Oct. 6 First News: Gubernatorial Candidates To Face-Off Tonight in Spanish-Language Debate (Listen)

Oct 6, 2014

Republican Governor Susana Martinez and Democratic challenger Gary King are set to spar off in a Spanish-language debate tonight aimed at the state's Hispanic voters. The pair is scheduled to meet in a KLUZ-TV Univision-sponsored forum in their second debate. A spokesman for Martinez says the governor will answer her questions in Spanish. King will participate through an interpreter. Political observers say the debate in unique since only one of the candidates in fluent in Spanish. According to the U.S. Census, around 47 percent of the state's population in Latino — the largest percentage of any state.  Absentee voting begins Tuesday by mail and at county clerks' offices. Early in-person voting expands to more locations on October 18th.

George R.R. Martin is going from the game of thrones to the game of political campaigning. The author behind the fantasy book series that inspired HBO's "Game of Thrones" will stump for U.S. Senator Tom Udall at a youth voting rally tomorrow afternoon in Santa Fe. Campaign representatives for the Democratic incumbent say most seats at the Santa Fe Farmer's Market Pavilion are being reserved for high school and college students. The rally begins at 4:30 p.m. Free buses for attendees from Albuquerque will be leaving from the University of New Mexico starting at 2:45 p.m. Martin will join Udall at a campaign fundraising reception and dinner after at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, which the author owns. Udall faces Republican challenger Allen Weh in the November election.

Former Democratic Governor Bill Richardson is firing back at Republican Gov. Susana Martinez for a hard-hitting campaign ad that renews allegations of corruption during Richardson's tenure. Richardson said in a statement Friday that Martinez is airing the TV ad against Democratic Gary King in the governor's race because of "her pathetic accomplishments" and a need to "divert attention from a miserable record" on education and the economy. Richardson called Martinez a "clueless governor." Martinez campaign spokesman Chris Sanchez said the GOP governor is focusing on how to improve the state while Richardson "worries about his tarnished legacy." The ad refers to pay-to-play allegations that politically influenced state investments benefited Richardson's supporters, and touts the Martinez administration's recovery of than 27 million dollars from settlements with investment firms, brokers and others.The U-S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is accusing a hotel chain of breaking the law by subjecting minority employees in New Mexico, Texas and South Carolina to a hostile work environment and firing those who complained. The E-E-O-C announced Friday that it had filed suit against four Whitten Inn hotels and is seeking back pay, lost benefits and damages for workers. Federal officials say employees endured racial slurs and derogatory comments. Businessman Larry Whitten created a firestorm in 2009 when workers at his Taos hotel say they were forbidden to speak Spanish and told to change their Spanish first names. A receptionist at the Taos inn said Sunday that Whitten was no longer the owner. Representatives at an Abilene, Texas, Whitten Inn declined to comment when reached by telephone.

A California woman wasn't able to honor her late husband at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta after a thief made off with the balloon her daughter planned to pilot. Police say Lucinda Wallace's hot air balloon was taken sometime early Saturday morning from the Nativo Hotel. The suspect also took a trailer holding the balloon and a Chevrolet Suburban with a California license plate that reads "baluner." Wallace says daughter Marilyn was going to fly it in memory of her father. Rick Wallace died more than two months ago of cancer. The balloon is blue with a rainbow design and a U.S. flag on the side. Meanwhile, the family flew back to their Santa Monica, California, home to get another balloon and drive back to the Fiesta.

An Albuquerque high school canceled its homecoming dance Saturday night in response to threats of a shooting. Albuquerque police spokesman Daren DeAguero says a juvenile was allegedly behind the threats, which were posted on social media, involving Cibola High School. He says investigators located the juvenile suspect by tracking an IP address. They say the suspect was taken to a hospital for a psychological evaluation. Police received several calls about the threats just hours before the dance was scheduled to begin. DeAguero says investigators alerted Albuquerque Public Schools officials, who decided to call off the event.

Santa Fe Weather: Sunny today and tomorrow with highs in the low-to-mid 70s. Tonight, clear with the overnight low, 47.