James G. “Jim” Townsend, R-Eddy, Otero and Chaves, is preparing to seek another term representing the constituents of District 54 in the New Mexico House of Representatives.
This district generally covers the western half of Eddy County, the eastern and southern portion of Otero County, and the southern end of Chaves County, and includes several rural communities in which Townsend has family roots.
Townsend, currently finishing his second term, is retired and devotes his full time to serving his constituents in District 54. He has led efforts to support agriculture, oil and gas, pharmacies, the WIPP, and education within the district. He has steadily proposed legislation and debate to provide better jobs and more opportunity for all New Mexicans.
During his first two terms, Townsend has worked extensively with Sacramento Mountains ranchers to secure water rights and fair and equitable treatment while working with the New Mexico State Engineer’s office, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and the U.S. Forest Service. He has also worked to provide a better foundation for new jobs within New Mexico, an effort he believes paramount to New Mexico’s future. Townsend says state infrastructure, roads and bridges are critical to provide a safe, consistent work environment for companies and their employees to succeed in while allowing area residents the ability to enjoy their livelihoods.
Townsend’s efforts during the most recent legislative session were successful in restoring a portion of education cash balances that were swept in 2017 to balance the state budget. He also sponsored successful legislation to support brine well remediation in Carlsbad with other area legislators. Townsend has pushed the legislative processes to be more efficient and transparent for all state constituents in all districts. He has also sponsored efforts to more efficiently collect fuel taxes without raising taxes, to provide funding for better roads and infrastructure, and to pass legislation to repeal the prevailing wage law, which would save New Mexico a minimum of $40 million annually.
Townsend currently serves on the House Appropriations and Finance Committee and the Health and Human Services Committee, and in the interim has devoted all of his time to the Legislative Finance Committee this past term. He believes his time spent focusing on and learning the state budgeting and finance processes in detail will be beneficial to his district and the state overall. In the past, he has served on the Agriculture and Water Resources Committee, Legislative Education Study Committee, and Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee. His effort to serve on multiple committees has developed a broad prospective to serve the constituents of District 54.