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SANTA FE — This column has often declared that the Grand Old Party is not dead in New Mexico or nationally. Although Republicans had some major defeats in 2006 and 2008, reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Victories back East in off-year elections last November gave the national party reason for hope. And in New Mexico, a surprise October mayoral win in Albuquerque has given the state party a dose of adrenalin.
Analysis of state Rep. R.J. Berry’s Albuquerque victory over longtime incumbent Marty Chavez, indicates it was tried and true GOP campaign methods which won the mayoral race. The party had only one candidate in the contest, contacted its members often and produced a large absentee voter turnout.
City elections in much of the rest of the state will be held in March. There will be an opportunity to try the same tactics again in areas where Republicans don’t already hold the mayoral posts.
Statewide, the GOP has an opportunity to win the governor’s race and some legislative seats by focusing on scandals of the current and past Democratic administrations.
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