Moderate Democrats Win in State Legislative Races

Jun 6, 2012

Republican Governor Susana Martinez and her allies flexed their muscle in legislative races by reaching across party lines to help moderate Democrats survive challenges from liberals, but the governor's favored GOP candidate lost in a Senate contest in eastern New Mexico.

Martinez adviser Jay McCleskey said a political action committee established by the governor's supporters spent $100,000 on mailings and radio ads to influence the outcome in eight House and Senate Democratic primary races and succeeded in seven of those.

From the governor's perspective, middle-of-the-road Democrats — even if they don't support all of her policies — are preferable to having more liberals forming a solid wall of opposition in the Legislature.

In the east-side Senate race, Curry County rancher Pat Woods defeated Angie Spears of Clovis, who Martinez endorsed.