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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Ignoring The Polls: Apo and Cervantes Finishing Strong In Uphill Guv Derby, Plus: Tales From The Trail And What Now For Davis? 

Apo and Cervantes
He's a cancer survivor who beat the odds and Jeff Apodaca is bringing that same determination to the final hours of his chase for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, even if the polling insists his dream is out of reach. In one of his final TV ads he takes on his two Dem rivals as well as Republican Steve Pearce:

New Mexico is at a crossroads. Do we change direction or continue falling behind? Grisham, Cervantes, Pearce. The politicians who have brought us to last in jobs and education. . . Jeff Apodaca. He'll bring major change to New Mexico. He'll invest part of our $23 billion in investment funds to create jobs, fight crime and fix our schools. Major change or more of the same?You decide. 

Pretty strong stuff and perhaps effective with the undecided voters who are looking for an outsider. It reminds us a bit of the campaign of Apodaca's Governor father, Jerry Apodaca, who in 1974 ran on the slogan: "The Man Nobody Owns."

Meanwhile, observers also credit Cervantes with growth as a candidate during the course of the campaign but question why he waited so long to flip the switch.

TRAIL DUST

Dem State Auditor candidate Bill McCamley gets the endorsement of his hometown newspaper but his rival Brian Colón turns around and gets the endorsement of Las Cruces Mayor Miyagishima. Which is worth more?. . . Appointed State Auditor Wayne Johnson is unopposed for the GOP nomination. Will the GOP put the necessary money into his race to take on probable nominee Colón?. . .

There's not many GOP contest primaries this year but the one in the East mountains of the metro for a state legislative seat is drawing late attention. Greg Schmedes, a UNM physician is running to the right of Merritt Hamilton, painting her as an "establishment" candidate as he tries to lure Trump supporters. Hamilton says Schmedes is trying to talk about national issues that are not central to representing the district. Both have been well financed. Hamilton is favored but we'll be watching that one closely Election Night. The seat became open when GOP Rep. James Smith resigned when he was appointed to the BernCo Commission. The winner of the primary is likely to take the seat in the GOP leaning district in November.

WHAT NOW?

After taking a major political hit for his failed congressional campaign, the question now is whether ABQ City Councilor Pat Davis will draw a strong challenger if he seeks re-election next year to his SE ABQ seat.

Davis, who withdrew from the ABQ Dem US Congress chase this week and endorsed Deb Haaland, indicated in his endorsement that he plans on staying on the council, saying:

Deb and I know that, together, we have the grassroots support to overcome the millions of Republican dollars being spent on the leading opponent. And I know that in the City Council and in Congress, we’ll make a good team, too.

Davis won election to the council with 67 percent of the vote in a three way race in 2015. The district is all Dem all the time so it would have to be a strong D to take Davis on in '19.

MORE MO?

Working to add some momentum to Haaland's endorsement by Davis, the campaign also rolled out the endorsement of liberal icon and ABQ state Senator Cisco McSorley. His senate district overlaps that of Davis' council district. He tells us he is especially impressed with Haaland's strong stance in favor of marijuana legalization, a matter near and dear to his heart. McSorley has served in the legislature for 33 years.

And Damon Martinez is firing back at the Emily's List super PAC TV ad accusing him of dropping the ball when he was US Attorney by not prosecuting any APD officers for 27 fatal police shootings. ABQ's Steve and Renetta Torrez, whose son was one of those police fatalities, came with this:

We support Damon Martinez for Congress. In 2011 our son, Christopher, was tragically killed by two APD officers in what became an established pattern of excessive use of force. The recent ad attacking Damon Martinez is misleading and disingenuous. The truth is that the 27 instances of deadly use of excessive force by APD, cited in the  Department of Justice report, occurred before he was appointed U.S. Attorney for New Mexico. Once appointed, he demonstrated a strong interest and a willingness to listen to community groups and the families of the police shooting victims. We felt that we had a strong advocate who was going to work towards desperately needed reform and sustained change that would be achieved in a collaborative manner.

Martinez has also picked up the support of ABQ Westside State Rep. Moe Maestas and ABQ City Councilor Klarissa Pena.

THE BOTTOM LINES 

He was a Republican until June of 2015, but supporters of of Dem land commissioner candidate Garrett VeneKlasen point out that doesn't mean the GOP is secretly hoping he'll win. One of them checks in with this:

The GOP calls Garrett a "watermelon" which means that he's green (environmental) on the outside and pink (communist) on the inside.

What happened to a communist being a "Red?" Why the downgrade to pink? Oh, that's right, "pinko commie." Hey, even us boomers haven't heard that one in a while.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2018
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