June 5 First News: New Mexico's Two Gubernatorial Candidates Off and Running (Listen)

Jun 5, 2014

The general election campaign for governor has quickly got under way with Republican incumbent Susana Martinez and Democrat Gary King leveling almost identical criticisms. Each candidate contends their opponent has accomplished little in office. That's shaping up to become a dominant campaign theme in the months leading up to the November general election. King said at a news conference Wednesday that Martinez has failed to deliver on her 2010 campaign promise to bring "bold change" to New Mexico. The state is losing jobs, he pointed out. Martinez campaign spokesman Chris Sanchez blasted King for his office's handling of public corruption prosecutions. King defeated four other Democrats in Tuesday's primary election for the gubernatorial nomination. King's former rivals have pledged their support for him in the general election.

Two incumbent legislators appear headed for defeat in closely contested primary election races. Republican Representative Tom Anderson of Albuquerque and Democrat Mary Helen Garcia of Las Cruces trailed Wednesday in unofficial returns. David Adkins led Anderson by 21 votes. The winner faces a Democrat in the general election. Garcia was behind Bealquin "Bill" Gomez of La Mesa by 11 votes in a three-way contest, in which the primary should determine who holds the southern New Mexico legislative seat. There's no Republican in the race, although minor party and independents file for office later this month. Incumbents winning in the primary were Republican Zach Cook of Ruidoso and Democrats Patricia Lundstrom of Gallup, James Roger Madalena of Jemez Pueblo, Nick Salazar of Ohkay Owingeh and Tomas Salazar of Las Vegas.

A New Mexico congresswoman says officials at a Veterans Affairs medical center in Albuquerque reported that as many as three-thousand patients were assigned to a doctor who didn't actually see them. First-District Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham said Wednesday the officials told congressional staffers the practice was aimed at balancing too many patients and too few primary care doctors at a facility that handled nearly 660-thousand outpatient visits last year. They said the health of patients was monitored and those who needed urgent care were seen, but Lujan Grisham is seeking more information to determine whether the practice put any veterans at risk. The disclosure of the patient pool comes as the Veterans Affairs Department grapples with allegations that secret waiting lists and delayed care sometimes led to veterans' deaths.

A newspaperman who many considered relentless in carrying out the watchdog role of a free press died Sunday of natural causes at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center. Robert Trapp, who helped found the Española-based weekly Rio Grande Sun back in 1956 and guided it for decades, was 87.. Though he officially retired as editor and publisher in 2001, Trapp remained involved as editorial writer, among other duties, until shortly before his death. Over his nearly 60-year career, he faced off against old-school politicos, corrupt cops, drug dealers, educational leaders and even advertisers who weren’t always happy with what Trapp considered fit to print.

Santa Fe Police are searching for an armed robbery suspect who threatened an employee as he stole liquor from a gas station. Police say the robbery occurred Wednesday just after 12 p.m. when the suspect grabbed a bottle of alcohol off the shelf at the Giant gas station located on at Sawmill Road near St. Francis Drive and attempted to leave without paying for it. As the cashier confronted him, the suspect pulled a handgun out of his pocket and racked the weapon. The male suspect is described as Hispanic, about 20 years old.

You can’t keep a good show down.  KSFR’s Tilcara Webb has the story of an Albuquerque cultural celebration that has risen phoenix-like from the ashes. ***060414:Flamenco Fest Short:43***

 Santa Fe Weather: Mostly sunny today, with a high near 88. Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 55. Tomorrow, expect mostly sunny skies and a high near 85, with a slight chance for isolated showers and thunderstorms after noon.