Finishing the Job: Behind the progressive win in Las Cruces

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima

It’s been two weeks since that odd beast called the off-year election (2009 edition) passed into history with GOP gubernatorial wins in Virginia and New Jersey. Here in New Mexico, politicians of the conservative tendency giddily raced to issue press releases trumpeting the east coast triumphs.

Overlooked in the excitement was the inconvenient fact of an election with a very different outcome right here in our own backyard.

It turns out that in New Mexico’s second largest city the progressive slate scored a clean sweep of the three city council seats in Las Cruces with the victories of Olga Pedroza and Gill Sorg, who toppled incumbents, and the re-election of Sharon Thomas (NM Independent).

What’s more, the progressive blowout was merely the follow-up to an equally impressive performance two years ago when they elected Ken Miyagishima, who upset a popular incumbent mayor, and two new City Councilors – Nathan Small and Miguel Silva.

What explains this success in the face of all the hype about a conservative comeback?

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