Thursday, June 03, 2021

Nothing Happening In ABQ Mayoral Race; Just Another Flying Dildo Drone, Plus: Retribution Over R's Massive Loss In ABQ Congress Contest 

The embryonic ABQ mayoral race wandered into the theater of the absurd Tuesday night, signaling that perhaps all of us need a bit of a break from the campaign trail. 

How else to react to a flying dildo drone in the skies above candidate Manny Gonzales as he made his pitch to a crowd gathered at the Revel Entertainment Center?

Yes, a flying dildo drone. And that was not the end of it. This video (starting around the 4 minute mark) shows the Revel owner grabbing the dildo, inciting a 20 year old mentally challenged man to try to take it back (unsuccessfully). He then goes into a fit of rage, balling his fists and attempting to hit Gonzales. Whether he hit him or not is unclear but Gonzales was not injured. 

The optics of the event were so ridiculous that it prompted comical conspiracy theories that Manny set the whole thing up to draw attention to his banner issue of runway crime or that the Mayor Keller camp sent the flying dildo as a message to their rival. What that message might be is a mystery.

“To suggest we were behind it is pathetic and the kind of desperation that has marked Manny’s troubled campaign,” Keller campaign manager Neri Holguin said. 

Only five months to go in Mayoral race 2021. So far it's "flying by," isn't it?


The massive defeat suffered by Republican Mark Moores to Dem Melanie Stansbury at the special ABQ congressional election Tuesday brought out the critics of today's GOP. Here's reader Armand Huertaz: 

It was just 7 years ago when the GOP garnered control of the state House, had a GOP Guv and a GOP Mayor in ABQ. Now, the party gets its ass kicked all day every day on every race from Prez to Gov to dog catcher. Until (GOP Chairman Steve) Pearce steps down, there is no point. The fact that he did not resign after the Moores defeat shows that he only cares about his own failed race for governor in 2022. BTW, would it kill the GOP to nominate a dynamic latino/a for the ABQ congressional seat?

Pearce has made no announcement regarding any intentions to run for Governor next year.

Reader Steve Crespin writes: 

Regarding Stansbury’s blow out, the Republican Party of NM is a train wreck and Susana Martinez and her inner-circle of jackasses are to blame for running it off the rails. Until the Republican Party can get  folks to forget the disaster of the Martinez administration it will continue to lose like this. Also, the party needs to find a candidate and leaders who will re-unite the party and repair the damage and hard feelings the Martinez administration did. When Martinez left office I said it would take at least two full election cycles (8 years) for the Republican party to begin to recover. 

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Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Stansbury Blow Out: She takes ABQ Congress Seat by Over 20 Points; Moores Falls Early; Congresswoman-elect Took Career Fast Track  

Stansbury And Mother Election Night
(Pierre-Louis Journal)
Melanie Stansbury crushed Republican Mark Moores to win the ABQ area congressional seat Tuesday night, reaffirming the deep blue nature of the once competitive district and putting to rest rumblings that the contest could be a national bellwether for the Biden presidency. 

Veteran state political analyst and former legislator Greg Payne said of the Stansbury landslide:

This race was not a bellwether. It simply showed that Blue congressional districts here are going to stay blue. 

Late Tuesday Stansbury was getting 60 percent of the vote to Moores' 36%. Independent Aubrey Dunn received 3% and Libertarian Chris Manning 1 percent.

Latest results here.

Moores never got off the mat. He was immediately knocked down when the early vote was reported and which represented about 75 percent of all votes cast. His big loss to the 42 year old probably quashed any hopes he might have had for the 2022 Republican Guv nomination. 

Stansbury didn't exactly come out of nowhere but she is the least known of any candidate to win the ABQ seat since its founding in 1968. 

It's been a whirlwind for the ABQ North Valley native with the Ivy League pedigree and the White House resume.  She pulled off a major upset in 2018 when she became a state representative by winning an ABQ NE Heights House district never before won by a Dem. 

