February 5th First News: Congressman Lujan to Have Democratic Primary Opposition (Listen)

Feb 5, 2014

Incumbent Third-District Congressman Ben Ray Lujan will have an opponent in this year’s Democratic primary. The Journal North reports Albuquerque Assistant District Attorney Robert Blanch filed as a Democratic candidate for the Congressional seat, as did Lujan. Republican rancher Jefferson Byrd of Tucumcari—who lost to Lujan two years ago--also filed to run for the post again this year.

Meantime, five Democrats have officially entered the race to unseat Republican Governor Susana Martinez. New Mexico Attorney General Gary King, Santa Fe businessman Alan Weber, longtime government worker Lawrence Rael of Albuquerque and state Senators Howie Morales of Silver City and Linda Lopez of Albuquerque Tuesday turned in the petitions and paperwork required to qualify for the Democratic Party's June primary ballot. No one has filed to run against Martinez in the GOP primary.


A study released by the New Mexico State Engineer says the snowmelt forecast for the state is for less-than-average to “significantly” less-than-average as of February first. It says greater than average precipitation will be needed the next few months in order to have average runoff this spring, despite recent snow in New Mexico providing some small benefit. The forecast assumes average rain and snow will occur over the next few months. Most probable forecast runoff ranges from a high of about 70 percent of average near the border with Colorado to around 30 percent on the Rio Grande entering Elephant Butte Reservoir, the Jemez River, and Mimbres River


House Democrats used a news conference Tuesday to outline their spending plan for public education in New Mexico. Representative Stephanie Garcia-Richard noted the Democrat's budget enhances the state equalization formula and uses it to allow local school districts greater autonomy over where their money is spent. And Garcia-Richard said the Democrat's budget has something else: a pay raise for all teachers: ***** 020514-Garcia-Richard-2  :19***** Democrats say their budget would preserve class sizes and enhance special education funding to meet federal requirements.


The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions Labor Market Review says the Santa Fe metro area gained 200 jobs during a one-year span from December 2012 through the same month last year. The report says the number of non-farm jobs now stand just more than 60-thousand and that annual gains were offset by the loss of government jobs and in business and professional services.


Santa Fe Weather: Cloudy today, with 30-percent chance for snow, a high near 31. Tonight: Cloudy and Snow likely, mainly after 11pm, with a low around 14.Chance of precipitation is 60-percent. Tomorrow:  Cloudy, with a high near 31.A 20 percent chance of snow. Currently, it's ____.