KUNM

Election 2014

SilverGryphon8 via CC

Bernalillo Commissioners will vote Tuesday night on whether to increase taxes and increase mental health care in the county.

The gross receipts tax increase of one-eighth of a percent would generate $15 to $20 million. At the top of a mental health care wish list? A crisis center where people could go to be stabilized and plugged into services, instead of being arrested and sent to jail.  

Ed Williams-KUNM

Bernalillo County voters overwhelmingly called for reduced criminal penalties for marijuana possession Tuesday night.

The marijuana decriminalization question is non-binding and won’t change the law. But that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd gathered to watch the election results last night.

Progress Now Director Pat Davis, who spearheaded initiatives in both Santa Fe and Bernalillo counties, says this is a first step towards big changes in New Mexico’s drug policy.

Art by Nani Chacon courtesy of Young Women United

Bernalillo County voters overwhelmingly came out on Tuesday in favor of a tax increase to pay for more mental health services. 

Bernalillo County residents with addictions or mental health problems may be closer to having more access to treatment, now that voters here have showed their support for a one-eight percent tax increase to fund more behavioral health services.

Arianna Sena

Two New Mexico Republicans hoping to oust incumbents in Congress were handed big defeats on election night despite their efforts. 

When we spoke Tuesday night in his campaign headquarters, Allen Weh was still hoping to overtake Sen. Tom Udall and win his Senate seat. Instead, the retired Marine colonel ended up trailing in the polls. He said he’ll be happy to get back to work as the head of CSI Aviation after the election, and he mused, briefly, on the political system in America. 

Marisa Demarco

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez secured a second term last night, beating her Democratic challenger Gary King handily. Martinez emphasized bipartisanship during her acceptance speech at the Marriott in Albuquerque, which was packed with Republicans from around the state.

As Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela introduced Gov. Martinez late Tuesday night, he focused on her heart—perhaps a nod to opponent Gary King’s maligned comment about the governor’s not being Latino enough. 

Udall Wins Second Senate Term

Nov 5, 2014
Rita Daniels

Democrat Tom Udall was re-elected to serve another 6 years as New Mexico’s senior Senator in Washington D.C. Tuesday night.

The crowd cheered emphatically when Udall took the stage as Tom Petty’s Won't Back Down blasted through the sound system.

Pointing to what he considers a recent victory, Udall highlighted expanded health care coverage and the Affordable Care Act, and described how they benefit people here.

King Loses Bid For Governor

Nov 5, 2014
Rita Daniels

Despite the loss, Democrat Gary King was upbeat Tuesday night. 

He said education and the economy are two of the biggest issues facing New Mexicans and though he has no plans to hold public office come the new year, King said both he and his running mate, Deb Haaland, are dedicated to carrying on the fight.

“She is a ground breaker, she is the highest ranking Native American woman to be running across the country," King said of his running mate. "I’m really glad that I’ve been hanging around with Deb Halland for the last while.”

Keller Wins New Mexico State Auditor Race

Nov 5, 2014

Democrat state Sen. Timothy Keller has been elected New Mexico state auditor.

Keller defeated Republican lawyer Robert Aragon on Tuesday in a race that centered on how the auditor's office should monitor government waste.

The Harvard Business School-educated Keller, currently the Senate majority whip, said he would work to uncover an estimated $900 million of unspent public money and redirect it to state programs. The 36-year-old also vowed to "shine the light" on billions of dollars lost in various tax breaks.

State Auditor Balderas Wins Attorney General Race

Nov 4, 2014

State auditor Hector Balderas, considered a rising star in the state Democratic Party, rolled to a win over Republican Susan Riedel in the contest for attorney general Tuesday after a race in which he touted his rise from poverty to the top levels of government and built a huge advantage in campaign cash.

Balderas had stockpiled more money than any other statewide office candidate — except Gov. Susana Martinez — early on and had a more than 8-to-1 cash advantage with three weeks to go.

