How Alexis Johnson Qualified to Appear on June 2020 Republican Primary Ballot for US House NM3
Before guiding Alexis Johnson to victory in the 2020 Republican Primary election against historic odds as campaign manager/strategist, I didn’t understand how the primary election process works, the complexities and the incredible time investment in order to even appear on the Ballot for Primary Elections at the federal level. In this post I will discuss how the Primary Nominating process works, based upon my experience, and how I was essential in ensuring Alexis Johnson even appeared on the June 2, 2020 Republican Primary Ballot.
How the Primary Election Process Works
The Pre-Primary nominating process requires meeting several requirements and dates, and most challenging is gaining enough signatures to qualify for Republican Primary Nominating Convention, which represents approximately 2% of the number of previous vote total in the last primary election, meaning that Alexis required approximately 450 signatures of registered Republicans in New Mexico Congressional District 3 due in February.
Gaining signatures is perhaps the most challenging part of the entire election process because, especially for a new candidate, not only are you figuring out this process, but you need volunteers at a time when name recognition, enthusiasm and money are non-existent, and it’s up to each candidate and their supporters to invest the difficult, challenging and un-rewarding process to even appear on the Ballot or at the Nominating Convention.
During the months leading up to January and February, Alexis would talk about signatures every single day and how we needed more signatures or she wouldn’t even be able to attend the NM Republican State Nominating Convention to be held March 7, 2020 in Albuquerque, NM where delegates and Republicans from across New Mexico all joined in one room to nominate the Republican candidates for US Senate, and US House Districts 1, 2 and 3.
2020 Republican Primary Nominating Convention
At the main Nominating Convention, candidates are competing for the votes of the delegates which will determine the order on the ballot for the actual Primary Election held on June 2, 2020.
The NM Republican Primary Nominating State Convention was held on March 7, 2020 where approximately 600 Republican delegates joined statewide to vote among the candidates who had filed the required number of signatures on time and approved by the New Mexico Secretary of State.
The 2020 Republican Primary Nominating Convention for New Mexico was held in a ballroom at the Hotel Albuquerque, near old town, and is all the pomp and circumstance that you can imagine with 600 of the top Republican Insiders all gathered in a large ballroom to have lunch, listen to the candidate’s final pitches, and cast their vote for which candidates will appear on the Republican 2020 Primary Ballot and in what order.
The night before the convention, candidates had meet & greets with the delegates, final alliances were finalized, and candidates worked together to jock for votes, such as Karen Bedonie and Elisa Martinez hosting a meet & greet together, and on the morning of March 7, when the actual convention was to be held, all visitors, candidates and delegates walked past two giant, 7 foot tall by 12 foot wide ‘pop up signs’ for Karen Bedonie & Elisa Martinez on their way to the hall where the convention was held.
The convention is the only real way to decipher true alliances and where the candidates stand in the pecking order, and is also a way for the RPNM to tip certain activities in favor of one candidate or another, such as by having Karen Bedonie’s campaign manager sing the National Anthem to begin the convention, and then also introduce her before her speech.
Among the candidates who qualified at the Republican Nominating Convention for New Mexico Congressional District 3 were Harry Montoya, Karen Bedonie, Alexis Johnson, Anise Golden-Morper and Audra Brown.
Harry Montoya is a former Democrat and Santa Fe County Commissioner who had previously run against Ben Ray Lujan in 2008 and 2012 and was able to apply the lessons he had learned from two unsuccessful runs as a Democrat in NM CD-3 in the Republican Primary, such as converting to Republican in 2019, and then having friends do the same, who then ran for and became elected as delegates, including Harry Montoya himself, he became a delegate. Due to his name recognition, political acumen, and Montoya’s ability to have a number of delegates already voting for him, he received the most delegate votes which secured his position as first on the June 2, 2020 Republican Ballot.
Karen Bedonie, a Navajo Small Business owner who had previously ran for Navajo Nation President came in second after Harry Montoya due to her message of being the most experienced with Socialism as a member of the Navajo Nation and someone who was able to connect with voters, had a political alliance with Elisa Martinez — who received the most votes among Republican US Senate Candidates ahead of Mark Ronchetti — and Karen’s strong social media presence in the months leading up to the March 7 Nominating Convention. Karen received enough votes to qualify for the Republican Primary ballot and would appear 2nd on the ballot.
In third place, with 18% of the vote was Real Estate Professional Anise Golden-Morper who, during the month of March had to sue the New Mexico Secretary of State at the NM Supreme Court in order to have her signatures and petition verified, as she had been disqualified by NM Secretary of State Maggie Tolouse Oliver for a minor technicality in signature forms, which would eventually result in a 4–1 victory for Anise Golden-Morper, which was determined the day before the Primary Nominating Convention on March 6, 2020, and so much of Anise’s time and energy had been fighting with the SOS and Supreme Court and since she did not receive the requisite 20% of delegates, Anise did not qualify for the Primary election ballot.
In the middle of February Alexis and I had a falling out, which resulted in almost no campaigning or real progress in the month leading up to the Nominating Convention and therefore Alexis Johnson received only 25 of the 226 delegate votes or only 11% of the vote and therefore did not qualify for the Republican Primary ballot.
And last among the candidates for CD-3 was Audra Brown, a mixed martial artist, college professor and competitive shooter from Portales, New Mexico who received only 2% of the delegate vote.
