Screenshot of U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Lujan addressing the New Mexico Legislature on Feb. 21, 2022.

Lujàn and Stansbury address the Legislature

U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján and U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury, both Democrats, spoke to state legislators during a joint legislative session Tuesday. Luján spoke about bipartisan legislative efforts at the federal level, his recovery from a stroke he suffered last year and what legislating means to him. “That’s what this body is, incredible leaders from all over New Mexico, every small town, village, big town and big city,” Luján said. “A big part of what we do together is navigating those challenges when it comes to constituent casework one at a time. One person at a time, one family at a time.

During Trump’s visit, El Paso residents criticized his divisiveness — and lawmakers’ inaction on gun laws

EL PASO — The message here wasn’t subtle. And neither was the anger. Four days after a gunman walked into a Walmart and killed 22 people, hundreds of El Pasoans on Wednesday packed into a southside park just miles from the international border with Mexico to tell President Trump he isn’t welcome in this reeling border community. “We can’t sugar coat it anymore, [things] have gone too far,” Kylie Oliver said as she held up a sign that read ‘F**king do something!’ “We’ve tried to be politically correct but it’s time to stop. For me personally, it’s turned to anger.”

The tensions here underscored residents’ mounting anger and frustration about lawmakers’ seemingly intractable positions on stricter gun laws in a city still dealing with grief from what police suspect may have been a racially motivated massacre.

A ‘war on the Republican establishment’ comes West

President Donald Trump promised to drain the swamp, but to one of his most controversial political allies, that morass has widened — to now encompass the Republican Party. Appearing on Fox News’ “Hannity” show in October, former White House strategist Steve Bannon called the GOP a “globalist clique.” Bannon, who is executive chair of the far-right Breitbart News Network, promised to use his media platform and funding connections to challenge every Republican incumbent (apart from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz) with his own “coalition” of candidates for the 2018 midterm elections. “We are declaring war on the Republican establishment that does not back the agenda that Donald Trump ran on,” Bannon said, adding that it would be a long-term effort to first replace Republican incumbents, and then Democrats. That has put some Western Republicans in Bannon’s crosshairs, as senators from Utah to Arizona have been either tepid in their support, or outright critical of Trump. Here’s a list of potential targets:

Sen. Jeff Flake, Arizona

Flake has been one of Trump’s most outspoken Republican critics from the get-go.

Martinez, Sanchez near top of ‘most influential’ Latino Republican list

Gov. Susana Martinez and Lt. Gov. John Sanchez are among the most influential Latino Republicans in the country according to a national conservative outlet. Earlier this week, Newsmax named Martinez as the fourth-most influential Latino Republican, up from 16 last year. Sanchez came in 15th, up from 23rd last year. The two top spots went to U.S. Senators, with Ted Cruz of Texas leading the way and Marco Rubio coming in second. The Newsmax list gets part of Martinez’s background wrong, saying she is the chair of the Republican Governors Association.

‘Threatening’ GOP mailer angers recipients

“When Democrats win the election and you didn’t do your part to stop it… Your neighbors will know.”

That’s the message on a mailer from the New Mexico Republican Party encouraging early voting. This piece originally appeared at New Mexico In Depth and is reprinted with permission. But not everyone is thrilled by it. “I feel like this is a threat,” said Dusty Deen, a 35-year-old Roswell resident who received the mailer this week. The flier features a woman peeking out her blinds “as though she voted for Hillary and they’re forming a mob,” said Deen, who is an unaffiliated voter..

Analysis: Ted Cruz trumps bid for unity at GOP Convention

You might have thought Ted Cruz was going out of business when he shut down the federal government and read Green Eggs and Ham on the Senate floor. Or when he filed the paperwork to run for the Senate in the first place, taking on a sitting lieutenant governor, a big-city mayor and a former football star. On Wednesday, it wasn’t what he did, but what he didn’t do: Cruz took the stage on the penultimate night of the Republican National Convention, congratulated Donald Trump for winning the nomination, talked about the direction of the party and his hopes for the country, told voters to be sure to show up in November and to vote their consciences, and said goodnight. He didn’t say which candidates would get his vote and didn’t tell voters how to cast their own. Join Us at the GOP Convention on Facebook Live:If you could ask Republicans one thing, what would it be?

Barely half of Los Alamos GOP voters backed Trump

Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump won New Mexico with 70.7 percent of the Republican vote, but in Los Alamos County he barely cleared half the vote from registered Republicans according to unofficial numbers from the Secretary of State. University of New Mexico political science professor Dr. Lonna Atkeson told NM Political Report there are a number of possible reasons Los Alamos didn’t overwhelmingly vote for Trump as most other counties did—all pointing to demographics. “There’s this thing about Trump being more working-class,” Atkeson said. “Los Alamos is sort of the opposite.”

According 2014 United States census data, 64 percent of residents in the county have at least a bachelor’s degree or higher. A large number of residents work at Los Alamos National Labs and the county regularly ranks near the top of lists  of areas with the most post-doctorate degrees per capita.

Bush 41, 43 have no plans to endorse Trump

For the first time since his own presidency, George H.W. Bush is planning to stay silent in the race for the Oval Office — and the younger former president Bush plans to stay silent as well. Bush 41, who enthusiastically endorsed every Republican nominee for the last five election cycles, will stay out of the campaign process this time. He does not have plans to endorse presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, spokesman Jim McGrath told The Texas Tribune. “At age 91, President Bush is retired from politics,” McGrath wrote in an email Wednesday. “He came out of retirement to do a few things for Jeb, but those were the exceptions that proved the rule.” His son Jeb Bush dropped out of the GOP presidential race in February.

Finding Trump supporters in New Mexico

Donald Trump is almost certainly going to be the next Republican presidential nominee, but finding one of his supporters in New Mexico can be difficult.

According to the Federal Election Commission, the New Mexican who donated the most to Trump is Clovis business owner Steven Brewer, who donated the maximum amount of $2,700. Related: New Mexico GOP embraces Trump

Brewer told NM Political Report that he didn’t want to speak about politics because of his business but did say that he’ll support Trump because he would be better for small businesses than Hillary Clinton. Elected officials also have largely been mum on potential Trump support. Gov. Susana Martinez recently criticized Trump’s comments about immigrants, but still hasn’t announced her support for any of the three Republican candidates. She endorsed Florida Senator Marco Rubio shortly before he dropped out of the race.

NM GOP embraces Donald Trump

Donald Trump essentially clinched the Republican nomination Tuesday after handily winning the Indiana primaries. The win, which came more than a month before New Mexico’s primaries, prompted U.S. Senator Ted Cruz to announce that he is suspending his campaign. Cruz was the Republican candidate with the second most amount of delegates and even then only had a goal of denying Trump a majority of delegates before the party’s convention this summer. After Cruz dropped out, some Republicans are coming together to support the presumptive nominee. On Twitter, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus declared Trump the “presumptive” nominee and urged Republicans to unite around him.