Then she came with another eyebrow raiser.  In April She lost the first round of balloting at the Dem Party Central Committee nominating meeting to Antoinette Sedillo Lopez only to win the runoff and become the party's choice to replace Rep. Deb Haaland who had been appointed Secretary of Interior by President Biden. 

That Sedillo Lopez loss left a bad taste in the mouths of some progressives who derided Stansbury as an Obama/Clinton/corporate Democrat, not a Bernie Sanders Dem like Sedillo Lopez. 

But most Dems turned a deaf ear to that. Her margin of victory was evidence that while she was not a household name she was able to present an appealing message of getting behind Biden's pandemic programs, pointing to her legislative record and conducting a campaign that unified the party. 

Republicans enduring one of their worst stretches in New Mexico history never had their hearts in the race. The national GOP sat on the sidelines. Moores could not raise money locally. His all crime all the time message was ignored by the mostly liberal voting public and enthusiasm for him suffered among R's because he was not all in on Trump.

The failure of of the crime message to take hold sent a ripple of optimism through the campaign of Mayor Tim Keller who is seeking re-election in November amid a record setting wave of murders. 

Dem State Rep Moe Maestas, teaming  with Dem consultant Sisto Abeyta on our KANW-FM Election Night airwaves, marveled at how the ABQ district once held by Republicans for a 40 year stretch has become so Democratic. "Democrats like us dreamed of this when we were little kids knocking on doors." He declared.

Melanie Stansbury is the latest beneficiary of that dream. But to make a dream come true takes grit and determination, qualities that during the campaign she credited New Mexicans with having and which it turns out she has in spades. 


Over 130,000 voters went to the polls, sending the turnout to about 29 percent of the registered voters, a decent showing for a special election. . .Stansbury gave her victory speech to several hundred invited Dems at Hotel Albuquerque near Old Town. NMGOP Chair Steve Pearce commented for Moores who stayed at home. He said R's would win the seat back from Stansbury in 2022. . . The punches are already flying in the ABQ mayoral race. BernCo Sheriff Manny Gonzales, challenging Mayor Keller, was threatened by an audience member who jumped on the stage where Gonzales was giving a speech and struck him. Gonzales was not hurt. The alleged assailant was arrested. The bizarre incident involved a drone carrying a dildo. We're not kidding.


Now that the congressional election is history, it's just a five month trek to the November 2 ABQ mayoral election. The PAC supporting BernCo Sheriff Manny Gonzales in his challenge of Mayor Tim Keller comes with this: 

Save Our City PAC announced that former Public Regulation Commissioner and Bernalillo County Assessor Karen Montoya, a Democrat, has joined Sam Vigil as Co-Chair to elect Democrat Manny Gonzales as the next Mayor. . . “It is devastating to me to see my hometown of Albuquerque become so decimated by the failed leadership of Tim Keller in the form of an out-of-control crime crisis, record-breaking murders, and worsening economic crisis,” said Montoya.

An outside PAC has also been formed to support Keller. Gonzales and Keller are both expected to qualify for over $600,000 in public financing that is separate from their PAC's


Former Oklahoma Senator Fred Harris, a longtime New Mexico resident, is 90 years old, but still making news. CNN recently interviewed the populist Democrat about his service on the 1960's racial justice committee known as the Kerner Commission.He is the last surviving member of the panel that investigated civil unrest of that era. Why did the results of the commission's report fade into history? Harris answers.

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Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Dems Positioned To Extend Reign In ABQ Congressional District; Our Live Election Night Coverage Begins at 6:45 On KANW 89.1 FM And KANW.COM, Plus: History Says Tonight's Winner Could Be On Launch Pad For Even Bigger Things 

Join us tonight for live, continuous coverage of the special election for the ABQ area congressional seat beginning at 6:45 P.M. on KANW 89.1 FM ABQ /Santa Fe and at KANW.COM

Democrats Moe Maestas and Sisto Abeyta and R experts Janice Arnold-Jones and Nina Martinez will provide analysis with your blogger anchoring the coverage. The first votes are expected to be released shortly after 7 p.m.

