We are certainly confronted by serious challenges.Yes, we face a stagnant national economy, an economy in which too many New Mexico families are struggling. To help those families, we must level the playing field with states around us, to bring more businesses to our state, to create more jobs for New Mexicans.

Yes, changes at the federal level have led to large government job losses here, and more could be on the way. While we fight to protect those jobs, we must also grow the private sector and diversify our economy in response.

And yes, competing for jobs means competing for a highly skilled workforce. That requires us to compete for the future of our children – fight tooth and nail to ensure they can read and never allow them to be set up for failure.

I believe that a call to compete should be the charge of New Mexico?s next century. And I am convinced we can do this together.

While we won't agree on every issue, and while we will have spirited debates, I know we can come together and find common ground. Let?s answer that call to compete. Our children depend on it. And we have it in us.

Thank you.

God bless you all, and God bless the State of New Mexico.