Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Reps Pearce & Udall: Very Thankful Indeed, Plus: Short Takes On La Politica, And: Happy Thanksgiving New Mexico
NM Congressmen Steve Pearce and Tom Udall already have a lot to be thankful for but their Thanksgiving celebrations could be doubly blessed this year if some opponents don't surface soon. So far, neither the GOP's Pearce who represents southern NM or Dem Udall from the north have heard a peep from a prospective opponent.
"No significant names have surfaced and with less than a year before the vote that's unusual," checked in our congressional watcher. "The D's have made two good runs at Steve with John Arthur Smith and Gary King, but could not close the deal. The 06' race is not going to be targeted by the national D's and it is conceivable that Steve could get a free ride, although you would expect some kind of sacrificial lamb to surface," added our insider.
And what about Udall? "The seat is so D safe that even if an R has been making noise about running it's being ignored. But I've heard no names." Offered our analyst.
Actually, Udall would be more vulnerable to a Democratic primary challenge than from a GOP opponent. There is no Hispanic in our state's congressional delegation and Udall's district was designed for a Hispanic. But he has overcome that obstacle by taking nothing for granted. His staff is heavy with Hispanics and there has been no public talk of a primary opponent.
Both Congressmen have their political antenna fine-tuned. They know that if a serious challenge is not announced by year end, they will end up unopposed or facing token opposition. Combine that with their recent pay raise to $165,000 a year, and you have the makings of a very cheery holiday season indeed.
Politicos are asking who will replace James Lewis as the city of ABQ's chief administrative officer. City Hall sources say names in the running include current Chief Operating Officer Ed Adams (A Republican) and Bruce Perlman, director of the School of Public Administration at the University of New Mexico, a friend of Mayor Marty and a leader of his transition team...Our mention of Valencia County Dem State Rep. Fred Luna and whether he will seek another term brought this from a reliable Alligator: "Fred's son, Paul, may be interested in succeeding him. Also Elias Barela, a young turk Democrat lawyer, has already announced that he is running even if Fred does run. Ah Valencia, the Southern most Northern county."...And a Santa Fe reader makes a good point on the proposed statewide minimum wage. "It would be $7.50 an hour and would be lower than the Santa Fe minimum wage which is at $8.50 and set to go to $9.50 an hour." That does make it a more interesting vote for Santa Fe county's Dem reps when they meet at the Merry Roundhouse in January.
This is my third Thanksgiving on the blog and I am thankful for you, my indulgent and understanding readers, and for my past and current advertisers who have made it possible. All media is notoriously unstable so to be at this for two years and two months is considered a long run. Of course, I joke that New Mexico, despite its relatively small population, is one of the few states that generates enough political news to support a professional, non-partisan blog.
All New Mexicans have much to be thankful for. Is there a more splendid natural environment anywhere? And the mystery of the place. You can live here for decades, yet New Mexico somehow keeps something to itself, making you search for the meaning. And the rhythm of your life. It's more of a choice in New Mexico than elsewhere, isn't it?
For a day or two we can put aside our state's problems and give thanks for just being, and especially for being here in our truly Enchanted Land.
And if that's too syrupy for you, check out Julia Goldberg and enjoy her case of over-the-top holiday angst.
Happy Thanksgiving New Mexico.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
Not for reproduction without permission of the author