GOP’s Texas Stunt Won’t Raise Moores New Mexico | Local News
Fanciful political science is no match for basic mathematics. It’s a lesson Republicans in New Mexico still haven’t learned.
They travel to Amarillo, Texas for a three-day convention called “Operation Freedom.” The trip can only hurt Republican Mark Moores’ slim chances of winning the June 1 special election in the Albuquerque-based 1st District.
Moores says he will only spend part of the day making the 290-mile trip to Amarillo for dinner, fundraising and a speech. While she is away, Democratic Congressional candidate Melanie Stansbury will secure votes in Albuquerque.
As Moores wastes more time getting home after speaking to people who can’t vote for him, Stansbury will campaign in front of the New Mexico public.
Moores, 51, told me his trip to Texas and his return was not a big diversion from the congressional race.
âIt’s all game on the ground at this point,â he said of efforts such as knocking on doors and getting his supporters to the polls, which are open for early voting.
Because Moores thinks what’s happening on the pitch is more important than TV and radio airtime, it’s even stranger that he’s been following the stunt in Texas.
Stansbury, 42, is a tenacious activist who spends every minute trying to get the vote.
She won her seat in the state House of Representatives three years ago by defeating a seven-term Republican president in a right-leaning district. Stansbury simply outperformed the competition.
She did it again this spring, staging an unlikely comeback to win the Democratic nomination for Congress in an eight-man race. After following State Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez in the first round of voting, Stansbury passed Sedillo Lopez in the second round.
Moores is a three-term state senator who was first elected in 2012, but he is an underdog in the congressional race. A Republican hasn’t won New Mexico’s 1st District since 2006. A side trip to Amarillo with two weeks left in the campaign won’t improve Moores’ chances.
New Mexico Republicans, led by party chairman Steve Pearce, are hosting their convention in Texas to generate publicity.
When asked about the move, Pearce may address a wider audience about Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham creating restrictions on public gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. Texas is Pearce’s idea of ââfreedom.
A wiser Pearce tactic would have been to hold the convention in Albuquerque so that the Republican infantry could campaign for Moores all weekend.
Moores’ decision to go to Texas, even for a day, is a sign that he and his party haven’t learned from Richard Nixon’s history and capital blunder.
The first favorite to win the presidency in 1960, Nixon said he would campaign in all 50 states. As the race with John F. Kennedy tightened, Nixon’s staff urged him not to go to Alaska. While Nixon was in Alaska, his aides said, Kennedy would strike five states.
They were wrong. Kennedy campaigned in eight states while Nixon shook hands in the Last Frontier.
Republicans in the 1st arrondissement made a smart move by naming Moores. He was their best hope to end the GOP’s long losing streak there.
Moores, however, hadn’t harnessed his strength even before deciding to kill time in Texas.
Moores is a conservative, but he’s also a practical politician who has worked well with the Democratic-controlled state legislature.
He joined with members of the other party on a successful measure to reduce gerrymandering in legislative redistribution. Moores also teamed up with a Democrat on the bill to ban coyote murder contests.
His campaign against Stansbury has been garish and deceptive. In an unusual style, Moores authorized bogus advertisements claiming that Stansbury wanted to cut funding for police services.
The tired lines about harming the police come straight from national Republican textbooks. Moores should have followed his conscience, as he did for nine years at the Statehouse, instead of accepting someone else’s script.
Moores says he’s confident.
âWe’re going to win this election,â he told me the other night.
All contestants, regardless of how far they slide, predict victory. Politicians don’t have the frankness of criminal Willie Sutton. When asked why he robbed banks, Sutton replied that this was where the money was.
Republicans can find their way to a few titles in Texas. Too bad for them that the votes Moores needs are in New Mexico.
Ringside Seat is an opinion piece on people, politics and current affairs. Contact Milan Simonich at [email protected] or 505-986-3080.