Wednesday, February 16, 2005

ABQ Mayor Hopefuls Gun Their Engines, Plus: Some Radio News, And: My Bottom Lines For This Winter Wednesday 

So far, they number only three but the contenders for ABQ Mayor in the October election are starting to gun their engines. Incumbent Mayor Marty has not made it official yet, but is off and running and is hiring Bridget Cusick as his campaign manager. She's a young politico with a Minnesota and D.C. background who was a field coordinator for the Richard Romero Congressional campaign last year. The Mayor has also been recruiting volunteers for the upcoming battle.

Former NM Environment Dept. Secretary Judy Espinosa says she's having her former public information officer, now businessman John Geddie, come aboard as her campaign treasurer. Earlier, City Councilor Eric Griego hired Eli Lee and his Soltari consulting group to manage his mayoral bid. Soltari and Griego are also working to have liberal city council candidates in most of the contested council districts to swell support for Griego. All three of the known contenders are Dems. No Anglos and no R's in yet. The race is officially "nonpartisan," but has been anything but in recent years.

Many have asked about 02' GOP Guv candidate John Sanchez and a possible bid for mayor. I finally had time to check it out and am told by the insiders that John is building a new house but it is not in the city and he will definitely not be running for mayor, although he did check out the legal angles just in case. He is considering another bid for the guv's chair or a run for Jeff Bingaman's U.S. Senate seat.


KKOB's Villanucci

The AGM radio group is throwing a little money around after signing former KKOB-AM talker Larry Ahrens for a new talk show on 106 FM in ABQ starting Feb. 28. There are black and white billboards sprouting up on the freeways asking; "Where's Larry?" Over at Ahrens' old stomping grounds, talker Jim Villanucci recently received good news in the form of stellar ratings. Insiders say he continues to hold the #1 slot in ABQ radio for his afternoon show. Now that Larry has left it's also the longest running gabfest in the ABQ market. Jim is on weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m. on 770 AM. He is entertaining and funny, and I'm not just saying that because he mentions my web site. The Jim Villanucci Show is produced by Richard Eeds.


There will be no Zamora dynasty, at least not for a while. Monica Zamora, sister of Big Bill legal counsel, Geno Zamora, did not get the Guv's nod to take Judge Wendy York's seat in ABQ. We reported Feb 7 that she was on the short list sent to the Guv, but he has given the trial lawyers a victory and picked lawyer Clay Campbell for the York vacancy. Maybe Geno's sister will now have time to help him start cranking up a campaign for attorney general.

In Tuesday's blog I referred to Senator Bingaman's "unabashed liberalism." Several readers saw it differently saying, for example, that compared to northern Dem Congressman Tom Udall, Dem Bingaman's not all that liberal. That may be true, but by the usual measures our Jeff does tilt left. The liberal Americans for Democratic Action gave Bingaman's 2003 voting record a score of 95 out of a possible 100 points; the American Conservative Union gave him 10 points. You be the judge.

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