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Denish takes issue with mailer, endorses in legislative race

Diane Denish

SANTA FE — Former Lt. Gov. Diane Denish said Tuesday that she was disappointed to see her photo show up in a mailer distributed by Ben Rodefer’s campaign for the state Senate.

Denish, a Democrat and first woman to serve as lieutenant governor in New Mexico, said she had told Rodefer earlier that she didn’t want to get involved in the race.

But her photo appeared in one of his mailers as part of an array of eight pictures — some featuring Rodefer alongside prominent Democrats. One picture includes him and Denish smiling together, but with no caption identifying Denish by name.

“Frankly, I don’t like it when people use your image or anything you said about them in a primary race,” Denish told the Journal.

Rodefer, for his part, said it was a misunderstanding and he offered an apology.

The photos, he said, were intended to show the depth of his experience as a legislator. Rodefer is a former member of the state House.

No one is identified by name in the photos.

“Never have I said that she supports me or endorsed me in any way,” Rodefer said Tuesday.

Following the Rodefer mailer, Denish endorsed one of his opponents, Brenda McKenna.

Senate District 9 covers Corrales, Bernalillo, Placitas and parts of Rio Rancho. The Democratic incumbent, John Sapien, is stepping down at the end of the year.

Seeking the Republican nomination are economic development executive Bridget Condon and business owners Tania Dennis and John Stahlman Clark.

The Democratic candidates include Rodefer, a former state representative and business owner; McKenna, a field representative for Congresswoman Deb Haaland; and Kevin Lucero, a Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputy and Corrales village councilor.

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