Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dems Eye Their Narrow State House Margin, Plus: Lagging In Las Cruces 

Alligator scuttlebutt: Some Democrats think their best chances of picking up strength in the State House in 2012 is by taking back the two Valencia County seats they lost to the R's in 2010. It's too close for comfort in the House for the D's. The current break down is 36 Dems, 33 R's and one independent. With 35 being a majority, that one vote edge cramped the style of House Speaker Ben Lujan this year. Even a pick up of one Dem could make a major difference. Of course, it could do the same for the R's if they picked up an extra seat or two...

And the speculation that has gone on unabated since Speaker Ben Lujan's near defeat in the 2010 primary election continues. Will he seek another two year term? He seems to believe he has learned his lesson from his close call two years ago in his Santa Fe area district (He avoided defeat by less than 100 votes at the hands of Carl Trujillo, a Los Alamos Labs employee who indicates he will again run against Lujan, but has not made a formal decision).

Norteno political patrons like Ben rarely give up power voluntarily. And after the failed coup attempt of the Speaker by Kenny Martinez a few years ago and another one this year by Rep. Joe Cervantes, Lujan's re-election as Speaker seems assured--as long as the people give him the votes he needs in next June's primary.


Here's some fodder for the four Las Cruces mayoral candidates in the Nov. 8 election:

• 21 percent of Las Cruces' population, 16.5 percent of families in the city, 26.3 percent of Do-a Ana County residents, and 21.7 percent of families in the county, were living below the poverty level during the past year.

• By comparison, New Mexico's poverty rate is 19.1 percent, and the U.S. poverty rate is 15.1 percent.

Mayor Ken Miyagishima is seeking re-election against three opponents--City Councilor Dolores Connor, Michael E. Flemming and Michael Ray Huerta


The legacy of NM US Senator Dennis Chavez lives on and is being renewed at the University of New Mexico School of Law:

The Inaugural U.S. Senator Dennis Chavez Endowed Lectureship on Law & Civil Rights. The Honorable Mary Murguia, 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, to present: Paying Tribute To A Trailblazer: “Why Senator Chavez’s Vision of Civil Rights Matters Today." Thursday, October 20th 4:30pm, Law School Forum; For more info: rawls@law.unm.edu

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