Thursday, September 08, 2005
Gary King Goes All In For AG; Shakes Up Race, Plus: D's Romance Madrid To Reconsider Heather Run, And: Mayor Hopefuls Do TV Together; We Review
Gary King is shaking up the race for attorney general, dropping the news that he will definitely seek the Dem AG nomination in what is turning out to be a crowded field. King first let his interest known here back in April, but he gave me the all go signal in a late night phone call Tuesday from Washington D.C.'s National Airport. "I have the experience and the desire," he told me. This, despite being landslided in his run last year against GOP Congressman Steve Pearce. But AG is a horse of a different color and the insiders are already saying with his high statewide name ID and appeal to conservative Dems in the east and south King may be hard to stop. "If he runs a decent campaign, the unknowns going after him will have a hard time. It will be interesting to see if any of them get out now that Gary is in," observed one Dem activist.
The King entry may be the biggest blow to ABQ State Rep. Al Park, who has been running for over a year and raised significant funds, but he is little known outside of ABQ and his liberal legislative record does not appeal to the Anglo King voters. Attorney Eric Sedillo-Jeffries, former Big Bill aide Geno Zamora and District Attorney Lemuel Martinez are seen carving up the ample Hispanic vote, paving the way for a King victory.
"Gary is positioned well, but there is a danger here. If he loses this one his political career may be over. He has run and lost for governor and congress. This third bite out of the apple may be his last," offered our activist.
King's run against Pearce put his name back before the public and he feels it's now or never. And he is already poised to make a run at that "Little Texas" vote that eluded him in his race against the popular Pearce. "I am against repealing the death penalty," the son of the former legendary guv opined as he made his way into the nation's capital for yet another round of La Politica.
A FINE ROMANCE
Meanwhile, The current AG, Patricia Madrid, is being romanced anew by national Dems who see a possible turn in the tide in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and who cannot bear the thought of ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson going unopposed. They still think the two term AG may be their best shot. "Even if Madrid isn't all that strong, with gas prices, the war gone bad and now the hurricane, the political climate could change in our direction. We need a strong candidate ready to take advantage," said one Dem insider.
Madrid told me recently she is not anxious to run against Heather and that set off anguish among Dems across the nation who keep tabs on Wilson's fortunes. Still, with Heather's numbers reasonably strong, it's going to take more than a box of chocolates for the D bosses to get Madrid to the altar.
If Patsy won't do it, how about an unabashed liberal? ABQ Dem State Senator Jerry Oritz y Pino may be game if Madrid makes her "leaning against" a decided no. "He's looking at it. He knows it would be uphill, but he feels the issues could break his way, "said a friend of Jerry's who is urging him to go. It's becoming clear that major political change could result from the disastrous hurricane and the energy crisis. The best minds in politics are now contemplating what form that change will come in. The only thing they know for sure is that you can't take advantage of anything if you don't have a candidate.
MAYOR TUBE DEBUT
There are plenty of candidates for ABQ mayor and they all appeared on the televised stage together last night on KNME-TV, one of three scheduled joint TV appearances of the campaign which ends October 4. KOB-TV will air a live debate Wednesday at 7 p.m. and KRQE-TV will tape one for October 2 but has not announced when it will air. I tuned in to the late night re-run with a veteran Alligator on the phone line more than willing to score the event. Why couldn't KNME do a broad-based debate? The discussion was confined to crime. Anyway, the Gator and I ended up scoring it on style for City Councilor Eric Griego who dropped the angry man act he is sometimes famous for. This time he came across invigorated and knowledgable. His youth contrasted well with all the gray hairs near him. Mayor Marty was his usual on the ball self, but had nothing to gain from being with his opponents. Our analyst said the GOP's Brad Winter seemed gun shy and not assertive. David Steele said his campaign was "simple" and so was his performance.
We'd like to see another TV appearance, one where all the issues are discussed. How about it Dick Knipfing? Call Lady Kate Nelson and clear some of that early prime on KRQE-TV and let's party.
I have run out of steam post-midnight so I won't write about Andy Lenderman's article (and Steve's) in the Santa Fe New Mexican on Senator Domenici and the controversy over his role in providing flood funding for New Orleans. But I did remember to post it. One other thing. Many of you commented on an article about the blog in the latest NM Business Weekly. I have not seen it. If it is on the Web, I will post it here.
You know the drill. Email me all your political stuff and have fun seeing it show up here.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
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