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Sat Aug 1, 2020, 09:25 AM

N.M. Gov's campaign remarks generate virtual firestorm

With New Mexico’s general election just over three months away, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has sparked criticism by urging New Mexico political parties to forbid their candidates from door-to-door campaigning. During a Thursday news conference, Lujan Grisham said door-knocking, long a staple of political campaigns, was “hugely problematic” given the close proximity between voters and candidates amid a recent surge of coronavirus cases. “That is just a terrible idea in a COVID world,” she said.

State GOP Chairman Steve Pearce accused the governor of seeking to outlaw campaigning. He said the Republican Party was considering filing a lawsuit over the issue that would hinge on alleged constitutional free speech violations. “We’re letting our campaigns do what they want,” Pearce told the Albuquerque Journal.

He also described the governor’s attempt to stifle door-to-door campaigning as an “incumbent protection program,” referring to Democratic majorities in the Legislature and an all-Democratic state congressional delegation.

Chris Luchini, chairman of the New Mexico Libertarian Party, the state’s third major political party, said the Libertarian Party is not encouraging its candidates to do door-to-door campaigning amid the pandemic.


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