DPNM: Espinoza’s New-Found Interest in Election Law Politically Expedient

Rep Introduces 3 Elections Bills 24 Hours After Filing Candidacy for Sec of State

The Democratic Party of New Mexico on Wednesday called Rep. Nora Espinoza’s new-found interest in elections law a political stunt that has her, once again, using her official position in the Legislature to boost her candidacy for Secretary of State.

Specifically, within 24 hours of filing as a candidate for Secretary of State, Espinoza introduced three election-related bills—issues she hasn’t addressed in her previous nine years in the Legislature.

“For nine years Rep. Nora Espinoza has been in the New Mexico House of Representatives,” said Joe Kabourek, Democratic Party of New Mexico Executive Director, “and the first time she introduces any elections-related legislation is less than 24 hours after she files to run for Secretary of State? New Mexicans deserve better. After the scandals that rocked the Secretary of State’s office during Dianna Duran’s tenure, people want change. New Mexicans deserve a Secretary of State who understands how to make state government accountable and transparent—not a Secretary of State who conveniently discovered elections law after she announced her candidacy.”

Last week, DPNM also filed an ethics complaint against Espinoza after she directed local radio show listeners to go to her official legislative website to get information about her candidacy for Secretary of State. Use of official government resources for campaigning is strictly prohibited.
According to DPNM, Espinoza’s recent introduction of legislation looks like she is again trying to leverage her official position to benefit her campaign.

“Rep. Espinoza never cared about election law until today,” Kabourek said. “Now she’s looking to use last-minute legislative proposals to try to boost her candidacy for Secretary of State. Rep. Espinoza’s constituents elected her to represent them, not to grandstand during the legislative session to promote her own career.”

In a 30-day budget session, only non-budget bills that receive a “message” from the governor can be heard. As of Wednesday afternoon, the governor’s website did not show any new messages issued since Espinoza introduced her bills.

“Gov. Susana Martinez has already endorsed Rep. Espinoza for Secretary of State,” Kabourek said. “The governor’s own political action committee sent out an email last week asking the governor’s supporters to get behind Rep. Espinoza’s candidacy. Will the governor give her hand-picked candidate a message on her elections bills to help raise her profile? Given the scandals and corruption that have plagued the Martinez Administration, it seems likely that Gov. Martinez will once again work the system to support one of her cronies.”