The 2018 New Mexico primaries are in the books and one thing is clear: the “progressives” are in firm control of New Mexico’s Democratic Party.
The distinction is one of more style and social issues than substance on economic issues. New Mexico is dominated by “big government” politicos on both sides of the aisle, but the so-called “progressives” are generally more active in their desire to destroy the State economy by locking up oil and gas while spending prodigiously and taxing and regulating in ever greater amounts.
Last night’s primary elections saw the defeat of three so-called “moderate” Democrat representatives: Carl Trujillo, Debbie Rodella, and Bill Gomez. By most any measuring stick (like the RGF Freedom Index) these are three typical “liberal” New Mexico Democrats. However, in the fun-house world of New Mexico politics, each of them were successfully challenged by a more “progressive” Democrat running to their left.
Perhaps the fact that 2 of the 3 defeated Democrat legislators (Trujillo and Rodella) opposed a 2017 bill that would have placed a moratorium on charter schools was a factor, but the fact is that the leftward lurch among Democrats in this primary was felt in both the CD1 and CD2 wins by Deb Haaland and Torres-Small victories as well as the race for the PRC which is now dominated by “progressives” as well as the land commissioner race which was won by former Rep. Garcia-Richard.
It’s always amazing how willing New Mexicans are to believe the “progressive” pitch that New Mexico’s problem is that it is just not far enough to the left politically. After all, since 1931 New Mexico Democrats have controlled the Legislature for 162 combined years while Republicans have controlled the Legislature for just 10 years and they’ve never had both houses at the same time.
After November it is likely that Democrats will control both houses again and the House at least will be even further to the left than it was in the 2017-2018 sessions. Everything is riding on the race for Governor this November, so buckle up.