Delegates at today's Republican pre-primary convention were decisive: With 46.65% and 41.2% respectively, Susana Martinez
and Brian Moore
are poised to headline the GOP's gubernatorial ticket for 2010.
Martinez, who's running for governor, beat out four other candidates (the closest was former GOP chairman Allen Weh
with 26.3%; Pete Domenici Jr got a measly 4.6%). Moore's closest contender was Lieut. Gov. hopeful Kent Cravens
Matt Rush swept the Land Commissioner race with 64% of the vote, and Tom Mullins and Steve Pearce took congressional districts 2 and 3 with 80% and 92%, respectively. For more, check out the New Mexico Independent's coverage here
Some speeches were colorful and some staffers scantily clad, but (perhaps unsurprisingly) I found my story—something having to do with Marxism, souls burning in hell and the virtues of Adam Kokesh
—in the bar. More after the jump.
"I'm for Adam Kokesh!" former Corrales mayor Gary Kanin declared when asked what he thought of the convention. "Mullins can get the Republican vote, but he's not gonna do diddly in Santa Fe and Rio Arriba. If you can't get the Democratic vote as a Republican, you're not gonna win."
Kokesh got only 19.5% of the delegates' vote, which means he'll have to collect signatures in order to make it on the ballot for District 3. That fact, to Kanin, is "embarrassing: They're too glued to a successful, business-oriented candidate who cannot win the election."
Susana Martinez, however, was generally beloved (at least within the confines of the Albuquerque Hilton's modest bar), and both Kanin and Tularosa delegate Melissa MacKechnie were optimistic about 2010's being "a Republican year."
But an outspoken Col. Robert F Cunningham of Albuquerque has his doubts. (And showed me a photo of "souls burning in hell" to illustrate where corrupt Dems belong.)
"This election is only gonna get more interesting," Cunningham said, sipping a beer. Either party can win, he maintains, if it can capture the hearts and minds of the dissatisfied majority.
"The Tea Party
is the flickering flames of a smoldering independent movement," Cunningham says. "If [the Republicans] gut them now, they deserve to lose." Cunningham's a bit of a character, complete with fringed leather accoutrements, several websites
and a "We the People" manifesto
he enjoys reading to politicians. Oh, and this joke:
"The difference between liberals, progressives, socialists, Marxists and communists is that the first four are to stupid to know they're communists."
Not that he's totally alone. Dissatisfaction ran rampant at this convention. We'll see how much it determines the election.