New option should open up primaries

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By Carol A. Clark

Candidates gaining less than 20 percent of elected delegate votes at the preprimary convention may now submit additional nominating petitions to get on primary election ballots.Friday, Gov. Bill Richardson signed Senate Bill 1 – Primary Access Ballot for Certain Candidates. This bill repairs a law passed during the 2007 legislature limiting other avenues for candidates to get on the primary ballot.“Restoring the 20-percent rule allows grassroots candidates to at least participate in New Mexico politics, which is clearly a victory for New Mexico,” said Chairman Ron Dolin of the Los Alamos Republican Party. “But it’s only a partial victory. We now need courageous leaders from both parties to step forward and demand that our state’s preprimary process be abolished in favor of a true voter-driven democratic primary process.”While Dolin applauded state politicians and “more importantly the citizens of New Mexico,” he expressed disappointment in how primary candidates are determined.“What we witnessed this legislative session is that rarest instance in American politics when the will of the Republican and Democratic grassroots are so strongly aligned on an issue that they overcome the self-interests of each party’s powerful machines,” Dolin said.

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