Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety is targeting a pair of Democrat state senators in New Mexico ahead of next Tuesday’s primary, aiming to replace them with more reliable votes for gun control. The Albuquerque Journal reports that the anti-gun group is spending about $50,000 on mailers that attack Gabriel Ramos of Silver City and Clemente Sanchez of Grants for their votes against universal background checks and red flag laws over the past couple of legislative sessions.
Ramos, who was appointed to the Senate last year by Lujan Grisham, is running against Siah Correa Hemphill of Silver City in the Senate District 28 primary race.
And Sanchez, chairman of the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee, is being challenged by fellow Democrat Pam Cordova of Rio Communities in Senate District 30.
Sanchez said Thursday he’s not a gun owner, but has due process concerns about the red flag gun law that, after taking effect this week, allows firearms to be temporarily taken from an individual deemed a danger to themselves or others.
“I stand by my record because I know my district,” Sanchez told the Journal.
He also said many voters in his largely rural Senate district are fed up with negative mailers sent by outside groups.
It is kind of amazing to think that a billionaire from New York City may be the biggest spender in an election in rural northwest New Mexico, but that’s the way it’s shaking out at the moment. It’s not the first time that Bloomberg has spent big in the state either. Back in 2018 his gun control group dropped almost half a million dollars on state legislative races, helping to flip the legislature to an anti-gun majority, which in turn led to the passage of the universal background check and red flag laws.
The Journal describes Ramos and Sanchez as part of a group of five moderate Democrats in the state senate who have “drawn the ire of progressives” for their votes on a number of issues, from gun control to abortion. While it’s nearly impossible to find a pro-gun Democrat at the national level these days, in New Mexico support for the Second Amendment is a little more bipartisan. In fact, Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace, who’s been one of the most vocal opponents of Gov. Grisham’s push for gun control, is also a Democrat.
Second Amendment supporters are better off when our right to keep and bear arms is backed by members of both parties, and I’m very curious to see how the incumbents fare in Tuesday’s elections. Will the outside spending help to knock off Ramos and Sanchez, or will voters in the districts reject the messaging of an out-of-state billionaire and send a message of their own to gun control advocates? We’ll be watching next week as voters head to the polls.