If a candidate does not receive 20% of the delegates votes, they must acquire double the amount of signatures in the following ten-days after the Primary Convention in order to appear on the ballot for Primary Election, which represents approximately 4% of the Republican voters or nearly 1000 signatures.
How Alexis Johnson qualified for 2020 Republican Primary Ballot
The day after the March 2020 Republican Nominating Convention was a Sunday, and Brett Kokinadis, a candidate for NM CD-1 asked me to help him gain additional signatures so that he could qualify for the Republican Ballot after he didn’t receive the requisite 20% of the delegates vote either. So on sunday morning Brett and I headed to the ‘Rocky Mountain Gun Show’ which was held in a smaller building on the Expo New Mexico fairgrounds.
When I arrive at around 11 a.m., among the large cottonwoods and historic New Mexican architecture of the Expo fairgrounds and walk towards the entrance of the Gun Show, there is none other standing in front of the exhibition hall with a clipboard and giant red ‘Make America Great Again’ hat and wearing the typical female republican red dress, was Alexis Johnson.
Despite us not having talked for the previous month, and which her campaign was virtually zero resulting in the humiliating 11% of Republican Delegates, Alexis immediately walked up to me like nothing was wrong and gave me a big hug, and we started talking about the results of the pre-primary convention held the Day before, and why people voted for Harry and Karen. Also the way that Anise was DQ’d until the day before the convention had a tremendous effect on the results as well. We talked about how most of the delegates had voted for Harry because he had the name recognition from his previous experience, and that Karen had the social media and alliance with Elisa Martinez.
After we chatted for a few minutes, I started talking to the people coming in and out of the exhibition hall and asking them for their signature for Brett Kokinadis Nominating petitions, and talked up his qualifications such as being an Entrepreneur. Alexis had a couple of volunteers with her and only needed about 200 signatures to go, which she received about 100 that day after a couple of hours of walking around talking to the vendors and customers.
At the end of the Gun Show, me and Brett had gotten about 150 signatures in total, and he needed about 400 signatures in order to qualify so we spent the following few days going to post offices, Wal*Mart parking lots, around the Northeast heights of Albuquerque. If you remember March 2020, the 13th was when schools in New Mexico were closed and this was during the “Toilet Paper Shortage” where people were stocking up supplies in a panic for an upcoming lockdown and global pandemic. Fortunately after a couple of days, Brett talked to Louie Sanchez, a medical professional who sought the Republican Nomination for US Senate this year, who also owns calibers and allowed up to set up shop inside their store to gain signatures which was great because many people were running into the store to stock up on Ammo, and even when I was gaining signatures it was a wake up call to me the severity of the situation due to the fact that Calibers was running short of the most popular Ammo.
During the week following the Nominating Convention Alexis and I began talking again, discussing the campaign because she realized the value that I had as campaign manager and basically she fell flat on her face without me as proven by the fact that she only received 11% of the delegates votes and didn’t even qualify for the ballot. Over the next week I would help Alexis to get about 100 signatures while also working to get Brett Signatures.
After a few days, myself, Tamara Root and Brett were able to get all of the signatures for Brett to qualify for June 2, 2020 Republican Primary Ballot. A couple of days after we finished, the Gun Stores, Schools, and all “non essential businesses” were closed in the interest of “flattening the curve” and preventing an over run of COVID-19 patients in New Mexico’s Hospitals.
The additional signatures were all due 10 days after the Nominating Convention in order to qualify for the June Ballot, and on the Sunday before the additional signatures were due, Alexis calls me in a panic because she realizes that she has miscounted and with only two days until the additional signatures were due, Alexis was approximately 70 signatures short of the required amount to appear on the Republican Ballot.
After spending the previous week gaining hundreds of signatures for Congressional Candidates on the eve of a global pandemic, Alexis and I basically had two days to get 70 signatures for her to qualify. That Monday I went out to Rio Rancho and hit every post office, Wal*mart parking lot, anywhere I could to get enough signatures based upon what I had learned the previous week, and after a full exhausting day, Alexis had enough signatures (nearly 1000 in total) to qualify for the June 2020 Republican Ballot, where she — based upon my hard work and guidance — would eventually achieve victory being outspent 10–1 and being third on the ballot.
I contributed and believed in Alexis when no one else did, and I was there putting in the hard work and nitty gritty to make sure she succeeded. I put her success ahead of my own and volunteered without pay, based upon the belief in Alexis that she would ‘help me up’ once I ‘helped her up’, but once she won the Republican Nomination, she completely forgot about my conributions to the campaign for the previous 9 months and started listening to the ‘johnny come lately’ band wagon jumpers and the out of state campaign consultants, for the simple fact that she bought into the entire fake heirarchy of the political world and the glitz, glam and lies of “campaign consultants”.
It was through home grown, New Mexican hard work, grit and intelligence that got Alexis past the Republican Primaries in June 2020 in historic fashion, and she completely sold out these values once she won. I value honesty and loyalty, which is why it is so painful for me to have invested so much of myself into the Alexis Johnson for Congress campaign only for her to listen to people who didn’t believe in her, support her or help her in any way. These are some of the reasons why I am now dedicated to ensuring that Alexis Johnson does not get elected to the US House of Representatives in 2020 by exposing who she really is: an insecure and easily manipulated person who says whatever is convenient in the moment and is either unable or unwilling to keep her promises. We do not need someone like that representing New Mexico in US Government.