Thursday, October 13, 2011


I thought I would wander around the New Mexico political scene after having a long conversation with my good friend Bob White, former city attorney for Albuquerque.  We get together every few months to parse who is looking to win and who is going to need to look for a job after election time.

Here is what I take out of our latest conversation.  This is my analysis.  Not necessarily his.  Just gazing into a hazy crystal ball.

  • All candidates are having a tough time raising money.  The most successful fundraiser is Martin Heinrich who is looking to win the primary for US Senate against State Auditor Hector Balderas.  It looks like Martin will again out distance Hector in the latest reports.  Hector has been slow to report his take for the last quarter.  The funders may look at Hector and say, why don't you just sit tight and run for Governor in two years.  Some surmise that Heinrich will have an advantage in taking on Heather Wilson.  Rumors have it she could be enticed out of the race if she is given the job of UNM President.  She might see that as a plus rather than face off against John Sanchez who has gone over to the Tea Party dark side at exactly the wrong time.
  • Marty Chavez who at the age of 60 wants to be a congressman is an old pro who is having problems raising serious dough.  So is everyone else in that congressional race that is up for grabs since Heinrich opted for the Senate.  Eric Griego and Michelle Grisham Lujan are at a funding disadvantage most likely, but in this race it may not be a deal killer since little money is flowing into the race.
  • Governor Susanna Martinez is not guaranteed a second term at this point.  The electorate is looking for leadership on jobs and an improving economy and all she can do is hassle immigrants about drivers licenses and veto reapportionment bills.  The public really is getting a little more educated on how important leadership on creating jobs can be.  I predict a very large and open primary contest for democrats who want to take on Martinez and her right wing handlers.  If she wants a second term she needs to shed those extreme right wingers.
  • Congressman Ben Ray Lujan is a cinch for another term in the northern district.
  • Former Representative Jeff Steinborn in Las Cruces is rumored to take on oil and gas Congressman Steve Pearce in the southern district.  I think he could do well given the general building disgust with the radical views of Pearce's ultra conservative politics.  It will be a challenge but it is not out of the question.

Of course I am always almost wrong on my predictions.  But they are fun to do anyway.


Michelle Meaders said...

Do you know anything about Evelyn Madrid Erhard, who is already running for Congress in the southern district? She is a Democrat, and Democracy for NM says she is having an event in Las Cruces this coming Sunday afternoon:

Rodney said...

Jeff Steinborn is an excellent person, and therefore an excellent candidate. He has the political experience to put up a good campaign and his values are genuine.

Heather Wilson - neck deep in the meddling by her and St. Pete in the Rovian involvement in the firing of New Mexico US Attorney David Iglesias. I'm dissapointed though not surprised the local media has NEVER gotten into this story, in particular how Domenici received a pass for his actions due to his "incurable pregressive brain disease" from which he apparently made a miraculous recovery.

But dang Jim, Heather as President of UNM?!! Really??