The New Mexico legislature went into a special session to deal with a number of pending bills; one of the two that emerged from it was a bill to expand the state's public financing program - currently in place for the Public Regulation Commission - to judicial races. Governor Bill Richardson supports the idea, but wants to veto a portion of the bill that would require a ballot initiative amending the state constitution to eliminate retention elections.
Richardson has made no secret of his support for public financing, convening an ethics panel last year to lay out proposals that would improve campaign finance laws for the state. In addition to the Public Regulation Committee's public financing program, Albuquerque has a municipal public financing program passed by ballot initiative two years ago. We'll keep you posted on how this judicial bill plays out.