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State’s Republican Superdelegates Staying Mum

Republican superdelegates around the country might be pressuring for a quick end to the party’s presidential nomination fight, but New Mexico’s party representatives aren’t among the chorus, a state GOP spokeswoman said.

Each state’s national party representatives, or superdelegates, are allowed to back whichever presidential candidate they choose, regardless of how their state voted in its primary. Many of those delegates are now saying that the race has been effectively won by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and that it’s time for former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum to step aside.

New Mexican Republicans won’t have a say in the matter until their June 5 primary election. And until then, the party’s three superdelegates – party Chairman Monty Newman and national committee members Pat Rogers and Rosie Tripp – won’t take sides in the fray, New Mexico GOP spokeswoman Annaliese Wiederspahn said.

That’s because state party rules prohibit party leadership from publicly endorsing candidates before primaries, Wiederspahn said.

Heinrich’s Account: Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Martin Heinrich on Monday reported raising $490,000 in new campaign money between January 1 and March 31.

The campaign says 73 percent of that haul for Heinrich, now a U.S. House member from Albuquerque, comes from in-state contributors.

The quarter’s fundraising brings Heinrich’s cash on hand to $1.55 million, according to his campaign. The first-quarter financial report will be the last before the June 5 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate between Heinrich and state auditor Hector Balderas.

Heinrich was the first Senate candidate from either party in New Mexico to report first-quarter fundraising. The deadline for reporting on the quarter is April 15.

Campaign Change: Eight weeks before the primary election, Republican 1st Congressional District favorite Janice Arnold-Jones has made a change in her campaign team.

Gone is campaign manager Justin Rodriguez, who said he planned to leave Arnold-Jones’ campaign after the state pre-primary nominating convention in March, where Arnold-Jones took a commanding 63 percent of party delegates.

Rodriguez said he will instead be attending the University of New Mexico to earn a second degree, in economics.

Now at the helm of the campaign is Vic Bruno, a commercial real estate agent who previously served as Arnold-Jones’ treasurer and adviser.

“It’s just a natural transition that we experienced,” Bruno said Monday.

Arnold-Jones’ lone challenger for the congressional nomination is retired Army veteran Gary Smith, who earned less than 4 percent of the delegate vote at the state GOP convention last month.
— This article appeared on page C2 of the Albuquerque Journal