Allen Weh sure wasn't acting victorious following his narrow victory at Saturday's state Republican Party pre-primary convention. Weh, a former state Republican Party chairman and current candidate for the GOP nomination for US Senate, stayed behind closed doors powwowing with his staff for a good 45 minutes following the convention. Meanwhile, his opponent, the virtually unknown David Clements, greeted convention attendees enthusiastically in the hallway against a backdrop of giddy supporters, many of them still young enough to be in college.
Now that they've both secured enough delegate support, the two will face off in the June Republican primary for the real vote to see who meets the incumbent Democrat, Sen. Tom Udall, in the November general election.
Clements, who took nearly half of the delegate votes at the convention, is a 34-year-old Las Cruces attorney who represents the growing libertarian wing of the Republican Party, made famous by former Texas congressman Ron Paul. Weh, 71, is a retired colonel who served a long career in the US Marine Corps Reserve. Weh, who defeated Clements in delegate support by six percentage points, took a few minutes to explain his differences with Clements to SFR. He described himself as a "pragmatic, common-sense, conservative Republican" and characterized libertarians as having "isolationist views of the United States' role" in "a dangerous world."
Weh also criticized Clements for previously referring to National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden as a hero.
"I can tell you right now that Edward Snowden is not a hero," Weh said. "Most Americans, Democrats, Republicans and Independents, see what he did as a treasonous act that put American lives in danger. I'm talking about out intelligence officers and operatives, as well as foreign intelligence resources that were working for us."