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Community Coalition launches campaign to unseat N.M. Senate corporate Democrats

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LAS CRUCES - The No Corporate Democrats community coalition launched a primary campaign March 30 to unseat a slate five of New Mexico’s Corporate Democrat Senators: George Muñoz , D - Cibola, McKinley, San Juan; Gabriel Ramos, D - Catron, Grant, Socorro; Clemente Sanchez, D - Cibola, Socorro, McKinley, Valencia; John Arthur Smith, Doña Ana, Hidalgo, Luna, Sierra;  and Mary Kay Papen, D - Doña Ana.

This community-led campaign highlights the ways in which these Senators have stood against working families for years: voting against early childhood programs, paid sick leave and tax credits that would help families throughout New Mexico during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“We are a coalition made up of community members and activists who have voted for Democrats for decades,” Gallup resident and member of the Navajo Nation Krystal Curley said. “This is not about ‘progressive’ vs. ‘moderate’ or ‘moderate’ vs. ‘conservative’. This is about fairness, accountability, and decency. Rural areas of New Mexico deserve better representation from Democratic candidates who should put people first instead of cutting corporate taxes in exchange for corporate donations.”

“For years, these senators voted against high-quality early childhood services that we desperately need in southern New Mexico,” Valeria Hollaway, an early childhood provider in Las Cruces, said. “Now that COVID-19 is a threat to everyone’s health and livelihood, families are desperate for childcare, proving that working people are the backbone of our society - not corporations”.

One of the senators mentioned spoke with the Gallup Sun about this effort. Muñoz pointed out the difficulties of representing a broad, widely divergent group of constituents.  He also pointed out that there is a patchwork of issues across his district, some of which are federal, leaving him without a say, such as in addressing Native American health care.

Muñoz also addressed how COVID-19 is impacting oil and gas and that the permanent fund will need to be tapped for early childhood needs.

As for the New Mexico legislature, Muñoz says not everybody gets what they want out of the session.  He asked for money for five water wells this year and did not receive it.

As for the No Corporate Democrats Coalition, the group says it will provide the accountability needed during the primary elections to make sure that working families are the focus of New Mexico’s political landscape.

For more information, visit nocorporatedems.com.

Staff Reports