Voters in the liberal bastion of Santa Fe, in record numbers (for a special election), turned out to reject a tax on sugary drinks that proponents planned to use to fund a new pre-k system by a decisive 58 to 42% margin.

Said Rio Grande Foundation president Paul Gessing of voters’ overwhelming rejection of the sugary drinks tax, “Santa Feans sent a clear message to elected officials in Santa Fe and throughout New Mexico that solving our problems is not as simple as a new tax and a new government program.”

“Furthermore,” noted Gessing, “New Mexicans’ backs are against the wall. Unemployment remains highest-in-the-nation” and the tax-hikers keep pushing for more. It is ironic that the first people to raise their voices and say ‘enough is enough’ are voters in one of the most liberal cities not just in New Mexico, but in the nation.”

Gessing noted that, “While activists in Albuquerque and Las Cruces were eyeing similar ballot measures in those communities and liberals in the New Mexico Legislature have long pushed to tap New Mexico’s “permanent fund” to pay for expanded pre-k, the decisive results of this vote would seem to throw cold water soda pop on similar efforts.”

Concluded Gessing, “New Mexico has a long way to go to turn its struggling economy around, but last night, Santa Fe voters avoiding doing further harm.”