Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Susana's PACs Fared Better in Dem Races

It looks like Reform New Mexico Now got better results than the other political action committee located at 6100 Uptown Blvd. NE; Suite 590, Susana PAC -- meaning Republican Gov. Susana Martinez might have had more influence in the Democratic primaries than in the GOP contests she got involved in.

Gov. Susana Martinez “We are encouraged that New Mexicans stood with Democratic candidates who are willing to work across the aisle,” McCleskey told The Associated Press.

But he apparently doesn't feel that way about Republicans who do the same.

In Martinez's effort to choose the GOP candidate to replace retiring Sen. Clint Harden of Clovis. she backed Angie Spears, who lost to rancher Pat Woods. Spears hired McCleskey and went intensely negative on Wood -- largely for contributing money to Democrats who had helped him on agricultural issues.

Wood responded by making McCleskey an issue in the campaign urging east-side Republicans to reject "mudslinging" by a "slick Albuquerque consultant."

They did.

Though there might be a couple of awkward moments between Woods and Martinez, he's likely to be a reliable vote on most issues. He's taken conservative positions on virtually all the issues and last night in a radio interview, Woods predicted he and Martinez will get along fine once she gets to know him.

Susana PAC also backed Albuquerque Republican Chris Saucedo, who won his low-key House primary. So, score 50/50 for the contested GOP races backed by the PAC

However, despite complaints by the targets of its ads and robo-calls, Reform New Mexico Now had a much better scorecard Tuesday night, most notably in Carl Trujillo's victory over Santa Fe Mayor David Coss. Coss' campaign blamed the PAC's involvement for the loss, though Trujillo told me he thinks the unsolicited aid of Reform New Mexico Now and the conservative New Mexico Business Coalition could have caused a Democratic backlash that took away from his vote total.

Reform New Mexico Now, which largely was funded by to Artesia oil companies that are major Martinez contributors also backed incumbent Sens. Phil Griego, Pete Campos, John Arthur Smith and George Munoz, as well as maverick Democratic Rep. Sandra Jeff -- all of whom won. It's not certain how big of a role the PAC had in these victories.

The PAC also attacked Rep. Eleanor Chavez of Albuquerque, who gave up her House seat to run for Senate. Chavez lost to Michael Padilla in that primary.

Not all of the PAC's choices won however.came in a distant third in his Democratic primary. Billy Moore lost to incumbent Rep. Eliseo Alcon of Milan.

Two incumbent senators and two representatives who lost, or are trailing after yesterday's voting. Rep. Richard Vigil, D-Las Vegas, lost to Tomas Salazar in a race that had received little attention outside of San Miguel County.

 Sen. David Ulibarri, D-Grants came in a distant third in his primary.

Sen. Lynda Lovejoy is behind former Indian Affairs Department Secretary Benny Shendo of Jemez Pueblo.

Down in Las Cruces, Rep. Antonio Luján trailing by 41 votes behind former Rep. Jeff Steinborn, while Rep. Dennis Kintigh of Roswell lost to his friend Rep. Bob Wooley in the Republican primary. The two incumbents were pitted against each other because of redistricting.

Though Steinborn is ahead of Lujan (and either will have to face Republican Charlie Green in November), other would-be political comebacks were thwarted last night.

These include former Sen. James Taylor of Albuquerque, (he lost his Senate seat to Eric Griego in 2008), former Rep. Bengie Regensberg of Cleveland, who lost to Rep. Nick Salazar in the Democratic primary and former Rep. Ben Rodefer, who lost to incumbent Sen. John Sapien. (Sapien must now face Rep. David Doyle in the general.)

Two lawmakers who tried to go on to other offices failed last night. These were Eric Griego, who lost to Mcihelle Lujan Grisham in the CD 1 Democratic congressional race and Rep. Al Park, D-Albuquerque who lost his Public Regulation Commission race.

UPDATE 11:24 am. The first version of this post left out Sen. George Munoz as a Democratic candidate backed by Reform New Mexico Now.

UPDATE 2:45 pm Earlier versions of this post incorrectly indicated that Reform New Mexico Now backed Sen. David Ulibarri in his primary. And while the PAC did slam Eleanor Chavez in her race, it did not back James Taylor as originally stated. The text has been modified to fix those errors.