Thursday, December 19, 2013

Santa Fe Mayor's Race: After Noise Dies Down The Race Seems The Same, Plus: Dump Hanna And Bring Back A School Super, And: GOP Gets Land Commission Contender 

Santa Fe mayoral contender and City Councilor Patty Bushee will have a Merry Christmas now that a brouhaha over public financing of her campaign has passed with little repercussion. She started the campaign for the March election with a big polling lead. Her foes were hoping the financing controversy would slow her down but now they need a plan B.

The race began crowded, but when all was said and done we ended with three hopefuls--Bushee, former NM Dem Party Chair Javier Gonzales and City Councilor Bill Dimas.

Like the rest of the state, the economy in Santa Fe is the big issue. There are pockets of strength, but things aren't what they used to be--not by a long shot.

If Bushee or Gonzales win the Santa Fe mayor's race the city will have an openly gay mayor. They and the rest of the state await a NM Supreme Court ruling on the legality of gay marriage here. The ruling is expected by the end of the year. Meantime, NM Unites, a broad coalition of gay marriage supporters, is working to keep the issue in front of the public via social media.

Late Thursday morning the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex couples, granting them the same rights of marriage enjoyed by heterosexual couples. Report here


Never mind the state Senate confirming Hanna Skandera as Secretary of Education--her nomination has been languishing for three years--ABQ Dem State Senator Michael Padilla is proposing that New Mexico eliminate the position and go back to the way things used to be:

The proposal mandates the creation of a state board of education, whose primary responsibility is to appoint a state superintendent of public education, charged with implementing board policy and managing the Public Education Department (PED).

Padilla says ABQ Reps Miera and Stewart will a be proposing a similar bill in the House.

Oldtimers will remember Leonard Delayo who for 22 years--from the 60's until the 80's--held forth as the superintendent of NM schools. That was when the school czar was not beholden to the governor but a power center in his own right.

Padilla's proposal is a constitutional amendment which means if passed by the Legislature it would go directly to the voters not needing the Governor's signature. But she is sure to oppose the measure during next month's legislative session.


Aubrey Dunn Jr., a rancher and retired banker, says he will seek the '14 GOP nomination for state land commissioner. Dunn ran for the GOP nod for the southern congressional seat in 2008. He is the son of the legendary conservative Dem Senator Aubrey Dunn.

Dem State Land Commissioner Ray Powell, Jr. is seeking another four year term next year. Both Dunn and Powell are unopposed for their party's nominations.


Rep. Steve Pearce and Big Bill aren't the only NM politicos out with books that are being promoted for the holidays. Cliff Rees writes from Santa Fe:

Joe, how about a third holiday gift book option? Former ABQ Democratic State Senator Dede Feldman's book, "Inside the New Mexico Senate: Boots, Suits and Citizens" is now available from UNM Press. It's a great read for all New Mexicans interested in what really happens at the Roundhouse. Her first book signing party will be held in Albuquerque Friday, December 20th, 5:30 PM at 105 Gold SW at the Downtown Pop-Up Store. 

Thanks, Cliff. If we buy all three of the politico books, do we get  a gift box of biscochitos or something?

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