Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mayor Margaret? Marty's Ex Explores '09 Mayor Bid, Plus: More On The Fate Of The Trib, And: Northern Congress Action 

Mayor Margaret?
She's back. Margaret Aragon de Chavez, ex-wife of three term ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez, may pick up where Marty recently left off and launch a campaign for elective office--the office her former hubby is currently filling. The feisty Margaret, who has talked in the past about going for the city's top job, was at it again Tuesday, saying she will set up an exploratory committee in the spring to weigh her chances in the October '09 ABQ mayoral election. Mayor Chavez, who last week bowed out of the Dem race for the US Senate nomination, can't legally run for another mayoral term, but what if the law preventing him from doing so was struck down? How would Margaret, mother of two, a real estate agent and school teacher to boot, feel about running against Marty? "I'd rather not talk about the other candidates," she said.

We know 2008 is going to be wild, and if Margaret goes through with her mayoral run, 2009 will give it a run for its money. City Councilors Cadigan and Sanchez are also eyeing the still far-off mayor's race, as is former State Senator Richard Romero. Get ready, fellas. She's a ball of fire.


We're still working the angles on the ABQ Trib. Here's a news article from NM Biz Weekly that says the D.W. Turner ad agency is still trying to put together a deal with Trib owner E.W. Scripps to buy the 85 year old paper. We blogged Monday that it appears the Trib is headed towards closure at the end of the year. If you buy the Trib, you get basically the name, not the printing presses or newsroom. You would have to supply those and that's what makes a deal difficult. Where is the circulation and advertising to support such a venture if Scripps and the ABQ Journal could not make it work?

Will the Tribune survive in its present form as a six day a week fully staffed newspaper producing independent journalism? That's the question, not whether it becomes an advocacy sheet, a business journal or a shadow of its former self. Even if the Tribune is sold this month, it's expected that it will cease publication at least for several months as the new owners make arrangements to publish. We're rooting for a miracle and will keep you posted.

Marco Gonzales
What happened? Did Javier Gonzales have an arm wrestling match with his cousin, Marco Gonzales, and Marco won? It seems that way as Javier, chair of the NM Highland University Board of Regents, passed on a run for the Dem nod for the Northern Congressional seat only to have his cousin, 40 year old Marco Gonzales, also of Santa Fe, announce he will seek the GOP nomination in the heavy Dem district. Marco, an attorney with Modrall, Sperling, worked for ten years in D.C. as a defense appropriations specialist for NM GOP Senator Domenici. He is a graduate of Georgetown Law. "I believe I have something to offer to folks up North who might not otherwise get to consider a candidate with my type of education and experience," emails Gonzales.

Marco's candidacy reminds us of 1984 when top Domenici aide Lou Gallegos was recruited by the Senator to run against then-freshman US Congressman Bill Richardson. Gallegos made a valiant effort (I worked as his press secretary) but fell victim to the inevitable Dem landslide. Gonzales faces long odds winning the seat, but he could capture the GOP nomination if Pete is pushing him, and in November could attract Democratic Hispanic votes. That could help the GOP's US Senate candidate. And we all remember when Republican Bill Redmond took the seat for two years in a fluke election. Never say never.

Domenici has long realized that a key to unlocking the state for Republicans is to attract more Hispanic candidates and votes. While the R's have come up with good candidates, their politics have not been appealing to the north. That point was emphasized a couple of months ago when the state GOP created a mobile billboard with a picture of ABQ Mayor Chavez accusing him of making ABQ a "sanctuary city." Also, especially heated rhetoric on immigration and border security has been a turnoff. There is a middle way for the R's, but until they find it, the Spanish North will continue to roar Democratic on the big Election Nights.


Keeping it in the North, insiders say Ben Ray Lujan, chairman of the Public Regulation Commission, son of House Speaker Ben Lujan, and the early front-runner for the Democratic nomination for the Third Congressional District, will make it official this Friday with an announcement at the Capitol Rotunda. He will then travel to Rio Rancho for a fund-raiser. Ben Ray has the pedigree, but will need to address critics who claim he is not a political heavyweight.

Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya will join the 3rd CD race today. The 48 year old has a long record of community involvement. Can he get 20% of the delegate vote at the Dem preprimary convention needed to make the June primary ballot?


They were wild times, those election nights of the 90's and 2000 when the vote-counting often went awry. Bernalillo County Clerk Judy Woodward got an earful from all of us over the mishaps which are recalled in her obituary. As anchorman for KANW 89.1 FM election night coverage, I worked closely with Judy who died Saturday, a day short of her 80th birthday. She had a great political life, despite her trying times as clerk. We remember her devotion and service to New Mexico and her love of La Politica.

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