SANTA FE — President Donald Trump’s visit to New Mexico might be a short one, but his re-election campaign is planning to put down stakes in the state.
Just hours before Trump is scheduled to arrive in Albuquerque, Trump’s campaign announced today the creation of a New Mexico re-election team for 2020.
Arizona Republican Party executive director Leslie White will serve as Trump’s state director, while House Minority Leader James Townsend, R-Artesia, and former state Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage of Kirtland will be the Trump campaign’s honorary state chairs.
Trump’s campaign has targeted New Mexico as one of several states — with Colorado and New Hampshire among the others — that could be “in play” for 2020 after voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
However, longtime political observers have said a Trump victory next year is unlikely, since registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in New Mexico and the state has not voted for a GOP presidential candidate since 2004.
It’s unclear how much money the Trump campaign plans to spend in New Mexico in the run-up to next year’s general election, but a big spending infusion on campaign staffers and political advertisements could prompt Democrats to also ramp up their in-state spending.
In a joint statement, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Trump’s policies have benefited New Mexico families, an assertion that Democrats have disputed.
“In 2020, our New Mexico Trump Victory leadership team will deliver the state of new Mexico for President Trump and Republicans up and down the ballot,” Parscale and McDaniel said in their statement.
Democrats won all statewide races on the ballot last year, and New Mexico currently has an all-Democratic congressional delegation.