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‘New Mexico for All’ rally stops in Gallup

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By Cody Begaye

Sun Correspondent

The Democratic Party of New Mexico held a rally Nov. 4 in Gallup as part of the 'New Mexico for All' campaign. The event took place at Gallup Coffee Company, 203 W. Coal Ave.


Since launching in August, New Mexico for All has aimed to attain campaign volunteers, engage more voters, and help lead a slate of democratic candidates to victory in the November midterms.


The stop in Gallup was part of a four-day, statewide tour to reach every corner of New Mexico in order to urge supporters to get out the vote. After Gallup, similar events are scheduled by DPNM in Shiprock, Farmington, Taos, Roswell, Espanola, Carlsbad, Los Alamos and Las Vegas, N.M.


Supporters stopped by the Gallup Coffee Company to show their enthusiasm and to volunteer to canvass for the candidates.


Megan Duffy, who's running for the N.M. Court of Appeals, Position 4, said the court of appeals race includes five women vying for 10 seats, and each of them could be elected to those positions.


“We’re excited about the record voter turnout, and hopeful for the record [election] results,” she said.


Marg Elliston, chair of DPNM, said she was excited to see the turnout of early voters as well as supporters in Gallup.


“[This election] is important for the future of New Mexico,” she said. “[It’s the first step to] turn our state around.


At Gallup Coffee Company, Elliston shared a headline stating Michelle Lujan Grisham, candidate for New Mexico governor, had a projected 10-point lead over her opponent. Despite this claim, Elliston urged the crowd not to relax just yet.


“[We will] take back our state,” Elliston said to the room, a sentiment echoed by many of the other candidates.


McKinley County Chairperson Genevieve Jackson attended at the rally, too. She said the Navajo Nation has leaned heavily toward the democratic candidates due to shared interests and issues.


“[We have] hit every [tribal] chapter across New Mexico not just once, but two or three times [during this campaign],” Jackson said during the event. “[We need] candidates who care about issues like our sovereignty, health care and our veterans.”


Lujan Grisham took the stage near the end of the event and thanked the crowd for their support and enthusiasm about the campaign.


“What we’ve done is unbelievable, and it has everything to do with you,” she said.


Lujan Grisham then spoke about the current governor of New Mexico — she said the state has either slumped or not improved since Gov. Susana Martinez’ election. She said the people of New Mexico need someone who will lead and not look for scapegoats.


“[We’re going to do] everything we can to empower [our] state,” she said. “It’s time to show the country that [New Mexico] can lead [in any category].”

 

Martin Heinrich, candidate for New Mexico senator, also voiced his appreciation for the supporters, especially those who voted early.

“The early voting numbers [are unprecedented],” he said during the event. “We’re going to make the results look like [the turnout of] a presidential election.”


Heinrich told the room this is the year they will hit the reset button on the state.


“We will show that we are the United States, not the divided states,” Heinrich said. “To overcome the challenges [facing the country], we have to come together and work together.”


After the event concluded, Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján, representative for New Mexico, took a moment to speak with the Sun.


When asked about the early voter numbers, Heinrich said the latest count came straight from the secretary of state. That tally was around 394,000 with around 20,000 added each day, which would likely the number above 400,000 before the Gallup event.


When asked about the state of education in New Mexico, a subject stressed by multiple candidates, Heinrich said there are two factors that will help improve the quality of education across the state.


“The first is a supportive governor, who will invest in education [at various levels],” he said. “The second is that we will have a surplus to fund education, like higher education. The Pell Grants would allow students to go to college without [going into excess] debt.”


voiced his appreciation for the turnout both in early voting and at Gallup Coffee Company.


“I just want them to be involved [with the election and voting],” he said. “[What we have seen] has been encouraging.”

 

Dominic Gabello, chief of staff for Lujan Grisham, said the early turnout and support of the community was encouraging.

“[It shows] voters are excited,” he said. “They want to see real change.”


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