Will GOP Performance In NM-1 Set Stage For Law And Order Campaign in '22? (Dreamstime)
On Tuesday, the results of the special U.S. House election in New Mexico’s 1st District, Albuquerque, will be known and analyzed.
The punditocracy will almost surely interpret the outcome of the race for the seat vacated by Democrat Deb Haaland to become secretary of the Interior as a “referendum” on President Biden’s performance so far.
That “interpretation” will almost certainly be positive, as the 1st District has been in Democratic hands since 2008. Last-minute polls give Democratic nominee and State Rep. Melanie Stansbury the lead, and the Democrat has raised more than $1.3 million, compared to $600,000 for Republican State Sen. Mark Moores.
But a strong performance by Moores — onetime football star at the University of New Mexico and owner of a laboratory that oversaw COVID-19 testing — could well set the stage for a nationwide GOP campaign next year based on the issue of law and order.
Stansbury supports a bill backed by far left Democrats in the House that would eliminate federal funding for policing. Moores, who is of Latino heritage, hit this hard, pointing out such a measure in unacceptable in Albuquerque because “our crime rate is through the roof.”
Moores is also underscoring the difference with his opponent on Israel. In the wake of the recent flare-up between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Stansbury took a position that is endorsed by the J Street — the left-of-center Israeli lobbying group that embraces a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians.
“U.S. aid and funding [for Israel] must especially not be used to aid annexation in the West Bank,” Stansbury told the “Jewish Insider,” “I support restricting aid if it is indeed being used in any way that goes against U.S. interests and values, endangers Palestinian people or threatens the basic human rights of Palestinians.”
Moores takes a traditionally conservative, strong pro-Israel stand.
“There’s that unique relationship that goes back since the founding of Israel that is very important to us as a democracy and the relationship we have,” Moores told JI, “and I definitely will do all I can do to support that relationship.”
Normally not a major issue in House contests, the candidates’ differing positions on Israel took center stage during the recent violence.
But the issue of law and order has been “center stage” in New Mexico's 1st District and how well Moores does may well determine how widely it will be deployed in 2022.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.