New Mexico U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan Wins Re-Election

Nov 4, 2014
Office of Congressman Ben Ray Lujan

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan has won a fourth term with a victory over Republican Jeff Byrd.

Lujan, vice chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, has said making New Mexico more competitive will be at the top of his list when he returns to Washington.

The congressman has also called for the National Nuclear Security Administration to be restructured to better balance defense programs with other research. His district includes Los Alamos National Laboratory.

NM Voters Report Problems In Sandoval County

Nov 4, 2014
KCIvey via Flickr

The Associated Press reported today that a state judge has ordered a New Mexico county to issue provisional ballots after lawyers for Gov. Susana Martinez's campaign complained voters were being turned away due to software problems.

Judge George Eichwald told Sandoval County election officials Tuesday they must give voters provisional ballots if problems continued.

Voters in at least two precincts reported that election officials turned them away after ballots weren't printing properly. About a dozen voters were affected and ended up voting later.

This story was updated at 1:02 a.m. ET

Republicans have picked up the seats they needed to retake control of the Senate and then some, with major victories in North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado and Arkansas, and added to their margin in the U.S. House.

The big numbers from the midterm election reshape the political dynamic in Washington and will complicate the legislative agenda for President Obama's final two years in the White House.

Theresa Thompson via Flickr CC

Polls are open today until 7 p.m., and registered voters in Bernalillo County can cast their ballots in any of the polling locations around the city. There's a great map and an app [Google Play or iTunes] that can show you where all the vote centers are and how long the wait is at each.

7 Places To Watch On Election Day

Nov 4, 2014

For all the money spent, doors knocked, ads aired and miles traveled by candidates this year, the 2014 elections will likely come down to the votes cast by a relatively small universe of places.

Whether it's because of their size, demographic make-up, or the unique spot they occupy, these places will have an outsized role in state — and possibly national — politics this year.

Here are seven of them:

Super PAC Takes Last Minute Aim At Udall

Nov 3, 2014
/ Creative Commons

Another super PAC took aim at Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall on the final weekend before Tuesday’s general election as New Mexico's political advertising neared $12.2 million in the final full week of the election season.

Meanwhile, an analysis of gubernatorial elections across the nation ranks New Mexico's contest for governor as among the most negative. Republican Incumbent Susana Martinez has dominated political TV ad buys, running seven times the number of Democratic challenger, Attorney General Gary King.

The League of Women Voters of New Mexico is criticizing New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran for a voter guide that her agency published on ballot initiatives and constitutional amendments that appear on this year’s ballot.

It’s just one of many voter guides that are available for voters to use as they make decisions on who to vote for. KUNM’s Elaine Baumgartel spoke with Gwyneth Doland, political reporter for New Mexico PBS.  

Courtesy of Amber Royster

Amber Royster is a sixth-generation New Mexican and Navy veteran who served in the Iraq War and was deployed twice overseas. She said Bernalillo County’s advisory mental health ballot question and the secretary of state’s race are her main interests this year.

She’s a registered Green Party member, and said she generally prefers to vote on issues instead of candidates. She’s voting for Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver for secretary of state because that office can allow direct issues-based questions onto the polls.

Rita Daniels

 

Rodrigo Aguilera of Carlsbad spent decades working as a lab technician, first in the potash mines and then at a natural gas plant. A registered Democrat, he prides himself on not voting the party line.

One of the issues in this year's gubernatorial campaign is how much to raise the state minimum wage. Republican Governor Susana Martinez doesn’t want as big of an increase as her democratic challenger Gary King.

LISTEN: U.S. Senate Debate Between Udall And Weh

Oct 30, 2014
NMPBS

Thu. 10/30 7p: The last in a series of 4 debates among candidates for state-wide New Mexico office in 2014. 

Democratic incumbent Senator Tom Udall faces off against his Republican challenger Allen Weh. The debate was taped Thursday at the studio at New Mexico PBS in Albuquerque. 

Ed Williams-KUNM

KUNM Public Health Reporter Ed Williams met with Julie Martinez in the courtyard of Holy Cross Hospital in Taos. Martinez manages the hospital’s substance abuse prevention program and works on drug issues with local youth for the non-profit Taos Alive.

