Thursday, August 04, 2005

Judge Goes For Judy As "Man of Steele" Makes ABQ Mayor Ballot, Plus: Light Guv Denish Draws Ire Of The Valley Alligators 

Who's on first? When it comes to the ABQ mayor's race it seems to depend on what day of the week it is. Judy Espinosa, her campaign all but dead,
was suddenly revived, at least briefly, when District Court Judge Geraldine Rivera Wednesday ruled that Judy should go on the ballot and reinstated over 2,000 petition signatures the diminutive former NM transportation secretary had had thrown out by the city clerk. Earlier, the man of Steele, Dem David Steele, managed to win a ballot spot, a testament to veteran politico Steve Schroder, who runs a consulting firm and collected Steele's John Does. So what now?

ABQ city attorney Bob White told me late Wednesday that the city will "defend the statute" that had attorney Espinosa failing to make the the ballot. A hearing should be held in 10 days. Political pros say there is still a chance that Judy could lose here position because they don't see the statute as unconstitutional. We shall see.

As for Steele, he has raised $50 Grand, but has been as quiet as a church mouse. His main impact on the race may be forcing a run-off between the top two contenders. Steele in the race makes four candidates and if Judy makes it we'll have five. Under that scenario the math does not look good for any candidate collecting 40% of the vote Election Night.


Meanwhile, Mayor Marty was giving his annual "State of the City" address last night and, according to KRQE-TV anchorman Dick Knipfing, "claiming" there had been a 7% decline in violent crime in the last three years. Maybe the mayor and Dick have different views on what constitutes "violent crime." TV viewers are saturated with images of the violent stuff and Knipfing, in the game now for forty plus years, was quoted recently as saying ABQ is a "violent town." This one comes down to perceptions and that will guide the upcoming campaign.


The Alligators in the ABQ South Valley have long memories and they used them in reaction to our Tuesday post concerning Lt. Guv Denish's decision to sign a petition to get GOP ABQ mayoral candidate Brad Winter on the Oct. 4 ballot. The Dem Light Guv said she did so because she believes in all candidates getting a ballot access. But take a look at this stinger in response.

"If Diane Denish were so interested in ballot access for candidates, why did she go to court to knock Linda Lopez of the ballot? Just asking." E-mailed a South Valley politico.

He was referring to Diane's 2002 court suit to keep ABQ Dem State Senator Linda Lopez off the Dem Lt. Guv primary ballot. The suit was successful and Diane avoided a possible, strong Hispanic opponent. But now that Linda is going to law school she might have a better chance of winning any future suits thrown her way by the aggressive Diane.


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