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Election system favors political extremes, discourages moderates

If you’re a political moderate and feel your choices in the coming election are pretty darn limited, a lot of people feel your pain.

The recent primaries bestowed victories on women. (Hurray!) They also blessed progressives and conservatives and left moderates in the dust.

In the much-watched Congressional District 1 race, progressive Deb Haaland trounced Damon Martinez, a moderate and former U. S. Attorney.

For State Land Commissioner, Stephanie Garcia Richard, another progressive, surged ahead of her opponents. George Muñoz, a businessman and moderate Democrat from Gallup, ran third, but the good news is he’ll still be in the state Senate.

In Northern New Mexico, Rep. Debbie Rodella, a moderate who served 25 years, lost to a progressive newcomer, Susan Herrera. Rodella, chair of the Business and Industry Committee, had campaign money; Herrera had volunteers and shoe leather.

On the Public Regulation Commission, moderate Dem Sandy Jones lost to progressive Steve Fischmann, a former Las Cruces legislator. And Lynda Lovejoy lost to Theresa Becenti-Aguilar, who previously held the seat. These two races were affected in part by a backlash against an industry super PAC donations to both.

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