Phil Griego on why he won his Democratic Party primary race
Print This Post
Sen. Phil Griego (D-San Jose) came under fire in his Democratic Party primary run from opponents and liberal interest groups but ended up winning his newly-formed Senate district handily.
Griego refused media interviews during the campaign and on Tuesday (June 26), Capitol Report New Mexico caught up with the 16-year Roundhouse veteran who was attending a committee meeting hearing to briefly talk on camera about the race.
Some background: Griego defeated Nicole Castellano and Jack Sullivan in a three-way race in the primary. Sullivan hit Griego hard, claiming he’s been too cozy with business interests and filed a complaint with the Secretary of State’s office charging that Greigo misused campaign money. (Click here to read Greigo’s response to some of the charges.)
And liberal outside organizations blasted Griego in mailers during the primary campaign.
In the end, the race was not as close as some thought. Griego received 43.5 percent of the vote in the reapportioned District 39 while Sullivan received 33.1 percent and Castellano 23.3 percent.
Here’s our interview:
Griego will now take on Republican Aubrey Dunn of Lincoln County in the November general election.
Dunn made some headlines earlier this week when he told Milan Simonich of the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership that he’s angry with Republican Gov. Susana Martinez:
Republican state Senate candidate Aubrey Dunn today denounced Gov. Susana Martinez’s political tactics and asked that she return $5,250 in campaign contributions he made to her.
Dunn said he decided to criticize Martinez publicly because she recently wrote to him seeking money for her Susana Political Action Committee, so it could support Republican candidates.
“Your letter is disingenuous at best after your PAC, Reform New Mexico Now, funded by Big Oil out of Artesia, placed positive ads for my Democrat opponent, Phil Griego,” Dunn wrote in response to the governor.
Jay McCleskey, political advisor to the governor, told Simonich in a statement, “While they don’t agree on everything, Senator Griego supported many of the governor’s education and tax reforms to help move New Mexico forward, in stark contrast to the obstructionist positions of his Democratic opponent [Sullivan] in the primary” and said no endorsement has been made for November’s general election.
When asked his reaction to Dunn’s letter to the governor, Griego said, “I don’t have a dog in that fight.”