ALBUQUERQUE – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly released the following statement:
“Voters across New Mexico cast their ballots for candidates who campaigned for a strong system of public education in New Mexico, protections for working New Mexicans, and increased transparency in our government and at the ballot box, and the results are clear.
“After two years of Republican control of the New Mexico House of Representatives, voters rejected failed policies like mandatory retention, so-called Right to Work, and the privatization of our schools by returning a majority to pro-public education and pro-labor allies in the Roundhouse. Additionally, the New Mexico Senate Democrats increased their pro-educator, pro-labor majority, and New Mexicans elected a Secretary of State who will bring transparency, openness, and access to our government processes and elections.
“Our happiness in these victories, however, is tempered by the loss of Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez. It is shameful Governor Martinez used deceitful methods and outright lies against Senator Sanchez in his campaign, and made his defeat her personal vendetta, instead of working to advance our State. Senator Sanchez was a true friend of education, workers, and all of New Mexico, and his absence is already felt. As a community of educators, we want to publically thank him for years of thankless service to the people of New Mexico, and we will fight to ensure that the values and policies he championed will continue to be at the forefront of our efforts.
“We also owe a debt of gratitude to the numerous candidates from AFT NM who stood up and ran for legislative seats in New Mexico. A majority of our candidates won their races last night, and we are proud to add these voices to our continued fight for strong public education in New Mexico, increased rights for workers, and strong advocacy for respecting all of New Mexico’s diverse communities.”