October 12, 2016

State GOP (and a handful of Sanders supporters) call on state Democratic Party chair to resign

The Republican Party of New Mexico says the chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico should step down because of her actions at the Democratic pre-primary convention earlier this year.

The state Republicans say that the cancellation of a non-binding presidential preference poll at the pre-primary convention in March shows the state party had bias toward Hillary Clinton.

The party previously criticized Haaland for supporting Clinton after she defeated Bernie Sanders in the New Mexico Democratic primary, saying it was against Democratic party rules.

“Much like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC, Haaland’s and the DPNM establishment’s bias toward Clinton was clear throughout the primary,” RPNM spokesman Tucker Keene said. “Haaland broke party rules to shelter her favored candidate from the embarrassment of losing a straw poll. The Sanders supporters in New Mexico, of which there were many, deserved the entire primary system to be fair, and neither candidate should have been given preference that may have affected the vote.”

Deb Haaland

Democratic Party of New Mexico chairwoman Debra Haaland

The Democratic Party of New Mexico said the call for Haaland to step down was just a distraction from the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

“New Mexico Republicans are clearly using empty accusations to mislead the public and distract from their continued support for a misogynistic and dangerous presidential candidate who brags about sexual assault,” DPNM spokeswoman Felicia Salazar said.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that a handful of Sanders supporters who were part of the Democratic Party of New Mexico’s State Central Committee also called on Haaland to step down.

Sanders supporters delivered a petition with the signatures of five State Central Committee members saying Haaland broke party rules by canceling the straw poll, according to the New Mexican.

Donald Trump has been working to attract Sanders supporters since the end of the Democratic primary, which ended with many Sanders supporters skeptical of Clinton’s candidacy. Just yesterday, hours before the RPNM statement, Trump tweeted that he thought the Democratic primary was rigged against Sanders.

Trump also mentioned Sanders a number of times during Sunday’s debate.