. Crime is a major problem in our state. Have you ever been the victim of a crime in New Mexico? As governor, what would be the single most important action you would take to make New Mexicans safer?

8. Imagine a scenario where you have a person addicted to methamphetamine, with a long history of property crimes. That person gets caught again stealing a car or breaking into a house. What should happen to that person?

12. Nine states across the country have legalized the use of recreational marijuana, including our neighbors to the north, Colorado. Have either of you ever smoked pot? Would you support legalizing recreational marijuana in our state?  

13. It’s a common theme in races around the country right now — the “Trump factor.” What do you think about President Trump? 

14. What’s your stance on deportation for immigrants found living here illegally?

12. The attack ads are flooding the airwaves now. Tell us about something you have seen in one of those attack ads aimed at you that you felt is below the belt?

13. Tourism has become a huge revenue generator in New Mexico. If you had a weekend to spend anywhere in the state — what is your ideal staycation?