Democrat Xochitl Torres Small has a sizeable lead in the race for Southern New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District. On election night, Doña Ana County hadn't finished counting its absentee ballots, so it didn't release any results of the roughly 8,000 votes. They broke heavily for Torres Small, who now has a lead of roughly 3,000 votes over Republican Yvette Herrell, who says she's waiting for provisional ballots to concede defeat. There aren't enough ballots to make up that difference, even if all of them went for Herrell. The margin also isn't small enough to trigger an automatic recount. Herrell could request one, though she'd have to pay for it.
Talk to Jeff
Need a job? Jeff Bingaman has a few to hand out. Yesterday, Governor-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham named the former US senator as the chairman of her transition team. He'll work with Dominic Gabello, a longtime Lujan Grisham aide, to fill the new governor's cabinet and other top jobs. They'll also get to work on proposing a budget that's expected to address a huge increase in spending power, thanks to the oil boom. Meanwhile, Lujan Grisham will finish out her term in Congress.
A coalition of local groups is urging the Martinez administration to alter the groundwater discharge permit for Los Alamos National Lab. The state gave the lab permission in 2015 to pump water that's contaminated with hexavalent chromium up from the aquifer and spread it on property at LANL to reduce the concentration of the carcinogen. Martinez' Environment Department has refused to meet with concerned citizens ($), but a court ordered the meeting, which happened yesterday.
Luján to step up
When Democrats captured the US House of Representatives Tuesday, Ben Ray Luján was beaming. The Northern New Mexico congressman is also head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He's trying to parlay his success into the the number four leadership position in the House, assistant Democratic leader.
Santa Fe's Railyard could see a new development made up of shipping containers and an antique dining car. Plans are in the works to lease the last remaining spot in the Railyard to a Florida man for the development, which might look something like Green Jeans Farmery in Albuquerque. Tenants would be local businesses and the guy from Florida would become a Santa Fean.
Oil may be booming in southeastern New Mexico, but Coca-Cola is apparently not. The company is closing two distribution centers in Hobbs and Clovis and consolidating to one location in Roswell. The move means 45 jobs will disappear.
A Mamet-splendored thing
The Oasis Theatre is putting on David Mamet's The Shawl tonight, along with The Sanctity of Marriage, and it seems like a good time to escape into something that isn't a screen. Curtain is at 7:30 pm and tickets are $22.
A cold front creeping in from the east is going to keep things cool for the next few days. It's foggy and cloudy across much of the northeastern part of the state right now. Pack a hat and gloves.
Thanks for reading! The Word is agog at what's happening in the White House press pool.
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