Political Notebook, May 19

By David Arkin: PNT Correspondent

Kernan, Palmer speak out
Rep. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs and her opponent for Senate District 42, William Palmer, also a Republican, of Lovington, are hitting the airwaves in what’s becoming one of the most interesting and hotly contested seats in the state.
Two weeks ago, both candidates appeared on KENW, an area television program and discussed their issues.
Palmer had an interview on radio stations KINF in Roswell and KZOR in Hobbs last week.
Kernan was interviewed on Roswell radio stations KBIN radio and KNIX recently.
Palmer said supporters on both sides are creating a sticky situation for both candidates.
“I don’t think there’s anything between myself and Gay,” he said. “Our supporters are going off the deep end though.”
The race heated up recently after Palmer received an endorsement from the Right to Life organization.
“I think them endorsing me surprised Gay somewhat,” he said.
Kernan said she’s pro-life.
“I want to make sure that my position is very clear,” she said. “I don’t support federal funds for abortion and (I) don’t support cloning. The only area I don’t agree with Right to Life is with (regarding) terminally ill patients. I believe in the philosophy of the Hospice organization. The Right to Life organization believes that you should never hold food or water from a patient and I disagree with that. That is the only issue I disagree with it.”
 
Moore on losing Ruiz
Last week, the New Mexico Legislature lost one of its favorite people. Rep. Ray Ruiz lost his battle with cancer.
Rep. Brian Moore, R-Clayton, whose district expands into many areas of eastern New Mexico, said Ruiz would be missed by many.
“Ray was one of my favorites,” he said. “He was in the Legislator for a half year before I got there. His wife and my wife were friends. I didn’t agree politically with him on a lot of things, but I thought he had a lot of integrity. You got straight answers from him. It’s just a devastating loss.”
Harriet Ruiz has expressed interest in being named to take over her late husband’s seat. Ruiz was an Albuquerque lawmaker.
“That would be kind of neat,” Moore said. “She would do a great job. It’s kind of surprising.”
 
Audit the GOP
The newly elected chairman of the state Republican Party says he wants an audit of the party.
Allen Weh, the New Mexico GOP party chief, wants to straighten out some questions about spending within the party.
Moore said the audit is a good idea.
“I think everyone always needs to know what’s going on,” he said. “I think they are doing what anyone would do. They want to know what’s going on and where the party is at.”
While the GOP party faces an uphill battle, in needing to overcome controversy of in-house bickering, Moore believes that Weh was the right choice.
“People are real excited about him,” Moore said said.
 
In the money
According to colorofmoney.org, a Web site that looks at how much people in cities across the country give to political parties, Republicans give a lot more money to federal campaigns than Democrats in Portales.
The Web site says in the last federal election — 2002 — total individual federal campaign contributions in the city of Portales was $78,479.
Of those who gave, 87.3 percent were Republicans and 12.7 percent were Democrats.
 
Dates to remember
• May 29: In-person and absentee voting ends.
• June 1: Primary Election Day.
 
Elections online
Looking for more New Mexico election news? Go online to www.sos.state.nm.us/Election/ElectionInfo.htm
 
Do you have an item for Political Notebook? If so, contact Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico political reporter David Arkin at Davidarkin111@yahoo.com.