Politics Notebook: National spotlight on New Mexicans

SANTA FE – New Mexico elected officials got some national airtime Wednesday as debate over President Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance policy toward illegal immigration raged on.

Attorney General Hector Balderas, who is one of more than 20 attorneys general who called on the Trump administration to halt the policy, appeared on MSNBC, while U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham did a live interview with CNN.

Lujan Grisham, who is chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and is the Democratic nominee for governor, suggested during the interview that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen should resign.

“She is inflicting harm upon children in this country,” Lujan Grisham said. “I don’t think that’s a person that should be serving the American people in any capacity.”

But the state Republican Party also criticized Lujan Grisham for saying during the interview that she would not support compromise immigration legislation being pushed by U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Pearce ad: The story of a Deming soldier injured in Afghanistan is the focus of Republican gubernatorial nominee Steve Pearce’s first general election TV ad.

The minute-long ad, which launched this week, is narrated by the mother of Juan Dominguez, a Marine lance corporal who lost both legs and one arm in 2010 after stepping on a land mine.

Pearce was unopposed for the GOP nomination and entered the general election cycle with more than $1.9 million in his campaign account – nearly double the amount that Lujan Grisham had on hand at the end of a bruising three-way Democratic primary.

His latest TV ad is airing on network and cable channels, a campaign spokesman said. The campaign is spending more than $115,000 to air the ad through early next week on three Albuquerque-area network stations, according to public filings.

GOP fundraiser: Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel made a stop in Albuquerque on Wednesday to help raise money for the state GOP.

McDaniel, the niece of former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, has been a fervent supporter of Trump and drew criticism from some pundits for a recent tweet that said anyone not embracing Trump’s agenda is “making a mistake.”

General tickets for her Wednesday appearance at the Hyatt Regency hotel cost $150, according to an invitation for the event.

The RNC assists GOP candidates with fundraising and election strategy. New Mexico’s three voting committee members are state party Chairman Ryan Cangiolosi, Rosie Tripp of Socorro and Harvey Yates Jr. of Albuquerque.

Dan Boyd: dboyd@abqjournal.com