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It's Go Time!

SFR's Picks for the Nov. 2 2010 Election

October 27, 2010, 1:00 am

While political pendulums are expected to swing, the rapid shift in the zeitgeist since 2008 is enough to give even the most sanguine of observers a bad case of whiplash.

And for those of us who are less-than-sanguine at the prospect of a Republican takeover of Congress--not to mention New Mexico’s executive branch--abject fear might more accurately describe our attitude going into the Nov. 2 election.

Yes, if you haven’t heard, SFR mostly supports the so-called “liberal agenda,” under which everyone has health care, public education isn’t turned over to private companies and “drill, baby, drill” stopped being amusing five minutes after what’s-her-face echoed the sentiment.

So if you’re looking for an endorsement of Susana Martinez, you’ve got the wrong paper. Go pick up a copy of the Albuquerque Journal.

With that said, state Democratic leaders should feel rightfully mortified regarding the siege of embarrassing headlines related to criminal investigations, pay-to-play connections and back-room deals. Voters’ current sense of outrage with incumbents is easily sourced and, given the economic climate, more than understandable.

To quote a fake Democrat, President Andrew Shepherd in The American President, “We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them.”

SFR’s Nov. 2 endorsements range from enthusiastic to cautious, but we do believe all represent the best choices for the next four years of leadership. Our decisions were primarily made as a result of our interviews and reporting during both the primary and general elections, but also were influenced by a variety of outside material, such as the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission’s retention report and the Legislative Council Service’s analysis of this year’s constitutional amendment questions.

And if you’ve already voted, well, then all that’s left to do is keep your fingers crossed.

See more of SFR's extra online coverage (including videos, embedded documents and campaign contribution info) by clicking HERE.

Quick links to individual endorsements:

US Congress, District 3 (scroll down)
Secretary of State
State Auditor
State Treasurer
Attorney General
Commissioner of Public Lands
State Representative, District 47
State Representative, District 48
Constitutional Amendments & Bond Issues

US Congress, District 3

SFR Pick: Ben Ray Luján, Democrat

The seat: New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District includes the bulk of northern New Mexico, but also stretches into portions of Rio Rancho and Farmington.

The candidate: Luján is finishing his first term representing the seat held previously by now US Sen. Tom Udall. Luján is the son of State House Speaker Ben Luján Sr. and a former state Public Regulation commissioner. As a freshman, he has so far sponsored approximately 20 bills, including the Aamodt Litigation Settlement, a bill to create alternative energy training programs at community colleges and the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

What other people think: According to, Luján has received high ratings for his voting record from: the National Education Association, the League of Conservation Voters, NARAL Pro-Choice America, as well as immigration, health care and labor groups. Luján received poor ratings from a variety of conservative interest groups.

The opponent: Tom Mullins of Farmington is an oil man (Mullins Energy Inc.) and self-proclaimed Christian conservative. He’s promoting basically the same talking points this election as most tea-
party-minded Republicans: Diminish the federal government’s role in education, regulation and taxation.

The bottom line: It’s challenging to imagine a district in which Democrats compose 49 percent of registered voters swinging to a first-time Republican candidate whose views are as conservative as they come. On the other hand, anger at incumbents combined with anger at entrenched power may already be fueling this race--one poll puts Mullins within six points of Luján.

Our pick: Luján represents the values of this district significantly more than Mullins ever could. Democrats in District 3 should work hard to ensure northern New Mexico is represented by someone who supports health-insurance reform, campaign-finance reform and environmental protection laws.

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