Friday, October 06, 2006

Pat Lyons Roars, But Jim Baca Avoids Deadly Bite, Plus: Politicos Pause For One Of Their Own 

With a second poll putting him in the lead, partisans for Dem land commissioner candidate Jim Baca are feeling more confident that the often controversial former ABQ mayor can bring this one home, despite a vigorous campaign being conducted by GOP incumbent Pat Lyons.

The latest ABQ Journal poll has Baca ahead by four points--43% to 39%--and time is growing shorter for Lyons to move the numbers. His best chance would appear to be in Bernalillo county where he trails Baca, himself a former land boss, by only two points. Much of Lyons' strength is in conservative SE NM where the pros believe turnout could suffer because of no big competitive GOP races. Baca is the heavy favorite in the Spanish North which has helped put him over the top in the past.

Lyons has been up with negative radio for several weeks, but not TV. He may have to go there in order to get voters' attention, but it could be risky as the electorate is already being bombarded with hyper-negative messages in the Madrid-Wilson congressional race.

History is blowing wind in Lyons' face. It is rare for any R to win a down ballot race in our state. His 2002 election over Dem Art Trujillo was possible because of Trujillo's DWI record and other political events that Lyons effectively highlighted. But Baca, while having a reputation for his prickly personality, is qualified for the job and does not have naerly the baggage Trujillo had.

Lyons, a former state senator form the east side, is the GOP's best hope to avoid a complete Dem ballot sweep. It appears he will raise close to a million dollars, compared to $300,000 for Baca. But with momentum with the Dems and their registration in the state overwhelming, Lyons needs to come roaring strong to turn this one around.


The Patricia Madrid congressional campaign will hold its fire for the time being on TV spots linking GOP congresswoman Wilson to the seamy House page affair. So says an insider, calling the topic "too hot." Which means the thing could backfire. But Madrid will continue to use the issue on the campaign trail. TV could also come toward the end if the campaign polls say it is needed and would work.


The partisanship of Campaign 06' took a breather Thursday as word came that Paige McKenzie, spokeswoman for GOP Guv candidate John Dendahl and a fixture at the Roundhouse during recent legislative sessions, was the victim of a horrific and outrageous attack Wednesday at a parking lot in Bernalillo. Governor Richardson issued this statement:

“I am shocked and disgusted by this brutal, senseless attack. Our thoughts are with Paige and her family and we pray for her full recovery. I have also offered the resources of the State Police to assist with the investigation, should they be needed.”

McKenzie's family arrived in ABQ Thursday and said: "We hope that those responsible for this despicable act will be brought to justice soon. We appreciate your prayers and support during this very difficult time."

All can agree with that statement and join in wishing Paige a full recovery and for the rapid capture of the perpetrator.

Paige McKenzie was the subject of a recent profile in the ABQ Trib which
you can read here.

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