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Know the West

Baca is back

  Jim Baca, who was recently shot out of a cannon in Washington, D.C., hopes to soft-land in the governor's mansion in Santa Fe, NM. Baca was fired by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt as head of the Bureau of Land Management (HCN, 2/21/94) in a dispute over management style. He has announced that he will run in the Democratic primary in three months against incumbent Democratic governor Bruce King, a rancher. In 1991, Baca was elected State Land Commissioner with 62 percent of the vote state-wide. In that race, he ran as an environmentalist, pledging to reform grazing on state land. In this election, Baca said, he will run on quality of life issues: education, crime, protecting rivers and landscapes, and the need for planning. Baca said that New Mexico, like a lot of Western states, is not prepared for the growth it is experiencing.