Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Dem AG Race: Can King Be Beat? Insider Polls Have Him Way Ahead, And: Toney Anaya On The Trail, Plus: The Lt. Guv Takes A Turn In The Spin Room
If you believe the polls, there is good reason the Dem field for Attorney General has been shrinking; it's because Gary King has a whopping lead. A poll that the son of ex-legendary Governor Bruce King conducted two months ago shows him garnering 34% of the vote with ABQ State Rep. Al Park, who recently dropped out, placing second with only 5%. Park is a believer in the King poll telling me his own survey, done before he threw in the towel, showed Gary with even more strength--38%.
The writing on the wall became clear to ABQ attorney Eric Sedillo-Jefferies who, as first blogged here, called it quits last week. That leaves just Santa Fe attorney and former Big Bill legal counsel Geno Zamora and District Attorney Lemuel Martinez remaining to duke it out with King, a former state who has had a bad run of late. He lost out to Big Bill for the 02' Guv nomination and got whacked in 04' by GOP U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce. But the stars may finally be aligning for a King comeback.
Zamora and Martinez are no quitters and Geno's friends tell me he has raised nearly 300 grand. Lemuel will run as a conservative tough on crime Dem who has statewide appeal. His fundraising will be critical. There are rumblings that things could go negative between Geno and Lemuel, but both are glad there's now only two, instead of three, Hispanic candidates in the field. That gives one of them the chance to consolidate that crucial voting bloc and perhaps give Gary a real fight.
Since attorneys general tend to go places (think Bingaman and Udall) this is a race that all of us will enjoy watching.
TONEY ON THE TRAIL
Was that former liberal Dem NM Guv Toney Anaya walking around last night at the GOP Bernalillo County headquarters holiday party? Sure was, according to our insiders. And he was tagging along with none other than GOP AG candidate Jim Bibb who is married to Toney's daughter. "That's like Typhoid Mary going to the Red Cross party," joked one R wag. Besides being Guv, Toney was a crusading NM attorney general back in he 70's. The other R running is Bob Schwartz, crime advisor to Dem Big Bill. Of course, Toney or Bill would never try to have any special influence with a Republican Attorney General. Of course not!
I'm quite confident that the story regarding Big Bill's public physical contact with Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish (see story below) and her blunt quotes pertaining to it, is legitimate news. Just like when Light Guv Casey Luna had his disagreements with Governor King. In fact, I think the story will probably advance nationally if Big Bill's Prez campaign takes off. But there's always room for another view and Diane begs to disagree with us and the original take in the ABQ Journal. She blogs in with this:
"I'm surprised at your reaction because, frankly, it was a non-story. The Governor and I have a great relationship. Herb (Denish) and I have known and worked with Barbara and Bill for 20 years. He's an outgoing guy who sometimes teases people to lighten things up.
To clarify, when I said the Governor was sometimes annoying I also said like a little brother or a classmate in school. That was not in the story. The story and your blog tried to make the Governor's charismatic manner sound like something it wasn't.
Any inference or suggestion of anything inappropriate is just plain wrong. Any suggestion of a problem with my relationship with the Governor is dead wrong and wishful thinking on the part of our opponents." So said our state's #2 as the story made the rounds.
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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
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