The Hundredth Meridian

The Candidate

A politician’s life—Héctor was discovering—is, like that of any celebrity, not a happy one.

Even before he’d announced his candidacy for the open seat in New Mexico’s First Congressional District, Tomasina Luna issued a campaign statement announcing her endorsement by the National Council of La Raza, accusing the Republican Party of racism (amounting possibly to genocide), and charging her opponent with willful violation of city zoning and state environmental law by creating a junk yard around his house.  After dragging its feet for weeks a hundred miles away in Santa Fe, the New Mexico GOP at last sent Héctor a campaign manager he wouldn’t have asked to serve with him on a church committee.  Haníbal Aragón had a degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, where he’d been elected secretary of the UNM Campus Republicans.  Having exercised his J.D. for two or three years, Haníbal abandoned the practice of law to become a lobbyist in Santa Fe for the state tourism board and the city of Roswell in his capacity as president of the New Mexico chapter of the National Association of Paranormal Americans.  In addition to politics and extraterrestrials, Haníbal’s other great interest was the classical guitar, on which he performed regularly in coffeehouses around New Mexico, dressed in a black beret and a black cape with...

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