Place your bets with the Alibi's 2008 Primary Election Guide
Not many people typically vote in primary elections. They're just not on the public radar, especially when it comes to local offices. But this year is different. Look no further than the swarms that came out to vote in the national Democratic caucuses for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. This year we're making history in more ways than one.
We can only hope that type of electoral enthusiasm persists at a local level, because 2008 is a big election year in New Mexico. Sen. Pete Domenici is stepping down from his senior office after more than 35 years in the position. As a result, all three of our congressional representatives are leaving their posts to vie for the seat. In the end, we'll still have an experienced politician with sway in Washington to join Sen. Jeff Bingaman, but a herd of relative newcomers are rushing to fill those three open chairs in the House of Representatives.
Whoever gets elected to Congress needs to demonstrate great leadership and influence. New Mexico may have the same number of senators (two) as every other state, but congressional representatives are a different story. California has 53. We have three. That's why those three need to be especially effective—and why it's particularly important for you to vote this year, in the primary as well as the general election.
We sat down with all the senatorial and First Congressional District candidates, minus one, to talk to them about their experience, their ideas and their abilities. We've done our best to reveal the results of those interviews here, so you can make an informed decision about who you want to vote for. We're giving our recommendations, as well as enough information for you to make up your own mind. We’d also like to give a special thanks to intern Miela Kolomaznik for her help in the interview process.
The only candidate who didn't show up for an interview was Rep. Heather Wilson, who is vacating her post as CD1 representative to run for the Senate. We respect anyone who runs for public office, but we don't respect Wilson's choice to ignore an opportunity to communicate her positions to voters. For that reason alone, we can’t endorse her.
The elections are too big this year for us to endorse for every race, so the Second and Third Congressional Districts aren't covered here, nor are the Legislative seats (please visit this week's News section for information on some of the Legislative races that affect Albuquerque). To find out about those races, visit the Secretary of State's website (www.sos.state.nm.us). And remember, the primary election is Tuesday, June 3. To find out where your polling location is, as well as early voting opportunities, visit your County Clerk's website (Bernalillo's is www.bernco.gov/clerk). We'll see you at the polls.
Please note that Rep. Tom Udall, who is running for U.S. Senate, is not included in this guide. Udall is uncontested in his party and therefore going straight through to the general election. We only interviewed those who are challenged in their party.