In first post-Trump elections, progressives sweep school elections helped by record voter turnout

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Progressive candidates fought off pro-Trump Tea Party candidates in school board elections around the state, Tuesday. It was the first election test of the newly energized progressive movement in the Trump era.

The results are still coming in but the early results are already clear:  this movement isn’t just about resistance in the streets – we’re voting, too!

“Voter turnout in Albuquerque was almost double what it was two years ago, and early numbers show that those voters came out for a slate of progressive candidates endorsed by educators unions, progressive elected leaders and community organizations, including ProgressNowNM,” says Pat Davis, executive director of ProgressNowNM.

In a sign of progressive voting power:

  • ProgressNowNM’s Progressive Champions PAC Voter Guide was viewed online more than 25,000 times – 14,511 times in the 7 days preceding the election.

  • APS elections included over 18,200 voters – more than twice 2015’s combined 7,683 total voter turnout.
  • In a sign that voters were looking for progressive leadership, candidates (Republican and Democrat alike) endorsed by ProgressNow/Progressive Champions, Educators Unions (ATF), Equality NM and progressive partners all won commanding 53-65% of the vote in crowded fields of 4 and 5 candidates.

In Albuquerque, the Tea Party started organizing more than a year ago to run candidates on Trump-style platforms.  New Mexico’s lone Tea Party Congressman, Steve Pearce, launched GOTV robo-calls into the district in last minute efforts to turn out conservative voters.

In early election results, Progressive Champions swept each race by huge margins over the crowded field of challengers:

  • District 3 Progressive Champion Lorenzo Garcia won re-election against 3 other challengers
  • District 5 Progressive Champion Candy Patterson won her 4-way race
  • District 6 Progressive Champion Elizabeth Armijo is the new board member from the NE Heights
  • District 7 Progressive Champion David Peercy, a Republican, heads back to the APS Board

For CNM Board, Nancy Baca and Michael Glennon appear headed to CNM by wide margins.

 Full Bernalillo County election results here.



In Las Cruces, Governor Susana Martinez’s PAC launched last minute negative attacks against progressive union and ProgressNowNM-endorsed candidates.  ProgressNowNM’s Progressive Champions PAC used that attack to turn out progressive voters to vote against that outside interference in local elections.

Progressive voters responded to the last-minute negative attacks from Gov. Martinez’s PAC by turning out to elect our Progressive Champions:

  • In District 1, Progressive Champion Ray Jaramillo was unchallenged
  • In District 2, Progressive Champion Terri Dallman defeated a strong conservative challenge
  • In District 3, Progressive Champion and incumbent Maria Flores won re-election


In Gadsden, Tea Party State Rep. Rick Little appears to have lost a bid to take over a school board seat vacated by Vice Chair Mr. Ford.  Congrats Laura Salazar Flores!


In Gallup, Charles Long, Christopher Mortensen and Michael Schaff (each endorsed by AFT’s educators union) appear headed to easy election. (results)

Sandra Jeff, once a State Rep. who ran into questions after ProgressNow questioned her residency and she lost a court challenge to get on the ballot for re-election, lost again. She earned less than 20% of votes in District 1 in late results.


In Los Alamos County, voters ousted two popular Republican men and replaced them with two new progressive women.

In the words of Trump, progressive candidates won BIGLY!

Great candidates and progressive power can move New Mexico forward – thanks for making New Mexico better!

Now what?
Let’s start by organizing for the next elections.  New Mexico’s progressives are already fired up for just that.

Thinking of running for office? Email us to learn about our Progressive Champions project.

Or, sign up for our emails so you are the first to know about opportunities to help screen candidates for the next election, and to get local event updates where you can build the progressive community in your town.


Pat Davis