Martinez wouldn’t say who she was voting for because of her work. She did explain that the entrenched problems of addiction and substance abuse in her community are shaping her views of candidates this year.

Olympia School District, State of Washington / Creative Commons

 

Jo Ann Goodwin lives in Carrizozo where she says she follows politics year round. Even though she's a registered Republican she has not been pleased with the initiatives of Education Secretary-Designate Hannah Skandera.

Goodwin is a special education teacher and she says the student testing and new teacher evaluation system is ridiculous and has her questioning who to vote for.

Denicia Cadena

Christina Dominguez is a single mother of three kids in Albuquerque. Her primary interest in the election is the mental health poll question on the ballot in Bernalillo County. The question is only advisory, which means it wouldn’t become a law if passed, but it’s intended to allow the public to weigh in on mental health funding.

All Things Election 2014

Oct 29, 2014
white african via Flickr / Creative Commons

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 10/30 8a:

As election day draws near, we take a wide-ranging look at all things election-related: the ads, the money, the issues, the candidates, the endorsements, the trends and possible outcomes and how they may shape our future in New Mexico and beyond.  

Have you already voted?  Will you vote?  Are you voting for change or for things to continue as they are? We'd like to hear from you! Post your comments online, email callinshow@kunm.org, or call in live during the show. 

Guests: 

Time Is Running Out For Early Voting

Oct 29, 2014
KCIvey via Flickr

 

The November 4th mid-term election is on Tuesday, but if you want to cast your ballot at an early voting center, you’ve got to do that before 8p this Saturday night.

Voters who want to cast their ballots early can visit any early voting location in the county where they’re registered. Albuquerque voter Diahndra Grill pulled up the Bernalillo County Clerk’s website on her phone to find the early voting location closest to her office.

eggrole via Flickr

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Robert Pack is a fourth generation cotton and alfalfa farmer from Eddy County. Although a registered Democrat, Pack says he has never voted party line in his life.

Pack says he's not thrilled with either gubernatorial candidate. But he is a medical marijuana patient and is basing his vote on the fact that Republican Gov. Susana Martinez said she would shut down the state's medical cannabis program when she was campaigning four years ago.

Courtesy of Pete Comstock

Veteran Pete Comstock was wounded in Vietnam—once by a hand grenade and once by an AK-47—and he’s recovered physically. “I have some combat trauma issues that I had to deal with as I was recovering coming back. But today, most days I’m pretty normal.”

Comstock, a Republican from Cedar Crest, relies on VA health services and said he zeroes in on issues affecting veterans during every election cycle. In particular, he wants to ensure candidates will commit funding and support to medical care for returning soldiers, address military sexual trauma and work to stop the wars.

mohammadali via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The third of four congressional debates KUNM will broadcast before the November 4th election. 

Incumbent Democrat Ben Ray Lujan debates his Republican challenger Jefferson Byrd at an event hosted by KENW.  

PAC Ads Target State House Races

Oct 28, 2014

Two political action committees are targeting state House races with television ads to air through Election Day.

Patriot Majority New Mexico, a union-funded state level PAC, is spending almost $96,000 to air 157 ads supporting Democrats and opposing Republicans in Albuquerque and El Paso.

Rosemarie Sanchez and her 39-year-old daughter Nannie are disability rights advocates and hard-line Democrats. Rosemarie adopted Nannie, a child born with Down syndrome, when she was an infant. KUNM Public Health New Mexico reporter Marisa Demarco caught up with them at their home in Albuquerque’s Clayton Heights to talk about how their lives and their politics intertwine. 

Both women are concerned about changes to the developmental disability waiver in New Mexico.

Rita Daniels

 

On location at a film shoot in the Lincoln National Forest, KUNM's Rita Daniels caught up with independent filmmaker Jacob Roebuck. The self-described social conservative moved to Roswell from Los Angeles four years ago and has benefited from the state's film production tax credit

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