Eddy Aragon

My story is not my own. My story is my family’s.





Long before New Mexico became a state – almost a century before America became a nation – my family settled in New Mexico. Like many New Mexican families, we were poor but we were proud. We lived in Santa Fe, La Liendre (which is now a ghost town), Cebolleta … we went from place to place, looking for work.



From my family’s first generation, who traveled here from Mexico City in 1693, to Albuquerque in our eighth generation, things didn’t change much. We lived in harmony with the land and at peace with our neighbors. We had large families who loved the Catholic Church and loved New Mexico’s mountains and rivers.



My grandfather was our family’s ninth generation in New Mexico. He grew up illiterate and uneducated in Montoya. At age seven, after his First Holy Communion, he quit school to work. During the Great Depression, my Tata worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps, which employed young, unskilled and unemployed men from families on government assistance. He was paid $30 per month, plus room and board at a work camp. Later, he fought as a gunner in World War II. He was part of the 7th Army that marched from Marseille, France into Germany. After the war, he became a union iron worker, tying steel for companies such as Bradbury and Stamm.



My grandmother was raised in a large family in Pastura, New Mexico. After the war, she married and moved with my Tata to Albuquerque. My father (born 1955) attended St. Charles elementary school before being graduated from Highland High School.



With my father, our family’s story began to change. After working as a journeyman ironworker, he started his own company and employed other iron workers, training hundreds of apprentices. Over 45 years, with his intelligence and strong, rough hands, he lifted our family into opportunity and eventually, prosperity. He helped build Albuquerque and New Mexico. Back in 1981, he built the building where my radio station, KIVA-AM, now operates.



Compared to the generations before me, I had it easy. While in school at St. Pius X, I excelled in government, religion, and history, which sparked my interest in politics. My history teacher, David Kovarik, recommended me for American Legion Boys State. The summer before my senior year, I was fortunate to be chosen to represent New Mexico at Boys Nation in Washington, D.C. That trip had a huge impact on me. At Boys Nation, I was chosen to ask the first question of President George H.W. Bush. [Video link: https://www.c-span.org/video/?27236-1/presidential-news-conference.] 



My parents encouraged me to play sports, so I played one every semester: football in fall, basketball in winter, track in spring. I made the New Mexico all-state football team at four different starting positions. All in all, I had one of the best high school experiences one could imagine.



Instead of leaving for athletic scholarships that I was offered out of state, I decided to stay here to play football and study economics and political science at the University of New Mexico. I got involved early in politics. I became the youngest member of the State Central Committee for the Democratic Party. (That’s right, the Democrats.) I campaigned for House Speaker Raymond Sanchez, did campaign advance work for Tom Udall, and interned for Jeff Bingaman in 1995 in Washington, D.C.



The day I was graduated from UNM with a double major – the first person in my family to graduate college – my Tata was so proud. He told me, “That’s my Aragon.” I felt as if he was graduating right there with me. I could feel my Mom, who attended Rio Grande High School and gave birth to me when she was only 18, right there with me. I could feel my Dad, who gave me every opportunity, right there with me



That’s why I say that my story is not my own – it is my family’s. On my daily commute, I drive past the hospital where I was born. I work across the street from where I lived as a boy. I work in a building that my dad built, in a city I love: Albuquerque. I am the luckiest man I know.



Like many young people, once out of college, I wanted to make money. I decided to work in high tech so that I could join the tech boom. I earned certifications in every computer platform I could find. I got a small temp job with the New Mexico Department of Labor, then six months later joined a Fortune 500 company, CBRE. Within a year, I became the information technology director. I loved every minute of that job, but my bosses thought I had a sales personality. They asked me to take the DISC test normally reserved for salespeople. When they evaluated my test results, they told me, “You need to sell commercial real estate.”  



I moved to Las Vegas, NV, where from 2007-2009, I closed more commercial real estate transactions than any other CBRE broker, and became a “Top 10” power broker.



But despite financial success, I didn’t feel satisfied. Las Vegas, NV was the epicenter of the 2008 Great Recession. All high-rise condos and casinos halted construction. Boom became bust. Millionaires became homeless. People lost their fortunes and families. Some chose to take their own lives. I helped my clients, which included a number of the Fortune 500, work through some very tough times. These people trusted me with their money and investments. I considered every client a friend.



When the crash hit, I had more than four million square feet of commercial properties listed with the top developer in town. I was so proud of what we had achieved. But then I witnessed the politics of the bailouts. If you saw the movie “The Big Short,” that encapsulated what was wrong with our country. Easy money. Lack of accountability. Bailouts.  



I decided to have a positive impact on this world, and I wanted to begin in my home state of New Mexico.



The 9/11 terrorist attacks and my career in business had converted me from Democrat to conservative. To improve our community, I wanted to bring a true conservative radio station to the airwaves. When I bought my radio station, KIVA-AM 1600, and started my show, “The Rock of Talk,” I found my voice.



I have become the defender and advocate of working people – the people my family have always been. To me, the values of family, hard work, self-reliance, and caring for our neighbors are bedrock conservative values. When people need help, we should help them, while also encouraging them to help themselves. My grandfather worked hard for his $1 a day from the Civilian Conservation Corps, and he was the most generous and self-reliant man I’ve ever known.



I am humbled for God to have entrusted me with a media platform, name recognition, and support of a large listener audience – not only in New Mexico, but online all across America. And I’m honored to have been named most popular radio personality for the past four years running by the Albuquerque Journal’s Readers’ Choice Awards. But my biggest honor is to hear your voices, as I take your live calls for three hours every afternoon, five days a week. 



But to achieve my life’s purpose – to prepare a bright future for my two young sons, our family’s 12th generation of New Mexicans, and to make life better for all working people of our state – we must go beyond discussing New Mexico’s problems, and enact solutions. That’s why I want to be your voice in Congress. I’ve been called a ‘happy warrior.’ That’s what I do well. I fight every single day to make New Mexico and Albuquerque better places for our families to live.



This race for Congress is about electability. As soon as Deb Haaland’s nomination was announced last December, I knew I needed to run. For the past six years, I literally have focused on political issues all day, every day. The Democrats will not be able to compete with what I bring to this race. This is our time. If you honor me with your nomination, I will win the general election on June 1. 



As I serve you and our CD-1 constituents in Congress, I will continue to produce my radio show. Can you imagine: a sitting member of Congress taking live calls from New Mexico’s voters on a daily radio show? This is how I will keep my finger on the pulse of New Mexico’s needs. This is what I mean when I say, “I will be your voice in Congress.”



Thank you for your consideration in this primary. I will not disappoint you. I will always take your calls and texts. I don’t need a job. I’m not running to become a professional politician. I am running to serve New Mexico.



One last thing: I am ready. I have prepared for this every day for years. From my legal and financial compliance, to my marketing and communications, to the meet and greets, candidate forums, and visiting with Republican groups, to fundraising, to talking every day for three hours to the people of New Mexico. I am ready.
TEAM
David Satterfield
Treasurer
Huckaby Davis Lisker
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Becky Funk
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Nathan James
Communications Director
groundswell.global
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