Where was Rep. Espinoza During House Ethics Vote?

GOP SOS Candidate Misses Ethics Vote Despite Being Present for Votes Before & After

The Democratic Party of New Mexico on Wednesday asked why Rep. Nora Espinoza was not present for Tuesday night’s important ethics commission vote when she had been present and voting for the bill just before and the bill just after the ethics vote.

“While we certainly hope there was no dire emergency that pulled Rep. Espinoza from the House floor last night, we are curious what would cause a Secretary of State candidate to miss a vote on a bill to create an independent ethics commission,” said Joe Kabourek, Democratic Party of New Mexico Executive Director. “Given the record of scandal and corruption in the Martinez Administration and within the Secretary of State’s Office, New Mexicans would expect that any candidate for Secretary of State would go out of their way to support meaningful ethics reform legislation.”

Legislative records show that Espinoza was present for a vote on HB 200 at 8:00 p.m. and was present for a vote on HB 144 at 9:56 p.m., but she is listed as “excused” from the ethics vote at 9:17 p.m.

“New Mexicans deserve to know: What was so important that it forced the Republican candidate for secretary of state to miss out on one of the most critical votes of the Legislative Session?” Kabourek said.

Espinoza filed as a candidate for secretary of state last week. The next day, she introduced three elections-related bills – the first such legislation she’s introduced in her nearly 10 years in the House. In response to questions about possible political motives in introducing those bills at that time, Espinoza told the Albuquerque Journal that she was concerned because it was late in the session and no action was being taken on these issues.

“Given how important Rep. Espinoza now says elections law and ethics reform are to her, why would she miss Tuesday night’s critical vote to establish an independent ethics commission?” Kabourek said.