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Democratic Party of NM

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

(Updated) DPNM Rules that Joe Campos Got 20% of Vote at Pre-Primary Convention

Update: The DPNM just issued a statement clarifying their decision, saying that "after thorough review of the rules of the party and the State of New Mexico Election Handbook, Representative Campos received 20% of the votes cast in the Lt. Governor convention vote. The ruling of the Chair was further supported by a unanimous vote of the DPNM Judicial Committee, 10-0, in favor of recommending the ruling of the Chairman. Representatives from the Rael, Colon and Ortiz y Pino campaigns all stated after the decision that they respected the ruling and would seek no further challenge."

According to the DPNM, Joe Campos received 19.69% of the votes, which in accordance to the rule is rounded to 20%.

"This is exactly why the Democratic Party of New Mexico waits three days before certifying, so everyone can thoroughly review the rules and make the right call," said former Chairman and DPNM pro-bono legal counsel John Wertheim in a written statement. “In this case, the law is clear, and we’re pleased that the other candidates voiced their support and respect for Chairman Gonzales’ ruling.”

"I am very pleased with success and record participation at the pre-primary convention. We are the party of inclusion and look forward to supporting all of our Democratic candidates," said Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales.

The DPNM said that action on the convention is complete. The vote will be certified and the three names submitted to the Secretary of State for inclusion on the primary ballot are as follows: Brian Colon, Lawrence Rael and Jose Campos.

The below, final vote tally will be certified today.

Lt. Governor
Ortiz y Pino: 323 votes 18.87%
Jose Campos: 337 votes 19.69%
Brian Colon: 591 votes 34.54%
Linda Lopez: 81 votes 4.73%
Lawrence Rael: 379 votes 22.15%
The Judicial Council of the Democratic Party of New Mexico met today to consider a complaint filed by the Joe Campos for Lieutenant Governor campaign insisting that he received 20% of the vote at this past Saturday's Pre-Primary Convention. The Council voted unanimously in Campos' favor, agreeing that the votes Campos received on March 13, 2010 did indeed qualify him to be on the ballot without the need to submit additional petition signatures. The Judicial Council's advice supported a ruling by DPNM Chairman Javier Gonzales in favor of Campos' position.

Originally, the DPNM said that Campos was one vote shy of 20%, based on what turned out to be an incorrect analysis of how percentages or fractions are to be rounded. However, it was discovered that a section in New Mexico's election code clearly shows that the Party's original analysis of fractions/percentages was incorrect:

Section 1-1-20
In any place in the Election Code [1-1-1 NMSA 1978] requiring counting or computation of numbers, any fraction or decimal greater than one-half of a whole number shall be counted as a whole number.

After the votes were tallied at the Convention, the DPNM originally said Campos had to have 355.2 votes to qualify for the 20%, based on taking the number of delegate votes (1776) times 20% to get the number 355.2. However, the election code language means that the whole number alone would be enough. Later, a hand recount of the ballots gave Campos 337 votes, or 19.67. So the ruling considers that number as constituting 20% by rounding.

The ruling means that the election results revert back to those of the recount. Therefore, Brian Colon, Lawrence Rael and Joe Campos will be on the June Democratic primary ballot for lieutenant governor, in that order. The two candidates who did not get 20% of the vote, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Sen. Linda Lopez, will not be on the ballot unless they submit more petition signatures by the March 31 deadline. Both of them have said they plan to to just that.

Note: I made several corrections to my original rushed report.

March 16, 2010 at 01:53 PM in 2010 DPNM Pre-Primary Convention, 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Joe Campos | Permalink


Excellant ruling by the judicial council!

Posted by: SCC member | Mar 16, 2010 2:02:02 PM

This is great! Congratualions, Joe

Posted by: Art Kaufman | Mar 16, 2010 2:45:54 PM

That is what I am talking about! Whoohoo! I bet Brian Colon is trying to get the ballots thrown out still!

Posted by: Yup | Mar 16, 2010 2:53:32 PM

This was handled through the proper processes and according to state statute. It's part of the democratic process. I don't know if Colon is trying to overturn it, but it seems like its a done deal. I have seen that some of his staffers (his treasurer in particular) are trashing Campos and the 10 members of the Judicial Council for their decision, on Facebook. Aren't they all part of the same organization? Is the process only good if it goes your way?

Posted by: True Blue | Mar 16, 2010 3:06:36 PM

There is alot of misinformation. I know Brian supports ballot access for all candidates.

Where are the rumors of Brian trying to force Jose off the ballot coming from? What proff of this can you provide?

As for Christy, she is entitled to her own opinion as an individual.

Posted by: Chris | Mar 16, 2010 3:17:34 PM

@True Blue: I stand corrected. 19.5+% = 20% according to the statute. Congratulations to Joe Campos for qualifying for the ballot, and for being well-versed in NM election law as chair of the House Voters and Elections committee. It's going to be an interesting campaign. I'll be happy with either Joe Campos or Brian Colon as our Lt. Gov. nominee. It's too bad I have to choose between them, but that's what primaries are for, right?

My comments about the other non-qualifying candidates stand. IMHO they will be spoilers, nothing more.

Posted by: Proud Democrat | Mar 16, 2010 3:18:10 PM

You're right. There's no proof, just conjecture. I was responding to "Yup". "Christy" should be careful. As a campaign worker her actions and words reflect on her boss and the entire campaign. Not a good thing. Keep up the positive attitude.

Posted by: True Blue | Mar 16, 2010 3:32:13 PM

The jitters are high and tempers can flare but I think we all need to step back and take a deep breath. I believe the original decision about rounding was made because of confusion, not some plot. Now that the election code was checked and it has clear guidance on that, the right decision to correct Joe's total was made.

What it tells me is that the party rules need to be made clearer on this point so no doubt remains in the future. That's it.

None of our candidates are "the enemy." They are all good politicians who work every angle they can. That's politics and it always has been. It's why we need clear rules and standards.

Posted by: Old Dem | Mar 16, 2010 4:12:53 PM

well said old dem!

Posted by: Mary Ellen | Mar 16, 2010 4:39:03 PM

@True Blue I just saw Colon's treasurer is the secretary for the DPNM... is that true? Can that be ethical?

Posted by: Ricky | Mar 16, 2010 4:50:51 PM

YES!! Now let's all just move forward, be positive and work to support the candidate of our choice and know that the democratic process does work - please none of the negative stuff. We are so privledged to live in a country where every person has a voice and we are more than lucky to live in New Mexico where the best of the best reside! DENISH/CAMPOS that's my ticket!!!!!!!

Posted by: Theresa | Mar 16, 2010 6:28:31 PM

great job judicial commity, who cares who trashes who. those are people of low character. dont worry about them, (the bashers) they will fail. focus on beating republicans.

Posted by: george | Mar 16, 2010 11:15:54 PM

Joe Campos, when asked at a recent candidate forum, didn't even know about the lawsuit filed on behalf of several third parties in NM against the Secretary of State. The presiding judge has already declared several provisions in NM electoral law to be unconstitutional. These must be addressed by the legislature and yet the head of that house committee is blissfully unaware of the situation? I find this hard to believe and even harder to accept, not that any of the other candidates would be any better informed, save perhaps one.

Posted by: Michal | Mar 17, 2010 12:32:22 PM

Interesting... My friends and I attended recent forums including the DPNM forum at the UNM Law School and don't remember this question being asked of any of the candidates. Refresh my memory please. At which forum was the question asked & who asked it? Were any related bills introduced at the regular or special legislative session? Just curious.

Posted by: Voter | Mar 17, 2010 7:06:25 PM