Picking sides is highly unusual

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE -" The Republican gubernatorial contest is getting really serious. It’s so serious, in fact, that the state GOP chairman has jumped into the fray.

Chairman Harvey Yates of Artesia created a three person committee, including himself, to review the negative ads flying back and forth between frontrunners Allen Weh and Susana Martinez.

The committee concluded that Martinez’s negative ads were based on fact but that Weh’s weren’t. Then they made their findings public. Had the negativity really gotten to the point that required party intervention? It didn’t seem like it to this viewer.

The ads from the last presidential election were far worse. The New Mexico ads seemed fairly low octane and about equally misleading. But they were enough to capture the attention of the state GOP chairman and produce a scolding of Weh.

It is a highly unusual situation when a party chairman sides with a particular candidate in a party primary election. From everything I have read about the situation, it has never happened before but that is not quite true.

Back in the ’90s, state GOP chairman John Dendahl scolded Greg Sowards of Las Cruces for challenging U.S. Rep. Joe Skeen in the Republican primary.

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