Late last year the phones were ringing and the buzz was on: former Bernalillo County District Attorney and now top crime adviser to Big Bill, the irascible Bob Schwartz, was off and running for a second time for the city of ABQ's top job. But now, according to deep insider sources, Schwartz will be a no-go in the October mayoral face-off after a sit-down with the Big Guy himself.
"Bob was called by the Guv who did not tell him one way or the other what he should do, but he asked for a committment on his current job, or a decision on a mayoral run. Bob told him he would be staying and not running for Mayor," says our informed insider.
It makes sense. In recent weeks Schwartz has not been heard from on the political trail. Yes, he did make some noise at the Guv's big DWI Summit, but it appears the 2001 second place Mayoral finisher will take the safe route this time around and keep his high-paying state job. He also has the perk of being stationed in ABQ, something the daily commuting set eye with envy.
R MAY MEAN RETIREMENT
Schwartz is known as a "soft R." That was his undoing four years ago when the hard-right wing of the GOP went with then ABQ Councilor McEntee, leaving only the moderate R's for Schwartz. The former DA could not quite get past Marty Chavez (I worked in the Chavez campaign) and found himself looking for a job.
Big Bill knew Schwartz was a firebrand when he hired him, causing eruptions and controversy wherever he goes. But the sharp-tongued and quick-witted Schwartz has been behaving himself in his new role. There's nothing like the lure of a big retirement check to calm even the most rebellious of us. There were rumblings early on that Schwartz had stepped on the toes of Mrs. Big Bill (Barbara Richardson) but nothing has been heard of it lately.
Schwartz could still pull a last-minute surprise and join the fray if he sees an open field with no R’s running. But even if he does he might not have the gas to make it to the finish line. Populist candidates seem to have a good outing the first go round but sputter the second time on the track.
AHRENS ON THE AIR
It didn't take long for veteran ex-KKOB-AM Radio talker Larry Ahrens to get back on the airwaves. The date is February 28 for the conservative talker to debut a brand new talk show on what will be KAGM 106.3 FM in ABQ/Santa Fe.
As we first reported,(see January 10) Ahrens will be joined by longtime ex-KOAT-TV anchorwoman Dianne Anderson, who will host a gab fest on the station from 1 to 4 weekday afternoons. Ahrens will begin his shift at 6 a.m. and end at 10, competing directly with the 50,000 watt powerhouse where he made his New Mexico name. Larry bailed out of KKOB (see Dec. 17) because of a salary dispute with my sources reporting he was making $140k a year and rejected a station offer of $160k. It was a jaw dropper to some media observers who said he was leaving behind a goldmine for a mineshaft. Time will tell.
The new talk station is still searching for a program director and for an afternoon talk jockey to take on the 4 to 7 p.m. slot dominated by KKOB's Jim Villanucci. Syndicated radio talker Glen Beck will be on the air from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meanwhile, Pat Frisch has permanently assumed Larry’s old seat at KKOB, where he also serves as program director.
Thanks for tuning in today. Back tomorrow. Same time. Same station.
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