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Heaton announces re-election bid for Dist. 55 House seat
[March 13, 2010]

Heaton announces re-election bid for Dist. 55 House seat

CARLSBAD, Mar 11, 2010 (Carlsbad Current-Argus - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- New Mexico Rep. John Heaton, D-Carlsbad, has announced he will seek another term in the Legislature.

Heaton, who represents District 55, has served continuously since he was elected in 1997.

"We have a wonderful community and extraordinary people with varied talents," Heaton said. "Even in these difficult times, I continue to be committed to fighting for our area at the state and national level, as well as supporting our county and local officials." Heaton said in the years he has served in the Legislature, he has been dedicated to work aggressively to pass legislation that positively affects the district he represents, as well as all of Carlsbad.

At the state level, Heaton serves on the Appropriations, Health and Rules Committee. During the interim, he is the co-chairman of the Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee. He also serves on the interim Education, Health Legislative Finance and Economic Development Committees as an advisory member.

At the national level, Heaton currently serves as vice chairman of the Energy Committee of the National Conference of State Legislators. In addition, he is chairmen of two sub-committees -- one dealing with cleanup of the defense sites across the country, and the second dealing with high level waste from the commercial power reactors. He also serves on a national panel charged with the responsibility for establishing future demands for electricity and transportable fuels for the nation.

"These positions enable me to push for the expansion of the use of our local salt beds and the development of our nuclear business," Heaton said. "In addition to WIPP, I support and carry legislation that underpins the growth of the potash industry, agricultural business, protecting our water supply, tourism, the oil and gas industry, the Cave and Karst Institute and the Center of Excellence for Hazardous Materials Management and its cutting edge algae to biodiesel project." The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is a U.S. Department of Energy facility located 26 miles outside of Carlsbad designed to safely isolate defense-related transuranic waste from people and the environment. Waste temporarily stored at sites around the country is shipped to WIPP and permanently disposed in rooms mined out of an ancient salt formation 2,150 feet below the surface.

On the issue of health care in Carlsbad, Heaton said he continues to work with consumer and providers to make healthcare more accessible and available, as well as expanding insurance options.

"Our entire medical complex, including the hospital, nursing homes, CARC Inc., Carlsbad Mental Health, doctors and other components make up a huge part of our employment base and are extremely important," he said.

Heaton said if re-elected, he will continue to do everything possible to support the educational system to ensure that children are able to take advantage of the opportunities life affords them.

Heaton also is active in local issues. He is a member of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and serves on the executive committee of the Carlsbad Department of Development. He is board chairman for the Center of Excellence and serves on the Brine Well Task Force. In addition, he is chairman of the Grace Episcopal Church Investment Committee.

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