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Politics Notebook: Former UNM professor takes on ex-DNC chair

A former University of New Mexico School of Law professor is trying to oust a high-profile incumbent, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in a hotly contested Florida congressional primary election later this month.

Tim Canova

CANOVA: Raised $637K since mid-May

Tim Canova, who was a UNM law professor from 1998 through 2004, has raised more than $637,000 since mid-May – with much of the money coming from Bernie Sanders supporters – in his bid to oust Wasserman Schultz, the Miami Herald reported this week.

Wasserman Schultz, who recently stepped down as head of the Democratic National Committee after internal emails were leaked, has the backing of Hillary Clinton, who beat Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Among other issues, Canova, who is now a law professor at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has clashed with Wasserman Schultz over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a trade deal that has become a controversial issue this year on the campaign trail.

Wasserman Schultz was one of 28 House Democrats who voted to support giving President Barack Obama fast-track authority for the trade deal. Canova has been an outspoken critic of the TPP.

His focus on international trade goes back to his time in New Mexico. In a 2003 Journal op-ed, Canova raised concerns about the North American Free Trade Agreement, arguing that the deal did not provide adequate “regional assistance” for Mexico to improve its infrastructure, educate and train its residents, or enforce environmental laws.

Canova did not respond this week to a Journal inquiry sent to his campaign. The primary election in the Miami-area 23rd Congressional District will be held Aug. 30.


STEPPING DOWN: State Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort, R-Sandia Park, recently resigned from the Legislature, just over five months before her term would have expired.

Former State Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort, R-Sandia Park

BEFFORT: Has resigned from the Legislature

Beffort, who had served 19-plus years in the Senate and wasn’t seeking re-election this year, said this week that she felt ready to move on and wants to spend more time with her family. Her late husband, Steven Beffort, died in June 2014.

“I am looking forward to whatever comes next in my life,” she told the Journal.

She cited bills creating full-day kindergarten and early childhood programs as among her greatest accomplishments as a legislator, while describing the state’s film industry and water rights as other top issues.

Beffort’s resignation from the Legislature was effective July 29, according to a letter she delivered to Secretary of State Brad Winter’s office.

Her Senate District 19 seat – the district stretches from Albuquerque to Moriarty and encompasses parts of four counties – is now vacant, and Gov. Susana Martinez will choose a successor in the coming weeks after getting nominations from the four county commissions.

Beffort said she hopes former state Rep. Jim White, who won a four-way Republican primary race for her seat in June, will be appointed to the vacancy. White is running against Democrat Harold Murphree of Sandia Park in the Nov. 8 general election.

Dan Boyd: dboyd@abqjournal.com




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