The Green Team won in the Las Cruces city elections last night. The new Mayor is Ken Miyagishima, a good environmentalist. A new city Councilor is Nathan Small, and employee and activist from the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance. Another big winner is New Mexico Conservation Voters Alliance who heavily backed the winners.
Wilderness groups now have three elected officials who are also employed in the effort to save New Mexico's great landscapes aquifers and watersheds. NMWA's Jeff Steinborn is a State Representative, Nathan Small is a new city councilor, and Bernalillo County Commissioner Deanna Archuleta is the new Southwest Director for the Wilderness Society.
This group of elected officials existence in the state's fastest growing county should be a bellwether message to the developers and industries who oppose land protection and smart growth. The message is the people really want to protect their communities from unbridled exploitation and sprawl development.
At the same time the oil and gas industry and real estate developers have an awful lot of elected officials doing their biding. However, these results in Dona Ana county should be a wake up call that the public doesn't like them pushing their way around with campaign donations and sweetheart deals.
I would predict that this election is just the beginning of a movement against incumbents. There may be a certain fatigue setting in on the electorate where there is a feeling that new leadership is needed and incumbents can't provide that.