A tough night for the state’s GOP
Reporter Margaret Wright was there on election night as results came in, talking to supporters and candidates. She fills us in on fallout from election 2012.
A group of political illustrators is coming to talk about process today at Small Engine Gallery at 6 p.m. Read up on the collective’s pollination of the grassroots and then head down there this evening. The talk is free. For more on the event, go to bit.ly/BeeMind. For more on the nonprofit, all-volunteer, art organization, check out beehivecollective.org.
In Bernalillo County, with 62 of 69 vote centers reporting:
Debbie O'Malley won County Commission District 1
Paseo del Norte / I-25 cash was approved by a landslide (65 percent to 34 percent)
The AMAFCA bond passed
The minimum wage hike passed by a lot (66 percent to 33 percent)
Statewide, with 826 of 944 sites reporting:
Barack Obama and Joe Biden won president and vice president
Martin Heinrich won the Senate seat
Michelle Lujan Grisham won the congressional seat
Carmie Lynn Toulouse will be on the Public Education Commission
Karen Montoya won the District 1 PRC seat
Most of the constitutional amendments are passing, though two of them about the PRC are awfully close. They would pull corporations and insurance out of the PRC's purview.
As a side note: Gary Johnson's only pulling 3.5 percent statewide. If he doesn't cross that 5 percent threshold, the Libertarian Party will not be considered a major party in New Mexico.
Looks like all of the county and state bonds made it through.
People spilled out of the ballrooms and into the hallways. About 2,000 Democrats attended the results watch party at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque.
Folks celebrated Democratic victories even before they were certain. Sam Bregman said at just after 8 p.m., still early in the evening, that presidential candidate Mitt Romney was "on the ropes" and would be defeated.
City Councilor Ken Sanchez was all smiles as he worked the room, as did Brian Colon and many other Democrat candidates, officials and campaign workers. State Rep. Gail Chasey, who was re-elected to her legislative seat was beaming from ear to ear, not just for herself but newly elected congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Lujan Grisham said the progressive core values need to reach a broad group of citizens. "And the kinds of issues that we need to be passionate about are for women and people of color and persons in poverty. These are the issues I am going to be so proud to work on."
The party will likely be going strong for a while.
Gary Johnson spent the night mingling with supporters casually and thanking them for their votes. He took the stage a short while ago after running mate, Judge James Gray.
"A wasted vote is a vote for somebody you don't believe in," Johnson said. "There were a lot of wasted votes tonight. There were more wasted votes than I've ever seen in my life."
He told the Alibi in an interview tonight that things were looking good, but then as Election Day neared and the presidential race seemed tight, "we saw things evaporate. I thought we would have done better."
His crowd of supporters punctuated his speech with cheers as he spoke of his platform: "Roll back the police state. Stop the war. Stop the military intervention. Marriage equality is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Repeal the Patriot Act."
Johnson said no one can blame the Libertarians for the state of the country. "We should all be proud of ourselves, because over the next four years, none of us are going to have to say we're responsible for this. Don't blame me. I didn't vote for either one of them. I voted for Gary Johnson."
Judge Gray pleaded from the podium with Johnson to run again in 2016. Johnson told the Alibi that's the last thing anyone wants to talk about today, especially after a prolonged and dirty election cycle. "I ran two campaigns for governor where I did not mention my opponent in print, radio or on TV," Johnson pointed out.
After he made his way off the stage, someone from the audience shouted that Colorado had legalized marijuana for recreational use. Johnson said the state's move will lead to a change worldwide in drug policy.
"We have a lot to celebrate tonight," says Judge Jim Gray, Gary Johnson's presidential running mate.
Ending the drug war was part of the Libertarian platform this year. And Colorado has voted in favor of the sale of marijuana for recreational use.
I'm at Gary Johnson's presidential campaign party at Hotel Albuquerque with about 150 of his fans and friends.
The former New Mexico governor hasn't yet made an appearance, but I got a chance to talk to spokesperson Joe Hunter. He says the campaign isn't looking to pull any particular percentages around the country. "The number we end up with tonight is not that important."
If Johnson gets 5 percent of the vote in New Mexico, the Libertarian Party will be a major party in our state during the next election cycle.
"What we have done is created a good foundation," Hunter says. "We've identified hundreds of thousands of Gary supporters." Johnson made more than 1 million friends on Google Plus, 100,000 Twitter followers and 400,000 Facebook friends, according to Hunter. He visited 20 college campuses and drew hundreds of attendees at each, even with only a couple of days notice, Hunter says.
Johnson ended up on the ballot in 48 states and in D.C. His name wasn't listed under presidential options in only Michigan and Oklahoma.
As the election neared, Hunter says third-party candidates lose supporters, especially if the race is looking close.