- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Leading Democrats in New Mexico are taking aim at Donald Trump as the state’s Republican governor withholds her full endorsement of the presumptive GOP nominee.

Things are heating up as both major parties reach out to voters ahead of a registration deadline to participate in the June 7 primary. Here are some things to know:

___

POLITICS VS. VALUES?

State Democrat leaders gathered at Civic Plaza in the heart of Albuquerque on Thursday to highlight what they described as a disconnect between Trump’s candidacy and New Mexico values.

“He’s talking about deporting 11 million people, he’s talking about building a wall,” said Rep. Javier Martinez, D-Albuquerque. “That’s not a policy position, that’s a circus act.”

Trump has repeatedly said the federal government has failed to protect the border from people and drugs illegally entering the country and his proposals would begin to address the problems.

When questioned about the record number of deportations under President Barack Obama’s administration, Democratic Chairwoman Debra Haaland acknowledged that was also a concern.

Still, she said “Trump’s unclear position is more of a concern.”

Haaland said she’s confident local Democrats eventually will unite behind Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.

___

NEW MEXICO INTERESTS

It’s clear Gov. Susana Martinez won’t vote for Clinton and she has yet to indicate whether she’ll support Trump.

Her office says she does have some questions for Trump: She first wants to hear how he plans to support national laboratories and military bases in the state.

As chair of the Republican Governors Association and the nation’s only Latina governor, she also wants to know how Trump will end “the dysfunction in Washington that has hurt New Mexico.”

At the same time, Martinez is responding to speculation that she could be a vice presidential pick.

A spokesman says the governor appreciates “that such attention puts New Mexico in the spotlight, but she is fully committed to serving the people of our state.”

___

CLOCK TICKING

New Mexico residents have until May 10 to register for the primary, and can do so online for the first time if citizens have a current or expired New Mexico driver’s license.

Since the state has a closed primary system, voters must register as either Republicans or Democrats if they want to participate.

New Mexico’s upcoming primary is overshadowed by more populous states that vote in unison - especially California. No presidential candidates have announced plans to campaign here before the June 7 primary.

Aside from national politics, voters will be deciding the makeup of the entire New Mexico Legislature this year. The primary will determine matchups in crucial swing districts. Democrats control the state Senate, 24-18. Republicans have a 37-33 House majority.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide