Correction by ACD and Commentary on Infighting
Correction: in a story as reported in the Alamogordo Conservative Daily it was reported that Ms. Davalos had 2 decades of Democratic activism. When asked to confirm that statement Monica Davalos claims she never inferred that statement. As such that statement is retracted as a possible error in interpretation from written notes of a past interview. The Alamogordo Conservative Daily regrets the error from the notes recapping Ms Davalos’s experience.
On March 21st Anthony Lucero of KALHRADIO.org was presented with the letter below from Pastor Gerardo Martinez.
The letter expresses concern for transparency and participation in forums.
Anthony Lucero interviewed Mr. Martinez specific to the letter in followup. His interview in its entirety is linked at the end of the article to ensure no errors in reporting.
AlamogordoTownNews.com reached out via IM to Jeff Swanson for comment and received no response. The question was posed at 11:30 am and IM showed it as read and active but he never responded.
AlamogordoTownNews.com then reached out to Brianna Martinez for a response. We sent her the letter and asked for a written response and received none in writing as of publication time. She did however call and said she briefly “dropped by La Hacienda today as Matt Crecelius was in attendance. She said she dropped in Kim Melton and Glenn Melton as she “was busy with her job during the event.”
According to sources on location she was there towards the very end and spent about 30 minutes - 1:55 arrival time. She spoke with her opponent briefly while there and with Pastor Martinez. Brianna Martinez claimed the pastor mischaracterized her conversation and that she is an “independent thinker and Jeff nor Matt do not influence her decisions.”
What follows is the letter presented to KALHRadio.org in its entirety…
I have met both candidates who are running for DPOC Chair. I am impressed with their intelligence, vision, and passionate desire to lead the Party into a position to accomplish its goals. We should not alienate one side or the other. We should have transparency and unity. We can't have dictatorship within the party, which only leads to dissent. The fact that we cannot have a forum for the candidates is not democratic.
During a previous conversation with Chair Candidate Brianna Martinez, she was very much open to a forum. I then extended an invitation to her to come the Ward 6 open meeting that we are having on March 24, 2023, at the Hacienda Restaurant. I told her that I was inviting the County Central Committee members and Ward Chairs to a Meet and Greet for Chair Candidate Monica Davalos. I was impressed by Ms. Martinez’s answers to my questions and thought it would be beneficial to the Democrats that would be in attendance to hear her. I then invited Ms. Martinez to the Meet and Greet so she could share with us her objectives and goals as a future chair. Ms. Davalos was also very willing for the chance to have an orderly forum with both candidates present for the good of DPOC.
Ms. Martinez’s response was that she would be willing to attend if there would not be anyone who would harass her. I promptly said that I would make sure that would not happen. She was willing to attend. Then she said that she had to ask Chairperson Jeff Swanson and Vice Chair Matt Crecelius first. I then interjected that I would call Chairperson Swanson. I did call him, and his response was “No,” that maybe after the election she could. I pointed out to Chairman Swanson that this was important so members would decide who the best candidate would be the next leader of the Democratic Party of Otero County.
Pastor Gerardo Martinez - March 21, 2023
The following was also submitted to KALHRadio.org as a part of the letter…
By agreeing to put our names on this list, we stand behind Mr. Martinez’s statement, as we have all experienced the persistent lack of transparency and delaying tactics by the current executive committee. Chairperson Swanson will cite DPNM rules as his guidebook, but in fact, the Chairperson of DPOC is given extreme latitude in running an election as he/she sees fit. The Executive Committee has chosen their favored candidate - to the detriment of the democratic process.
We understand that the action we are taking by releasing this letter may cause Candidate Davalos to lose this election, however, Chairperson Swanson and Vice Chair Crecelius are calling the shots in Candidate Martinez’s campaign, and we firmly believe they will continue to exert undue influence after this election, therefore, we believe it is necessary to make this publicly known.
Pastor Gerardo Martinez
Below is the link to the interview with Pastor Gerardo Martinez by Anthony Lucero to better understand the reasoning for the release of the letter…
Interview Link with Pastor Martínez
Brianna Martinez did post this response to the infighting in a comment in social media…
“I found it very hurtful, but also frustrating. We are supposed to work together and uphold Democratic values. Lying about each other is not doing so. I am here to stay, regardless of what is thrown at me. I am still the chair for Ward 9, I have work to do. I want to be able to work with my fellow Ward Chairs, this kind of behavior is unacceptable and damaging. While I’m still willing to work with him and many others who have been awful to me, it does need to stop at some point; it will stop. The Democratic Party of Otero County has important things to do and big tasks to tackle. We have an election that is going to come up again before we know it, we have Gabe Vasquez in which we will need to work on getting re-elected, along with getting progressive (keyword) Democrats elected in on a local level, work to do in order to improve the community for those in need of necessities (support their basic living needs). Promoting democratic values and implementing progressive policies / working to get more community resources that actually help people is the way to accomplish that, we can do so by vetting and finding qualified candidates that care about the people, not the power or position but genuinely for the people in which they’ll serve and their needs. That is what needs focusing on. Not what we have been seeing, the drama, rumors, and lies, it’s such a waste. If the same amount of energy that is put into this infighting was put to something good, we would be so much farther along.”
Specific to the race for Chairperson of the Democratic Party of Otero County much like the Party itself the editorial board of AlamogordoTownNews.com is split on a potential endorsement. The editorial board consists of a panel of 7 contributors and business advisors. The political makeup is one Libertarian, two independents, 2 Republicans, and 2 Democrats.
In reviewing the notes and stories on each candidate the determination was each has different strengths.
The one overlying concern in internal debate was the influence, rather real or perceived, of Matt Crecelius and Jeff Swanson. Mr. Crecelius’s posts on his Facebook page has not helped calm or brought unity to support Ms. Martinez and is the one negative issue that nags and undercuts her support…
Thoughts of the editorial board…
“2 strong women, different scope of life experience, different styles of communication and personality, different preparations for the job….tough decision.”
“I know Brianna Martinez through our work with Warren Robinson’s judicial campaign. She has a steadiness and deep commitment to party workings matched only by her heart and genuine caring for others. Her work ethic is admirable and I respect her.”
“I choose Monica Davalos because of her vision, energy and actions. Monica has moved well beyond talking about her plans to a direct demonstration of her capability to make rapid and meaningful changes. In a climate of negativity and infighting she just got it done. She developed a FB page and a website to introduce herself, empowered Chaparral folks and received an endorsement from the Mescalero Apache Nation who indicated an interest in joining local political activity. These accomplishments speak for themselves.”
“The endorsement from the Mescalero Apache Nation is huge!”
Thus given the board could not make a unanimous decision the staff will not make an endorsement as a reporting service and will remain neutral however any of the 7 individuals may make a personal endorsement if they so choose.
Good luck to each candidate! The local party will see significant change whatever the decision.