Friday, November 07, 2008

Crunching the Numbers: Local

This was a hard election for Republicans in Doña Ana County. The only Republicans who survived were District Attorney Susana Martinez and State Senator Donna Duran, both of whom ran unopposed.

In the County Treasurer race, Democratic ex-Treasurer David Gutierrez defeated incumbent Jim Schoonover 58-42%. In the County Clerk race, Democrat Lynn Ellins, as expected, handily defeated Sidney Goddard, 61-39.

The State Senate and State Representative races offered some interesting matchups. The biggest upset by far was Democrat Stephen Fischmann’s narrow 52-48 victory over powerful Republican Lee Rawson in the State Senate 37 race. Rawson, former Senate Minority Whip, was a major player in Santa Fe, and Fischmann’s victory will shake up the power dynamics statewide.

Now a couple of observations about the remaining representative/senate races. First, a bit of perspective: In Doña Ana County, Obama took 58% of the vote, Udall got 61%, and Teague got 61%. So the 60% range is the Democratic benchmark for Doña Ana County.

First, consider the Democratic “Young Turks” – Jeff Steinborn won his race with 60.5%, and Nate Cote won his with 64%.

Now consider the Democratic “Old Guard” – invulnerable Mary Jane Garcia fought off tenacious Lee Cotter, 55-45. Her victory was expected, but Garcia’s 55% is not impressive compared to the others. And Andy Nuñez, who faced a well-funded and very negative campaign by Mike Tellez, squeaked by, 53-47.

The message here seems clear to me – voters want new blood, fresh faces, youthful vitality to face the challenges ahead. Will the Democratic Party heed this message? Dream on!

Turning now to the two County Commission races: The Democrats won them both – Scott Krahling took a relatively narrow victory over Doyle Pruitt, 55-45, and Leticia Benavidez trounced Greg Sowards, 63-37. The Benavidez/Sowards race was of particular interest to me. I met Greg Sowards in 1989 or so, when I moved some beehives onto his property. Sowards is a personable guy, no doubt about it. One morning he invited me into his house to listen to an exciting new radio show: Rush Limbaugh. (It was there that I first heard the term, “dittohead.”) Several years later, Sowards ran against incumbent Congressman Joe Skeen in the Republican primary, because Skeen was “too liberal.” Skeen, otherwise known as “God” in Republican circles, never even blinked as Sowards went down in flames. Sowards ran this year in the Republican congressional primary, and again came up short. So I was surprised, in late summer, to see Las Cruces once again plastered by his “short, bald, honest” signs. And a surprising number of billboards – those things are expensive. He either had some outside funding, or spent heavily out of his own pocket. In any case, his politics would be more suitable in Oklahoma, and Benavidez, who didn’t come across as particularly inspiring, handily defeated him.

Combine these election results with the earlier Las Cruces City Council election, and this area has started voting in a surprisingly liberal manner. I’m breathlessly awaiting all the changes that will surely come.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point is...Greg Sowards probably has a small penis. I'm not judging the guy, but if you look at his physical stature, you see that he probably isn't too well endowed "down stairs." Also, he is a conservative nut job and a God fearing, brainwashed American.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil, why don't you ask your wife if she noticed much difference between the two of you "down stairs", you might be surprised?

3:07 PM  
Blogger Jacques Conejo said...

Gordon...... thanks again for having such a detailed handle on all the details....... again presented in a most concise and entertaining way...... I might suggest that people could see you as a bit skeptical of the democratic party and their ability to get it right. Unless that is, if I misinterpreted your "dream on" reference. But hey, who can doubt that even the most well intentioned leader figures need constant supervision. Again, thanks for putting the information together so well. I've referred a couple of people already to your blog today for a good clean accounting of the local events.

Peace to you.....

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Gordon Solberg said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home