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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Flurry of Announcements Round Out Primary Field, Plus: All About Pete's Place, And: Final Hours Tick On Solons; It's A Valentine Blog From La Politica 

It will be land office business at the NM Secretary of State's office in Santa Fe today as the statewide candidates make the traditional trek to file the necessary petition signatures to win a place on the June 6 primary ballot. An assortment of last minute announcements has rounded out the field for the top races, but there could be a few surprises if some of the contenders don't come up with enough signatures or their opponents successfully challenge what they turn in.

On the announcement front, most of the candidates are well-known to "New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan" readers as we have been telling you for months who was getting in the 06' game, but a couple of them tried to garner some PR before today's filing deadline. (Late starting GOP Lt. Guv candidate Sue Wilson Beffort is expected to turn in enough signatures, according to insiders.)

THE DYNAMIC DUO

Here's one we are watching. Since 1987 only two individuals have held the Secretary of State's job. Current incumbent Rebecca Vigil-Giron and Stephanie Gonzales who held it from 91-98' and who over the weekend made her official announcement for a third term. Rebecca was first elected back in 86.' It's interesting because NM elections have been bedeviled with controversy and contention, but voters have repeatedly returned this duo to the top election agency. The office supervises the county clerk's who have been at the center of the problems.

Stephanie is again the frontrunner for the Dem nomination. Vickie Perea is the likely R contender, but we haven't had a GOP secretary of state since 1930. Don't hold your breath Vickie.

And Sandoval county District Attorney Lem Martinez sent out a news release last night saying he's here to stay. That's bad news for fellow attorney general hopeful and Dem Geno Zamora who will now face the prospect of splitting the Dem Hispanic primary vote. That leaves Gary King the favorite to secure the AG nomination. Jim Bibb and former D.A. Bob Schwartz are going after the R AG prize. Perhaps contrary to conventional wisdom, this race appears too close to call.

DAN'S DARE
Alvarez
GOP State Auditor candidate Dan Alvarez pipes in with a release and photo which we are glad to run. But we don't think he'll be running the D's out of the auditor's office. Again, no R in this one since 1930. Maybe Dan can use that State Treasurer scandal to get it going his way. ABQ'S Jeff Armijo is the likely Dem nominee.

If a candidate does not come up with enough signatures today they will still have a chance to make the June ballot, but will have to get a bunch more petitions signed.

PLACING PETE

Here's one for Pete Domenici junkies. I interviewed recently with Mary O'Driscoll of the D.C. specialty pub "Enviornment & Energy Daily." She has come up with a lengthy and informative opus on the state's senior senator. I chip in comments about his legacy and political standing. Yes, I do think if his health is OK he will seek another six year term in 08'. By the way, Mary is a former reporter for the ABQ Journal.

And here's another for those who just have to have it all. It's Big Bill in-depth courtesy of a roundtable he did Friday for USA Today in Orlando. GOP Arkansas Guv Mike Huckabee trades thoughts with our Guv. If you are watching how Big Bill is carving out positions for his 08' Prez dance, you will want to read every word.

BILLY AND THE BLACKBOARD

He's 53 and he's going back to school. Former Big Bill communications ace Billy Sparks, under scrutiny for not having a college degree, but winning a $120,000 a year no bid spokesman job at the University of New Mexico Health and Sciences Center, told the UNM Daily Lobo Monday he will head back to the chalkboards to complete the two classes that will give him his college degree and, he hopes, finally dim the harsh lights of La Politica.

HEART OF THE ROUNDHOUSE

It's fast breaking and maybe heart breaking on this Valentine's Day for the 112 solons at the Roundhouse. A flood of legislation is surging toward the Fourth Floor and the Guv's signature or veto while other bills are flooding into the basement to drown. Hard to keep up with it all, but the ABQ Trib's Kate Nash is blogging regularly in a game effort to keep from being flooded out herself. You can tune her in as we bring this session home. No catnapping Kate, we're depending on you.

And thanks for tuning in here today. Drop an email in the box and keep us up-to-date on the latest political news and stop by again soon.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2006
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