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Tea Party Rally, Sample Ballots

          The Albuquerque Tea Party is sponsoring a rally Saturday afternoon that organizers hope will get more people interested in voting in the Nov. 2 general election.
        LouAnn Hunt, a Tea Party member helping to organize the event, said the rally will include voter registration materials and a message that the midterm election is worth the time it takes to vote.
        "We're really hoping that people realize the privilege we have in this country to vote," Hunt said.
        The rally will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Telstar Construction, 4509 Alameda NE.
        There will be several speakers, including Republican congressional candidates Jon Barela and Tom Mullins, as well as Republican commissioner of public lands candidate Matt Rush.
        Hunt said the Tea Party invited candidates from both major political parties, but only Republicans responded to the invitation.
        The Albuquerque Tea Party is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse candidates.
        About that degree: Matt Rush, the Republican candidate for state land commissioner, has told the Journal and others that he has an associate's degree in agribusiness from Lubbock Christian University. It turns out that's premature, at best.
        According to the school, Rush is only one required course away from a bachelor's degree, but he never actually got an associate's degree.
        Rush said he assumed he had the associate's degree — although he didn't have the paper to prove it — because of all the coursework he had completed.
        He said an inquiry from the Journal prompted him to check with the school, and he discovered he had not been awarded the associate's degree.
        "I was absolutely confident, 100 percent, that's what I had. That is inaccurate," an embarrassed Rush said Thursday.
        He said he expects to have the associate's degree shortly.
        Lubbock Christian University Registrar Janice Stone said school officials had never determined Rush's eligibility for an associate's degree because he hadn't asked them to.
        Now, at Rush's request, "We're looking into that," Stone said.
        "Most likely, he does have all the qualifications for the associate's degree in agriculture," she said. She said Rush completed 132 credit hours and is short one required course for his bachelor's.
        Rush was enrolled at the school from 1992 to 1996 and worked there for several years.
        sample ballots: Sample ballots for the Nov. 2 general election are now available online. For a list of sample ballots in all 33 counties, go to the secretary of state's website at www.sos.state.nm.us/sos-SampleBallot.html

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