Lisa Shin announced her candidacy for representative of New Mexico House Dist. 43. Shin, a Republican, joins the race for the elected seat along with Democrats and current Los Alamos County Councilors Christine Chandler and Pete Sheehey.
Shin said she welcomes the opportunity to run for public office. “I am very excited about the prospect of making a difference and effecting change on the state level,” she said. In an e-mail, Shin wrote, “As the daughter of Korean immigrants, my parents came to America over 40 years ago, to pursue the American Dream of opportunity, prosperity, and freedom for their children and their grandchildren. They envisioned success through strong families, self-reliance, hard work, and perseverance.”
She added, “When I realized that this dream was being lost for so many Americans, I became politically active and involved. Like millions, I was unhappy with the direction of our country. This is what fueled my political activism two years ago, and it is what motivates me, even now.” This is the first public office Shin has pursued. Shin describes herself as a political outsider who brings her experience as a healthcare provider and a small business owner to the table.
Shin, who is an optometrist, moved to Los Alamos 20 years ago, in 1997. She built her own private practice, Los Alamos Family Eyecare, PC. Additionally, Shin is active in the local Republican party.
In her e-mail, Shin said, “My platform advances freedom, opportunity, and prosperity for our District, with a strong focus on affordable health care, public health issues, and tax reform.” Currently, New Mexico’s healthcare is in a tough spot. Shin said many people can’t afford private insurance and the State can’t afford Medicaid. New Mexico is facing a budget deficit due to Medicaid expansion, which impacts funding for public safety, education, and infrastructure.
“We need a fiscally sustainable and robust health care market for both private and public health insurance so that people have more freedom and choice.” Shin said. “Catastrophic coverage and medical savings accounts were restricted under Obamacare. Their expansion has bipartisan support in Congress, and could be implemented at the state level. As a small business owner, I would like the option of an affordable insurance plan that only covers emergencies, such as a heart attack. Increasing contribution limits on medical savings accounts would give people more control and flexibility over their health care dollars. My patients use them all the time to cover their eye care needs. It’s a win-win for both employers and employees.”
One problem with Medicaid, Shin said in her email, is “fraud, waste, and abuse. In March 2017, Attorney General Balderas’s Medicaid fraud unit recovered $6.2 million as a result of investigations into health care providers and others cheating the program. Just this past September, our state pursued Medicaid premiums and copays to cover rising costs. I support such cost-sharing measures, as well as efforts to improve Medicaid recipients’ health and well-being through work and community service requirements.”
Tax reform is another big issue for Shin. She said she is a strong believer in allowing people to keep more of what they earn. Shin supports reforms that broaden the tax base and lower the tax rate to encourage business investment. She wrote: “Statewide, New Mexicans are demanding the government’s fiscally responsible, prudent, and efficient use of our hard earned tax dollars. We have to simplify the tax code. I support Rep Harper’s proposal to create just one personal income tax bracket and one corporate bracket at 5 percent. His plan last year would have lowered the state rate to 2.7%, no longer picking winners and losers.”
Additionally, Shin mentioned the importance of the Los Alamos National Laboratory to the district. She wrote, “The economic success of District 43 is directly linked to the long term success of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which depends on its scientific, engineering, and technology base. I keep hearing about problems with recruiting and retaining the best talent. As an optometrist, I’m a bit removed from the situation, of course, but my patients tell me things all the time.”
Shin also touched on her views regarding the uncertainty regarding the management contract for the Lab, which will greatly influence how much gross receipts tax the County will receive. Shin said if a non-profit is awarded the contract and our Legislature rejects Senate Bill 17, there are other ways to encourage investment in our community and the region. Before 2006, LANL gave millions to our schools, created jobs, empowered a skilled workforce, and supported our excellent quality of life. “We can look at many ways to ensure LANL continues to be a driver for economic growth and opportunity for Northern New Mexico,” Shin said.
Shin said her first “Team 43” party this past Friday was a big success. “I was so moved by the support and enthusiasm of volunteers for my campaign. It will always be a party, because we’re going to have fun reaching out to people.” She said that her next Team 43 parties will be on February 23rd and March 23rd, 7pm at the Chamber of Commerce.
To contact Shin, she can be reached at Lisasfor43@gmail.com and Lisa for 43 PO Box 919 Los Alamos. Additionally, Shin can be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/betterwayforNM and on Instagram, www.instagram.com/lisafor43. To receive campaign updates via text messages, text TEAM43 to 555888.