There is a good chance that state Sen. Bill O’Neill and state Rep. Emily Kane, both Albuquerque Democrats, will be reelected this fall and soon thereafter find themselves once more at the Roundhouse for another 60-day legislative session.
Which leaves the rest of us ample time to reflect upon legislation they intend to propose at the 2015 Legislature that would substantially change the nature of primary elections in New Mexico.
Primary elections were widely adopted by the states in the last century as a way of breaking the stranglehold powerful and often corrupt political bosses had in deciding who would be allowed to run for public offices under the banners of the two major parties.
It was the reformers’ idea that registered members of those parties should be able to go to the polls in a primary election and decide such matters for themselves. Thus, for decades now in states across the country, registered Democrats and registered Republican pick the candidates who will appear on their general election ballots.
But times and party registration change. As noted a couple of weeks ago in this column, there are today almost as many registered voters who are neither Republican nor Democratic as there are registered Democrats and Republicans combined.