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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Dems Plot Comeback Against Heather; All Woman Race in Offing? Madrid & Big Bill Smooch As Decision Nears, Plus: Rumblings On Restaurant Row 

AG Madrid
National Dems reportedly polled ABQ recently to see how Attorney General Patsy Madrid would stack up in a race next year against Heather Wilson for the ABQ congressional seat. Insiders say Madrid may be inching closer to running. Her term expires next year and if she wants to continue her political career they feel she has to run for something. But Republicans think an Anglo female would stack up better against Heather who has been a stellar vote-getter in the moderate ABQ district. If Madrid is the D's choice and no Green runs again, it will be the first all woman race since the district was created in 68'.

The longshot for Madrid continues to be a run against Diane Denish for Lt. Gov. That continues to seem unlikely as the AG and Big Bill have stopped sniping at each other in public, perhaps signaling that he's getting on board her possible congressional bid. It as also interesting to see Roy Soto land a $90,000 a year state job as chief information officer. Wasn't Roy a top campaign player for Patsy in her last AG race? Sure was.

In 2006 the Dems will have one of the strongest top-of-the-ticket teams I can recall--Big Bill, Senator Jeff and Rep. Udall up North. No wonder Madrid supporters hungrily eye Heather's seat. Still, New Mexicans love of ticket-splitting keeps Heather as the favorite and holds out some hope for the R's in the other races. But first they have to find some players.

ON RESTAURANT ROW

Last week saw us take a dig at the "bitching" being done by locally owned restaurants about the dominance of chain restaurants. We said they should stop whining and start competing. Well, wouldn't you know that the owner of one of my favorite local restaurants, Jerry Wright of ABQ's Great American Land and Cattle Company who is also a member of a group promoting local restaurants would read that. He has this retort:

"Joe, I say, "bring on the chains!" Our push is not to keep chains out, but to promote ourselves. Our view is that chains, in their all-dominating push for consistency, breed mediocrity. The Bloomin' Onion at Outback is legendary. But I am proud to say that the cost of the aged steaks I serve, would get me fired at a chain. Also, local restaurant profits are not siphoned out of our community to out-of-state investors. While the chains provide jobs, we lowly independents provide even more jobs.

And (as good as Starbucks is) without the Barelas Coffee House, where would you go to pump the Alligators for information?"

Well done, Jerry. You won me over. I'll have the Alligator Special, a rare rib-eye with a baked potato. Vegetables? You're kidding, right?

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
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