Friday, May 13, 2016
With less than a month to go, political pros in the highest reaches of the state GOP are saying the challenge by ex-state Rep George Buffett to Republican National Committeeman Mickey Barnett is looking more and more like a very long shot. A high-ranking Buffet supporter told me George still has his vote, but he is pessimistic that Barnett can be ousted.
"George is going to have to work it a lot harder. He has sent out a letter, but he hasn't shown us much else. Mickey's forces are well-organized and they know how to count votes. To beat an incumbent in any race takes a special effort, and right now we are seeing that effort from Barnett, but not Buffet."
Lawyer-lobbyist Barnett has been at the center of the GOP battles, going as far as to field candidates in the primary election against other Republicans who don't see things his way. His positions in favor of drug legalization and Indian gambling, targeted by Buffett, have also caused him grief, but apparently not yet the votes he needs when the GOP State Central Committee meets June 12 to decide the committeeman contest.
Buffett went on to pull off a huge upset and oust Barnett as committeeman. Now, 12 years later another incumbent committeeman, Pat Rogers, faces a challenge from former NM GOP Chairman Harvey Yates. Will history repeat at this year's May 21st convention with Yates playing the role of Buffett?
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