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Sassy Lass: Will N.M. Primary Be Meaningless For Hillary, Bernie, Trump and Cruz?

Sassy Lass: Will N.M. Primary Be Meaningless For Hillary, Bernie, Trump and Cruz?

Wondering what role N.M. will play during the presidential election? Or what role N.M. played during the Civil War? Or the story behind the biplane at the Sunport?


What’s the good word, gang? This is The Sassy Lass, your friendly neighborhood brainiac. Well, it started with just one. Then, there were two. In this edition, I’m looking at three questions! Keep ’em coming, friends. I’m rarin’ to go!

Dear Sassy Lass: With Donald Trump and Ted Cruz splitting the Republican delegates, and Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton splitting the Democrats, might there be a chance that New Mexico’s June 7 primary will be relevant after all?

“Splitting” is a generous assessment of delegate distribution at this point in the 2016 presidential primaries.

Elephants first: The number of delegates needed to win the Republican nomination is 1,237. At the time of this writing, Trump led with 743, with Cruz at 545. It sounds close, but it’s not that simple.

There are 854 unallocated delegates in the remaining primaries, including 24 in New Mexico. Cruz needs to earn almost all of them (692 of 854, or 81 percent) to win. Trump, on the other hand, only needs 494 of the 854 (or 58 percent) delegates to win. Also, the third candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, has 143 delegates.

So, yes, all told, New Mexico’s June 7 primary could still matter to the GOP nominee.

On to donkeys! Democratic presidential candidates need 2,383 delegates to win the nomination. Clinton leads with 1,758. Clinton needs 625 of the remaining 1,938 unallocated delegates to win; that’s roughly 32 percent.

Were she to sweep the northeastern primaries – New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island – Clinton could have it in the bag by April 26.

Meanwhile, Sanders has a lock on 1,069 delegates. He needs 1,314 of the 1,938 unallocated delegates to score the nomination. Sanders would have to dominate the Northeast, then win all of the June 7 primaries – California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota – to win the spot.

In other words, Clinton has the kind of advantage that could earn her the Democratic nomination well before the New Mexico primary.

Dear Sassy Lass: During 2015’s South Carolina Confederate flag debate, I remember an issue about the Confederate flag flying over Old Town Plaza. I know that the Battle of Glorieta Pass was the western-most reach of the Civil War, but I had no idea that Albuquerque was conquered by the South. What happened?

The Battle of Valverde, that’s what. The Rebels’ Army of New Mexico was a small Confederate army formed in Texas 1861 by Confederate Brig. Gen. (and professional drunk) Henry Hopkins Sibley. It operated until early 1862.

Led by Sibley, the rebels took Albuquerque for about a month or so, after the victory at Valverde. The battle took place on Feb. 20-21, 1862, near Elephant Butte in what is now New Mexico. Their ascent was short-lived, as the Confederate plans to capture Union forts in the New Mexico Territory were thwarted at the Battle of Glorieta Pass (March 26-28, 1862).

On the way to and from Glorieta Pass, the confederates twice occupied Albuquerque. That’s why the Stars and Bars flew in Old Town. Mayor Richard Berry had it removed 153 years later because, despite symbolizing a moment in our city’s history, it also represents a racist war that’s long since over.

Dear Sassy Lass: What’s the deal with that biplane at the Albuquerque airport?

Well, Aviation Ace, let’s get something straight. Albuquerque does not have an “airport.” In honor of the city’s breathtaking skyline, Burqueños have an International Sunport.

One of the Sunport’s highlights is a 1914 Ingram/Foster Curtiss Pusher Design Biplane. Stored in its original traveling crates for almost 70 years, it was so well preserved in storage that most of it is still in unrestored condition.

Designed by Jay Ingram and Charles Foster, founders of the Pioneer Aeroplane Exhibition Co., the Ingram/Foster biplane is modeled after the first biplane to fly in New Mexico – a Curtiss pusher, which had the propeller at the back, meaning it was pushed through the air, not pulled by front-mounted propellers like today’s planes.

Charles Walsh christened our desert skies with a Curtiss Pusher in 1911. A year later, New Mexicans were treated to fantastical tricks of the air by stunt pilot Lincoln Beachey. The plane at the Sunport was purchased from Ingram’s descendants by a Texas pilot, who sold it in 1987 to the Albuquerque Museum and the city’s Aviation Department. Incredibly, the airplane needed only a handful of minor repairs and replacement parts.

Got Q’s? The Sassy Lass might have some A’s! Send your questions to thesassylass@freeabq.com today. Your question could be next.

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