From left, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, Democratic candidate for governor, visits with Shirley Simon and Lee Harrell during a campaign stop in Roswell, Saturday. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Stickers, lawn signs and heavy doses of patriotic song and red, white and blue (particularly blue at this rally) can mean only one thing â€” election season is heating up.
Wind and shade kept the temperature cool at Carpenter Park, as nine Democratic Party officeseekers, the partyâ€™s gubernatorial and attorney general candidates â€” Lt. Gov. Diane Denish and Attorney General Gary King, respectively â€” among them, and more than 100 supporters mingled through the early afternoon.
Based on the dayâ€™s turnout, the quality of the partyâ€™s candidates and her volunteersâ€™ work ethic â€” â€œOur people have been working harder than usual,â€ she said â€” Olivia Reid, the chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Chaves County, is hopeful. Adding to her hope, immediately after the rally, she led about 20 Chaves County Democrats north on Southeast Main Street to the county Administrative Center to tally their early votes. A little before 1 p.m., the candidates mounted the stage with event organizer, Tim Raftery, and Reid.
While the audience lunched on hamburgers and hotdogs, each hopeful took the chance to speak to the friendly crowd.
The candidates implored voters to exercise their civic duty, encouraging them to get family and friends to the ballot box, too.
Beyond the â€œget out the voteâ€ message, the dayâ€™s salient themes included: Republican candidates are beholden to big-business interests, and Democrats are on the side of the average New Mexican. The dayâ€™s only headturning comment was Stephanie Duboisâ€™ bold accusation that her opponent for Public Regulation Commissioner, District 2, Patrick L yons, â€œis a crook.â€
She claimed that Lyons intends to sell public lands to moneyed interests and cited out-ofstate donors financing his campaign. The highest profile candidate, Denish, stopped in Roswell as part of a whirlwind day of campaigning throughout southern New Mexico. Clad in a vest and blue jeans and accompanied by her daughter, Sara Schreiber, Denish greeted supporters and posed for pictures.
In a brief interview, she sounded upbeat. Referencing past elections, she said, â€œItâ€™s the last 10 days that make a dif ference. People are waking up,â€ she continued, explaining that the vast size and sources of donations to Republican candidates was the likely alarm clock. In addition to the political messages, the Tom Blake Trio, Sabrina Gonzalez, S.O.Y. Mariachi and Tony Gomez entertained with music.