News & Politics

This New Mexico Democrat May Be Even Worse Than a Republican

She faces a serious challenge in the primary election.

Photo Credit: Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles

Take a look at New Mexico state Rep. Debbie Rodella's greatest hits and see if you can guess which party she belongs to:

If you guessed that Rodella’s a Republican—despite that being a perfectly reasonable assessment—you’d be quite wrong.

Rodella is, in fact, a Democrat who was first elected to the New Mexico state House in 1992, and she hasn’t faced a primary challenger in over a decade. But progressives in the state are increasingly aware of Rodella’s betrayals, and this cycle, a candidate who represents real Democratic values is taking her on. Daily Kos is thrilled to endorse Democrat Susan Herrera in New Mexico House District 41.

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The contrast couldn’t be clearer. Herrera began her extensive career in non-profits and government as a legislative staffer, eventually becoming director of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. After relocating to New Mexico 28 years ago, she then founded and ran two regional education-focused nonprofits, and education continues to be one of her policy passions.

Of course, Herrera supports the voting rights initiatives Rodella blocked last year, and she supports meaningful reforms of the payday lending industry. Herrera is also passionate about protecting New Mexico’s natural resources, and with her support for universal background checks, a ban on gun sales to those convicted of domestic violence, and other gun safety policies, she’s hoping she’ll earn an “F” from the NRA.

Rodella, on the other hand, has repeatedly earned perfect scores from the NRA. And in addition to her opposition to gun safety measures, voting rights, and predatory lending reform, Rodella has also opposed bills to limit air pollution and support the renewable energy industry, making her the worst Democrat in the state House on environmental issues last year, according to a New Mexico conservation nonprofit.

New Mexico HD-41 has supported true Democrats at the top of the ballot by wide margins in recent elections: Hillary Clinton won this district 65-24, and Barack Obama carried it 74-22 in 2012. New Mexicans have the opportunity to elect a Democrat who shares the progressive values of the party, rather than one whose votes repeatedly belie the “D” next to her name. It’s time to replace Rodella.

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