Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chavez Takes Guv Run North, Plus: The Latest On Campaign For Dem Party Chair, And: Some Wednesday Bottom Lines 

Mayor Chavez
ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez began exploring a possible bid for the 2010 Dem Guv's race by heading into must-have territory. He toured Las Vegas, Taos and Espanola last week, gauging the political climate with local politicos and seeing if Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, already announced for the race, has sewn up early support.

"He was pleased with his reception," commented a Chavez operative who also informed that Chavez did several radio and press interviews while in the area.

In Las Vegas, he attended a lunch at Pino's Family Restaurant with area elected officials. One of those in attendance turned into an Alligator and emailed me this: "He speaks well and seems to be intelligent. I guess he should be, he is an attorney and mayor of our biggest city. Almost all of our elected officials were present."

The reception he received on his northern political swing was better than the one Marty has been given at the legislative session. There, lawmakers have rejected his bid to let him appoint members of the Albuquerque School Board. And a measure to modify the city's red-light camera law--one he opposed--sailed through the senate where Chavez himself served back in the early 90's.

The mayor's backers argue that ABQ has always been a favorite whipping boy of the Legislature, but they also realize that outside of the metro area governing the big Duke City is not necessarily seen as an attribute.

Chavez, who was the Democratic party's standardbearer in the 1998 governor's race and lost to Gary Johnson, will need heavy support in the Hispanic north to fend off Denish's expected strength. But it is much to early to handicap the Democrats nomination contest as we don't even know if others will be running. Chavez has started raising money for the race, with the insiders saying he received pledges and cash of $100,000 at a party thrown last month at the home of longtime politico Ed Romero, although Romero says he is staying neutral in the Denish-Chavez race.

Both Chavez and Denish and whoever else gets in this thing are going to be whipsawed in the next few years by the events of the day. For example, a turn in the state's and/or city's financial fortunes could be just one of many twists and turns we see along the very long road to Election '10.


Unlike the Guv contest, there will no four year campaign for state Democratic party chairman. That race to succeed outgoing chairman John Wertheim will conclude with an election April 28th at a party central committee meeting in Las Cruces and campaigning is well under way. We broke the stories of the candidacies of former House Majority Leader Michael Olguin and ABQ attorney Brian Colón and now both contenders are hitting the phones hard in search of the votes of some 400 hundred party insider votes who will decide the contest.

For his part, Olguin emails in to tell us that he wants to make clear that he has not made up his mind on who should be the executive director of the state party.

"I have in no way made any comment relative to the executive director. I have the utmost respect for (current ED) Matt Farrauto and have worked well with him as chair of the Socorro county party. If successful, Matt will be given every opportunity to continue as ED if that is what he wants." Olguin explained.

His comments come in reaction to our report that ABQ South Valley politico Sisto Abeyta intends to apply to become ED if Olguin wins his party chair race. Abeyta now says he will apply for the position no mater how wins.

As for Colón, we remarked that he can look for his most firm support in the party's "progressive" wing, but in telephone calls his supporters are making, they say they want to appeal to party regulars as well as the young bucks and that Colón is not a spear-carrier for any particular wing of the party.


Outgoing U.S. Attorney David Iglesias has set a news conference to talk about his dismissal and his future plans. In an email to a friend quoted here Monday, the GOP prosecutor called his ouster a "political fragging" that had nothing to do with his performance. That blog is receiving some national attention, so it will be interesting to hear how Iglesias frames the story when he meets with the press.

The big item still dangling at the federal courthouse is the investigation into the construction of two Bernalillo county courthouses. Will indictments come anytime soon? Iglesias is sure to be asked for an update.

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