I have decided to withdraw from the Democratic Primary for US House, NM Congressional District 1.

I am supporting Damian Lara and ask that you support him as well. Damian is a true progressive, has a history of writing progressive legislation, and is fighting for improving the economy, improving education, and improving healthcare. He also is willing to ask questions about healthcare to better understand it so that we can have meaningful reforms.

Please join me in giving him your support.

Fast Facts about Jesse

  • Albuquerque Raised — Graduate of La Cueva HS, U.C. Berkeley, and Harvard.
  • I Can & Will Fix Healthcare — Doctorate in Global Health: Health Economics.
  • Solved Global Health issues on 4 continents — Consulted for World Bank and Gates Foundation.
  • Gay since birth, out since 2009.
  • Feminist since learning what feminism is.
  • Loud voice of the Christian Left. Yes, we exist.
  • I care about people — Started my career working in a homeless shelter as bilingual client advocate.
  • More…
Photo of Jesse Heitner

Policy Initiatives


  • Medicare for All
  • Tackling the Opioid Crisis
  • Increase General Practitioners Everywhere

Free and Fair Elections

  • Stop GOP from drawing the election map
  • Secure voting machines & paper records


  • Living Wages
  • Job growth through Infrastructure & Clean Energy
  • Repeal Trump’s Tax Breaks for the Wealthy


  • Gun Control
  • Dream Act and Pathway to Citizenship

My Policy Priorities for District 1

Better Healthcare, Including & Beyond Better Insurance

I’m for single-payer healthcare via Medicare for All, and I will fight for that. But there’s so much more to good healthcare than good insurance. Plus, with only 8 Republican Senators up for re-election in 2018, Democrats won’t get a filibuster-proof majority, much less a veto-proof majority that can successfully force a radical switch to single-payer. Democrats need other ideas that can improve care under all types of insurance. I have them, and you can read about them here.

A Fair And Stronger Economy

The minimum wage doesn’t meet workers’ minimum needs, and we need to raise it. Further, I intend to repeal the massive tax giveaways to the ultra-wealthy just passed by the Republican party and get them paying their fair share. I see a path to grow the economy by doing the one thing both parties can agree on – investing in maintaining and expanding our nation’s infrastructure. I believe that people should be allowed to organize into unions, and that organized corporations should not count as people. Read more about my economic policies here.

A Path To Citizenship

The first Heitner in my family to reach the U.S. got here illegally from Austria-Hungary during WWI by learning English, tattooing an American flag on his back, and convincing crew-members on a U.S. naval ship that he was already an American immigrant and needed a ride home. I fully support a clean Dream Act and a path to citizenship for all people willing to contribute to making America actually great.

Free & Fair Elections

Americans deserve a system where voters choose their congresspeople via voting, rather than one where congresspeople choose their voters via gerrymandering districts. Americans deserve elections where they know their vote counted and wasn’t hacked by foreign powers. Americans deserve a system where who gets to run for office isn’t decided by billionaires or super-delegates, but by the people.

Crime & Justice

Anyone worried about “rapists and murderers” shouldn’t spend billions building a racist wall. They should fund testing this country’s huge backlog of untested rape kits. They should also realize that over 50% of murder victims are killed by someone they know, with roughly a full quarter by a family member. Responding to that fact includes a focus on proper response to domestic violence calls, which is the number one call to police in New Mexico. No police enforcement agency should be wasting resources fighting a war on pot that’s been about as popular and successful as the Prohibition. Likewise, policies and laws which violate the “equal protection” clause of the 14th Amendment and disproportionately hurt the poor and communities of color must be removed.

News & Articles

No More Shootings (2/22/2018) - I still can’t believe that I was the only candidate at this event! I’m taking a stand to end gun violence. We have to look at gun violence as a public health emergency, and untie the hands of the CDC and Department of Health and Human Services to do the research. The answer isn’t to […]
Fighting for New Mexican’s Healthcare (2/20/2018) - We have serious healthcare problems here in New Mexico, and I’m running for Congress to fight for Medicare for All and solve the problems that we’re all facing with our healthcare. I’m a health economist and have worked on healthcare problems around the world. I know how healthcare works, and together, we can fix this. […]
Taking Action Against Gun Violence (2/18/2018) - The tragic deaths of 19 brave people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida has once again placed gun violence and gun access in the minds of every American, every New Mexican, every student and every parent. What can be done? What should we do? This question was asked again at the NM CD1 […]
What Would Jesse Do? – I stand with the Dreamers (2/16/2018) - The US democracy hasn’t represented us, the people, for quite a while. It’s especially obvious right now as Congress is trying to decide what’s next for undocumented people who were brought to the US as children and are now facing the possibility of being arrested and deported back to the countries that they happened to […]
Jesse Heitner for Congress (1/23/2018) - I’m pleased to announce that I have formally launched my campaign for the US House of Representatives for NM Congressional District 1. We’re entering the race later than most of the other people running for the seat, but the right-wing attacks on the ideals that make our country great has convinced me that it is […]