Absent a historic turnout anomaly Democrats appear poised to continue their reign in the ABQ congressional district when votes are counted tonight in the special election featuring Dem Melanie Stansbury, Republican Mark Moores, Independent Aubrey Dunn and Libertarian Chris Manning. 

The sole public poll of the contest conducted two weeks ago had Stansbury nurturing a 16 point lead. She was the only candidate to come with new final days TV. 

At weekend rallies she was pushed toward the finish line by name Democrats, including MLG and Sen. Ben Ray Lujan. And in early voting Democrats out voted Republicans two to one, 54,111 Dems to  27,934 R’s. Indy’s cast 10,700 early votes.   

Republican Moores hit a financial wall and his TV dried up. He could not rely on big name R's in the final hours because of serious branding trouble his party faces here. Also, the national GOP committees refused to feed the kitty and the state senator was left to his own devices.

DC media handicappers, hungry for a race that amounts to a referendum on President Biden's first months in office, never did get their way and now at the end they are fading their initial enthusiasm. That keeper of the Potomac's conventional wisdom, NBC's Chuck Todd, puts it this way:

The race has not taken on the importance as I thought it would six weeks ago, to be honest. . .While the Democrats are favored, I am very curious about margin. I am very curious about turnout. . .about intensity--Democratic base intensity, Republican base intensity.

In other words if Stansbury fails to post a double-digit win, the media hounds will be on the trail looking for any signs of blood that such a scratch might leave on President Biden. Otherwise, memories of this one will stay confined to the banks of the Rio Grande.


Rep. Lujan 
The district up for grabs tonight has a reputation for launching winners onto higher rungs of the political ladder. 

Republican Manuel Lujan, Jr. was the first occupant of the seat from 1969 until 1989 when Rep. Lujan was named Secretary of Interior in the administration of President George H. W. Bush.

Republican Heather Wilson served the district from 1998 to 2008 when she ran for and lost the GOP US Senate nomination. But in 2017 Wilson was appointed Secretary of the Air Force by President Trump, in part because of her congressional service. 

Democrat Martin Heinrich succeeded Wilson in 2009. In 2012, while serving in the US House, he beat GOP nominee Wilson to become a US Senator.

Dem Michelle Lujan Grisham claimed the seat after Heinrich. In 2018 she ran for Governor as a congresswoman and won. 

Democrat Deb Haaland took over in 2018. She left the seat early this year to become Secretary of Interior under President Biden.

That's quite the track record for promotions. But look at this. The state's northern congressional district has also become a launching pad for ambitious politicos. 

Democrat Bill Richardson was the first to represent the seat, winning in 1982. In 1997 Rep. Richardson was named President Clinton's UN Ambassador. A special election put Republican Bill Redmond in the seat for a short stint but Dem Tom Udall took over the seat in '98. Rep. Udall ran for the US Senate in 2008 and won. 

Fast forward to 2020 when Udall retired. His Senate seat was won by Rep. Ben Ray Lujan who had succeeded Udall in the northern US House seat in 2008. 

Who will be next to get on the launch pad? We'll know in a matter of hours. 


The Stansbury campaign will have an Election Night watch event on Facebook. She will be at the Hotel ABQ near Old Town to deliver an Election Night speech. The event is not public. Moores will monitor the returns with his family. . . Here's a TV news 22 minute Q and A round-up with the four congressional contenders. . .A list of polling locations for today's election can be found by clicking on the advertisement to the left. . .

Word arrives of the passing of former ABQ GOP State Rep. Don Silva. The Bronx, NY native served eight years in the House in the eighties and 90's and served as House Minority Whip. Silva died last month in Arizona. He was 85.

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