Alan Webber, one of five Democrats competing for the gubernatorial nomination, sent out a fundraising letter Tuesday that charitably would be called misleading.

"Today, the National Education Association (NEA-NM) endorsed me for governor," Webber stated in his solicitation for money. His email arrived at 5:08 a.m., so the day appeared to be off to a smashing start for Webber.

Soon after, NEA told a different, more complete story in a handout of its own.

"NEA-New Mexico recommends all five Democratic candidates for governor of New Mexico," the union said in the headline on its news release.

Lawrence Rael, one of Webber's rivals for the nomination, also sent a handout about the endorsement. Rael's version arrived without any omissions to spin what had happened.

"I am pleased to announce that I have been endorsed by the National Education Association, along with all five Democratic gubernatorial candidates," Rael said. "That’s right, the NEA-NM is so committed to defeating (Republican Gov.) Susana Martinez in the fall that they recognize that electing a Democrat is critical."

Another union, the American Federation of Teachers-New Mexico, endorsed gubernatorial candidate Howie Morales in February.

Morales also sent a letter Tuesday. In part, it said: "Today, I am very proud to tell you that I have been recommended for the office of governor by the National Education Association (NEA) New Mexico Board of Directors.

"While NEA-New Mexico has chosen not to endorse any single candidate, but instead recommend all five Democratic candidates for governor, I am now the only candidate running for governor that has been supported by both AFT and NEA — the two largest organizations in the state that represent educators like myself."

Betty Patterson, president of NEA-New Mexico, praised the five Democratic candidates and dismissed Martinez without naming her.

“We greatly appreciate the meaningful support the five candidates demonstrate for great public schools in our state. Their positive support for our local public schools, students and employees moves us away from the destructive and mean-spirited policies pushed on New Mexicans by the incumbent governor,” Patterson stated.

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(1) comment

oscar michael

What a meaningless endorsement! "anyone but a republican" is a lazy political stance and shows that the NEA is more concerned about its political standing than educating young minds. Don't forget that a large percentage of your union dues will go straight back to those democrats in the form of campaign contributions. They need a democrat in office to insure policies that are beneficial to the teachers unions stay in place. This in turn can increase the number of union members which produces more union dues which produces more democrat campaign contributions...

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