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 V.15 No.44 | November 2 - 8, 2006 


State Auditor

The Alibi endorses: Lorenzo Garcia

Job Description: Audits and monitors financial affairs of every state agency.

Term: Four years

Salary: $85,000

What is up with the Democrats in this race? Back in the primaries earlier this year, Dems voted for Jeff Armijo, a well-connected travel agent who had almost no accounting experience, over Thomas Buckner, a certified public accountant (CPA) with enormous relevant experience. When Armijo was accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward two women, one of them a campaign worker, he withdrew from the race. Then he signed back on again. Then he withdrew again. The state Democratic Party eventually replaced Armijo with Hector Balderas, a young state legislator who, like Armijo, has very little accounting experience.

Balderas has a hard time keeping appointments. He's broken three of them with the Alibi. We have yet to meet him face to face.

Opposing him is Republican Lorenzo Garcia, a CPA with decades of experience working on government audits. Making him even more attractive, Garcia is hardly a cookie-cutter Republican. He once ran as a Green Party candidate for State Treasurer. This seems like one of the few state races this year that Republicans actually have a decent shot at winning. Yet, perhaps because of his independent streak, Garcia has gotten very little help from his party. He insists that Balderas is too intimately connected with Gov. Richardson, and that the state needs an auditor without ties to New Mexico's political elite. A bigger problem for Balderas is that State Auditor is essentially an accounting job. A qualified candidate, in our opinion, needs to be a CPA, if only so he can better supervise the work of his team of accountants. Balderas might be a smart, qualified state legislator, but he doesn't have even close to the experience necessary to fill this post. For this reason, the Alibi endorses Lorenzo Garcia.


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