Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Hey, Big Spenders: Try The ABQ Mayor's Race; Plus: Eric Griego Will Be First To Fire, And: How About "Her" Honor?
Spend all you like. That's the message from the Supremes in D.C. The high court washed its hands of the ABQ spending caps case Monday letting a lower court ruling stand. That means candidates for Mayor and City Council in the state's largest city can spend and raise as much as they want. There are still limits on how much you can contribute to a contender, about $450.00 for City Council and about four grand for Mayor.
In 01' Dem Rick Homans, now working for Big Bill and a party to the suit challenging the spending limits, (ex-City Council candidate Sander Rue was another challenger, spent well north of half a million for the Mayor's job and lost. He is not expected to run again. Insiders say the ante to get in the Mayor game this time around is $200,000 with the top spender perhaps hitting the half-million mark.
The next city election is in October 2005, just ten months away, so interest is picking up a bit. The latest from the campaign trail has City Councilor Eric Griego becoming the first official candidate on December 12th at a party at the historic La Posada downtown. Griego will work to build all-important name ID in the days ahead.
The talk is also heating up about Judith Espinosa, former NM Transportation Department Secretary under Governor Anaya and currently the director of the Alliance for Transportation Research Institute at UNM. Espinosa shares Griego's liberal politics and her entry could pose a problem for him. Her entry would also mean three Hispanic contenders so far, including Mayor Marty. The Anglo Republican field is wide open, but.....
WINTER WARMING UP?
City Councilor Brad Winter has also made a bit of noise about running. With no GOP NE Heights candidate in the contest yet, a bid must appear tempting. The Hispanics could split the Valley and a good chunk of the Westside. Also, unlike Griego, Winter would not have to give up his council seat to make the run.
Finally, there is Margaret Aragon de Chavez, ex-wife of Mayor Marty, who flatly refused to rule out a mayoral candidacy of her own in a recent interview with KOAT-TV. She deemed it unlikely, but sent a message that she will be a presence in the race, one way or the other.
MORE PREZ POST-MORTEM
There's plenty of onion to peel when it comes to the outcome of the NM prez race. AP Santa Fe Bureau Chief Barry Massey has another go at it as he looks at how first-time voters cast their ballots. They were to be the savior of Kerry here, but it was not to be with Massey's analysis of the exit polls revealing that Kerry won the newcomers by only two points.
Sam Montoya, a veteran NM politico whose last posting was as executive director of the NM Association of Counties in Santa Fe, died unexpectedly last week of a heart attack while at work in his office. He was in his early 50's and had undergone heart surgery recently. Previously he worked for the NM Municipal League and was well-known among government officials across NM. Montoya was laid to rest Monday.
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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2004
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