Tesla spurns NM again, reports say

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The players were different and the stakes were higher, but it looks like the results were the same for New Mexico when it comes to Tesla.

According to multiple reports, the automaker has decided to build its planned $5 billion Gigafactory in Nevada.

Tesla broke ground on a possible site for the battery plant outside Reno in June.

New Mexico was one of five states fighting tooth and nail to land the investment and the approximately 6,500 jobs it’s expected to bring.

The news that Nevada beat out New Mexico already has a lot of people pointing fingers.

A spokesperson for Governor Susana Martinez tells News 13 the state hasn’t heard from Tesla directly and couldn’t comment further.

Her campaign manager also said she wouldn’t be talking, saying the Tesla decision isn’t a campaign issue.

Don’t tell that to her opponent in the race for Governor, Democrat Gary King.

“If I’m King, I’m essentially putting together my TV ad as we speak and trying to come out really aggressively, really quickly as soon as its official,” said Gabe Sanchez, professor of political science at UNM.

In fact, King jumped on the opportunity, sending out a news release attacking the Governor and telling News 13 he would have done things differently.

“[Some commentators] said one of the reasons they chose Nevada was the opportunity to have a prepared workforce already,” King said. “We should have been doing that in New Mexico two or three years ago.”

Albuquerque Mayor R.J. Berry’s office was also pushing hard for Tesla to come here. The Mayor didn’t comment on the decision. His office sent a statement instead, saying, “We appreciated the opportunity to pitch Albuquerque to Tesla and we wish them well with their future endeavors.”

New Mexico has been spurned by Tesla before.

In 2007, then-Governor Bill Richardson and Tesla announced the company would build an auto plant on Albuquerque’s west side.

A year and a half later, Tesla pulled out and decided to build the factory in California instead after that state gave the company a better deal.

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