New Mexico’s Republican Party held its state convention in Las Cruces this weekend. Some 339 delegates and about 100 guests attended the event to confirm the five Electoral College elector-nominees, and elect 29 national convention delegates and alternates and national committee people.
A record number of delegates registered to become a national delegate. We've listed the winners at the bottom of this post.
Attorney Pat Rogers was selected to replace retiring national committeeman George Buffet, and Rose Tripp, from Socorro, was easily re-elected to her post as national committeewoman.
But, not everyone was happy in Las Cruces!
Albuquerque delegate Patrick Marron was escorted out of the meeting by the Sergeant at Arms after challenging the leadership. In this AUDIO INTERVIEW he says he simply raised a question, during a lull in the meeting, about not being allowed to take photos and record the event.
Sunday night I talked with the party’s chairman, Allen Weh about the incident.
“Other state’s run their conventions by Robert’s Rules,” said Chairman Allen Weh. “Not ours. This convention was run by the chairman’s gavel.”
Later Sunday evening a party leader told me he thought the move [by Weh to remove Marron] was a “little heavy handed and unnecessary.”
But Weh disagreed, “It’s my bat, my ball, and he [Marron] struck out.”
Lon Waters and Bonnie and David Murphy, all from Albuquerque witnessed Marron being tossed out. They told the LAS CRUCES SUN he was not being disruptive.
[Monday Update - 9am] We've learned Marron also shouted and caused a commotion during Sen. John McCain's keynote address at New Mexico's Veteran Memorial Park on Memorial Day in Albuquerque.
"They kicked him out because he was trying to ask a question," said Bonnie Murphy, who said she was shocked and distressed at the upset, which left her feeling left out of the process. "We kind of quieted down. If we left, we'd lose our votes."
Weh contends he was keeping the meeting moving forward and that Marron wasn’t on the agenda and had no right to ask a question or challenge the leadership’s ruling.
"They should communicate to us, instead of throwing out a representative who was calling for a point of order," Waters said. "It certainly was an education."
Jeff Wright, state field director of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul's presidential campaign, was also closed out of the meeting.[Monday Update - 9am] GOP Communications Director Scott Darnell says Wright was only prohibited from attending a State Central Committee meeting. Darnell says delegates and members of the public who are not members of the committe are not allowed. We'll have more on this later.
"What we want is the beginning of a recognition that the Republican Party has gone far afield," said Wright, who also wore a sticker supporting U.S. Senate candidate Steve Pearce. "It's not about the man, it's the message. The Republican Party is damn near about to go off the tracks."
For now, the GOP will focus on trying to elect U.S. Senate Candidate Steve Pearce to the Senate and win all three congressional seats.
State Representative Dan Foley, who will give up his house seat, after losing in the primary, tells What’s The Word in this AUDIO INTERVIEW that the republicans will also focus on picking up additional house seats in the state legislature before the next congressional redistricting.
Foley also told us that he doesn’t believe Governor Bill Richardson will call a special session this summer.
“He doesn’t feel like getting kicked in the teeth,” said Foley, who believes the Governor has a better chance for his Health Solutions program to be approved in the next general session after four conservative legislators leave the house.
The crowd also heard from Rep. Heather Wilson, Steve Pearce, Ed Tinsley, Darren White and Dan East.
Heather Wilson went first as the senior republican congressional representative. In her ADDRESS Wilson said New Mexican’s will elect Republicans to the courthouse, the roundhouse and the White House. She told the crowd, “I’m 100% behind Steve Pearce.” She says as a party they’re unified to help Illinois keep their junior senator.
U.S. Senate Candidate Steve Pearce, who trails Democrat Tom Udall in early public opinion polls told the crowd, in this SPEECH, that Udall is “wrong for New Mexico,” and says Udall opposes the nuclear mission at Los Alamos National Labs.
Ed Tinsley, who faces Harry Teague in November isn’t worried about any Democratic Presidential Coat tails. Tinsley told the crowd in this SPEECH, that there would be “no Obama Tsunami in the 2nd Congressional District.” He wants to protect private health care, but make it more affordable. He says Teague wants to cut funding to the troops to end the war.
Darren White, who faces Martin Heinrich, kept his SPEECH short and to the point. White says it will take a lot of sweat equity to win. White, recognized Wilson's accomplishments in the Air Force, as a Rhodes Scholar, and congressional rep. White says, "I have some big pumps to fill." He urged the crowd to come together to win the election.
State GOP Communications Director Scott Darnell told the Las Cruces Sun the party is outpacing Democrats in voter registration and fundraising, and decided to bring its convention to Dona Ana County to extend its platform to Hispanics in an area
"We feel we can make great gains in Las Cruces," Darnell said. "It's fertile ground for us."
On tomorrow’s blog we’ll feature the convention’s keynote speech from retired Air Force Col. George "Bud" Day. He was Sen. John McCain's cellmate during his imprisonment in Vietnam and a supporter of the presumptive Republican nominee and the war.
Plus we’ll hear from Photo Journalist Mark Bralley about his impressions of the meeting and the party's relationship with the media.
Audio collected and contributed to What’s The Word by MG Bralley
This is the list of GOP Delegates:
Jay Hone - Bernalillo
Ruben Pacheco - Bernalillo
Jim White - Bernalillo
Phelps Anderson – Chavez
Will Cavin – Chavez
Pamela Wolfe – Dona Ana
Gloria Tacker - Socorro
Isaac Chavez – Dona Ana
Marybeth Pirrone – Dona Ana
Barbara Damron – Santa Fe
J.R. Damron – Santa Fe
Kari Edenfield - Sandoval
Brian Tgelaar - Sandoval
William Davis – Santa Fe
Jack Fortner – San Juan
Senator Pete Domenici - Bernalillo
Heather Wilson - Bernalillo
Steve Komadina - Sandoval
John Yates, Jr. -Eddy
Nina Martinez – Santa Fe
Harvey Yates, Jr. - Bernalillo
Bob Carter – Lea
Jon Berela Bernalillo
Frenando C. de Baca - Bernalillo
Holm Bursum - Socorro
Ceil Levatino – Dona Ana
Don Tripp - Socorro
Gayla Mcculloch – San Juan
Cecilia C. de Baca - Bernalillo
Pat Rogers - Bernalillo
Allen Mcculloch – San Juan
Jo Mitchell - Bernalillo
Paige Mckenzie - Bernalillo
Phil Archuletta - Terrance
Dmesia Padilla - Bernalillo
Joyce Pullen - Bernalillo
Rowena Baca - Socorro
Karen Bayless – San Juan
Robert Perea - Bernalillo
Cecilia Martinez Salazar – Rio Arriba
Dan Darnell – San Juan
Bob Cornelius – Lea
Stu Spillar – Lea
Dana Feldman - Bernalillo
Charly Tipton - Bernalillo
Angie McKinstry - Bernalillo
Rusty Regan - Bernalillo
Sally Ryan – Santa Fe
Lee Gonzales - Bernalillo
Veronica Rodriguez – Los Alamos
Daniel Enriquez - Bernalillo
Chris Livingston - Bernalillo
Joanne Morrissey – Santa Fe
Joe Thorton - Lincoln
Kevin Kouri – Dona Ana