Equality New Mexico — the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group — has endorsed Debra Haaland for the Democratic nomination in the First Congressional District, angering some supporters of Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis, a prominent gay candidate in the race.
Dennis Alexander and William Cox, who described themselves as members of Albuquerque’s gay community, said Davis’s long record of advocating for LGBT rights makes him more deserving of the endorsement.
“If our state’s largest LGBT organization can’t even stand with prominent and highly qualified gay elected officials, they shouldn’t expect other elected officials or LGBT citizens in the community to trust or support them,” Alexander and Cox said in a letter to the Journal’s editor on Thursday.
Adrian N. Carver, executive director of Equality New Mexico, said the decision to endorse Haaland over Davis was “a hard call” for the group’s board.
“We endorsed Deb because she has been a long and passionate advocate not only for Equality New Mexico for years, but she has demonstrated she can win the campaign and that her campaign is viable,” he said, noting Haaland’s fundraising prowess among other attributes.
“The importance of the First Congressional District is huge and we’re not in the business of electing somebody just because they are gay,” Carver added. “We’re in the business of getting the best person who is best situated for our… issues.”
There are six Democratic candidates on the ballot in New Mexico’s First Congressional District primary.