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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Five NM AFSCME Locals Will Break With National Union to Support Hector Balderas for Senate

HectorBalderas This morning, the Balderas for U.S. Senate campaign announced that five separate locals of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) "enthusiastically threw their full support behind State Auditor Hector Balderas" in the race, saying the campaign "continued to pick up grassroots momentum."

"As a state legislator and state auditor, Hector Balderas has a proven record of fighting for the working families of New Mexico," said Dave Baker, President of AFSCME Local 2777. "We look forward to helping him win this campaign and working with him when he's elected to the US Senate."

Back in April, Martin Heinrich's Senate campaign announced that PEOPLE, AFSCME's national PAC, had endorsed Heinrich, noting that "New Mexico members on AFSCME’s political committee, PEOPLE, voted unanimously to recommend a national endorsement of the Congressman."

Despite that national endorsement of Heinrich, Balderas' campaign said, "Each of the five AFSCME locals have pledged their full organizational support to the Balderas campaign, as it continues to build its growing grassroots organization. They represent nearly 2,000 combined members from across New Mexico." The five locals are:

  • AFSCME Local 1380 (San Miguel, Colfax, Union and Mora counties)
  • AFSCME Local 2777 (Sandoval, San Juan and McKinley counties)
  • AFSCME Local 2851 (City of Las Vegas)
  • AFSCME Local 2890 (Taos & Rio Arriba County)
  • AFSCME Local 3199 (Eddy, Lea and Chaves counties)

"New Mexico's working families deserve a champion who will bring their values to Washington," said Patrick Gutierrez, President of AFSCME Local 1380. "We are supporting Hector because he knows that we need policies that will actually grow our economy for all of New Mexico's communities, while protecting our safety net. And he'll stand up to those who try to use 'fiscal responsibility' as an excuse to shortchange our families and communities."

"I'm humbled that these AFSCME locals have decided to step out and support our campaign," said Balderas. "We always knew that we would not be the campaign supported by most of the Washington insiders. That's why having the grassroots support of these locals, and the New Mexico working families they represent, is so important to our campaign. As Senator, I'll never stop fighting to expand opportunity for all of New Mexico's families and communities, and I look forward to working with them to that end."

Veteran Organizer With Ties to AFSCME Endorses Balderas
The Balderas campaign also announced it received the endorsement today of veteran national and New Mexico organizer Cuauhtémoc "Temo" Figueroa. Figueroa, who served as National Latino Vote Director for President Obama's 2008 general election campaign and National Field Director during the primary campaign, is a former national Assistant Political Director for AFSCME and Director of Policy and Communications for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). In New Mexico, he is the former AFSCME Council 18 Administrator, and ran the 2000 Democratic Coordinated Campaign in the state that helped deliver the state's electoral votes to Vice-President Al Gore.

"I've been involved in a lot of campaigns over the past twenty years, and I can tell you that Hector Balderas is the real deal," said Figueroa. "He understands the challenges that New Mexico's working families face every day, and has a record of fighting to make government more accountable to them. Washington could use more leaders like Hector Balderas, and I'm proud to support him."

For previous posts on the 2012 Senate Race in NM, visit our archive.

August 16, 2011 at 07:05 AM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Hector Balderas, Labor, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink


Good for Hector! As I've said before, grassroots support is what fuels the Balderas Campaign, and local labor leaders breaking with their national union is another example of that. Congrats!

Posted by: Javier | Aug 16, 2011 2:16:26 PM

Congratulations on this endorsement to the Balderas Campaign. They've been working hard to prove to New Mexican Democrats just how committed they are to winning the primary. Every little bit of recognition is well earned and well deserved. They are running on people power, and good vibes. And a big thank you to all the great AFSCME Employee Union Members who will work hard for Hector in the coming year. We've got a lot of work to do but these fine folks will get it done! Go Hector!

Posted by: LG | Aug 16, 2011 3:37:45 PM

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