Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Couple Of Drop-Outs As Second Chance Candidates File For Primary Ballot; We Take You To Each Of The Three CD's, Plus: Obama Girl Is Back And Here! 

Let's kick it off with the AP report on all the candidates who submitted extra petition signatures to the secretary of state Monday to make the ballot in the three congressional races. The only place we lost candidates was in the Democratic nomination race for the Southern district where Democrats Al Kissling and Frank McKinnon decided to throw in the towel. Neither got anywhere near the required 20% delegate support at the party's pre-primary convention and both declined to file the extra signatures that would have given them a place on the June 3rd primary ballot. That means it's a two man race between former Lea County Commissioner Harry Teague and Dona Ana County Commissioner Bill McCamley who both made the ballot at the pre-primary and where McCamley came in first.

The soon to be 30 year old McCamley was out shopping a poll he had conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a firm that has done a lot of surveys for politicos here, including Light Guv Diane Denish. But this poll done March 17-19 among 403 likely Dems and with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9% raised more questions than it answered. (Download here.)

First among them: How could 65% of the voters have a favorite candidate in the race when there has been no media advertising and none of the candidates is well-known throughout the district? McCamley insists there was no "pushing"--providing negative info about the race and then asking the voter who they favored. He says he is ahead of Teague 43% to 22% with the rest undecided. He does say there was some "messaging" about Teague on the back-end of the poll.

Teague's own internal numbers show nearly 50% of Dem voters undecided. He is in the field this week and campaign insiders do not expect the undecided to go down much. McCamley says he has been traveling the district for a year and that explains his numbers.

Whatever the case, the numbers that really matter right now are the ones on the candidates' bank accounts. In that regard, Teague is far ahead, having raised and loaned himself well over $500,000 to McCamley's $200,000 plus. Teague is going to start spending that money within a week. Expect the southern airwaves to fill up with this TV spots and the polling numbers to follow to reflect the activity.


Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman filed extra signatures so he can be on the ballot with fellow Republicans Ed Tinsley, Aubrey Dunn, Jr. and Earl Greer. Greg Sowards of Las Cruces also came with signatures.


In the ABQ Dem contest, former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron and attorney Robert Pidcock will join Martin Heinrich and Michelle Lujan-Grisham on the ballot after the pair filed extra signatures. The four way race is Heinrich's to lose, but no one is laying down their arms. Grisham's campaign insists she is the stronger candidate to face Republican Darren White in the fall because it will be harder for him to attack a woman and even harder to isolate her as too liberal. Heinrich's crowd sites his moderate stance on some issues--including his support of gun owners rights--as positioning him well for the fall contest.

On the GOP side, ABQ State Senator Joe Carraro filed extra signatures so he can face off with Darren White.


In the North, no change. Benny Shendo, Harry Montoya, Jon Adams and Rudy Martin all filed petition signatures to get on the ballot after being denied at the pre-primary. Montoya, a Santa Fe County Commissioner, appears to be in third place, with Ben Ray Lujan and Santa Fe developer Don Wiviott holding the top two spots. The well-liked commissioner says he may not have big dollars, but adds: "I believe we are going to win this race the same way I've won my other elections, going door-to-door, meeting people in their homes, in their communities and wherever I need to meet them.”

Also from El Norte, one of our Alligators reports, that like the Southern CD, there is a lot of polling going on this week.

"Ben Ray Lujan is doing a push poll in the 3rd CD. I got a call tonight (Tuesday). There were questions about Don Wiviott, the "millionaire developer," who's using his money to buy the win and how he gave the Santa Fe City Councilors money to change the laws in favor of his development. They didn't say he beats his wife, but there's still time..."

You mean no one is charged with beating their wife yet? How dare these fellas deprive us of our entertainment. Come on, boys. Step it up. The Coliseum is filled.


And no one is complaining.


That little zinger in Tuesday's blog noting that some campaign watchers are questioning the professionalism of the Ben Ray Lujan campaign got them off their chairs in Santa Fe. Carlos Trujillo, campaign manger for Lujan who is seeking the Dem nod for congress in the northern district, fired back:

"Our team worked for Bill Richardson as did I prior to working for Ben...Our communications director worked for the Santa Fe New Mexican and Gov. Dean’s presidential campaign. Our field director was the only one in the Gov's Iowa presidential team whose region was a win...I ran the Gov’s Northern operation in 2006 and was his Western States Political Director in 2007 and in 2004...We may not be the ultimate insiders, but we are from the district. I was raised in Chimayo in CD3; my field director and deputy political director are also from the district, and therefore get it. "

Meanwhile, Lujan's main rival for the Dem nod, Don Wiviott, announced he has picked up the endorsement of Ambassador Joe Wilson, the prominent Iraq war critic and diplomat. He cited Wiviott’s commitment to "finding a responsible end to the Iraq war." Wiviott says, if elected, he will "vote to bring this war to an honorable end by beginning an immediate phased redeployment" of American troops.


It's not all TV, candidates and managers. Radio is also your friend come campaign time. The top rated radio group in the ABQ market is Citadel. Before you do a final budget, check them out and see how they can help push your campaign into the winner's circle


The NM GOP reports that Ivette Barajas has joined their staff as its Spanish Communications Director.

"She has worked for the past five years at the Republican Party of California in a variety of capacities, including political efforts, event organizing, and Spanish communications." The party said.

Barajas is a Los Angeles native. Two of the GOP congressional candidates have Hispanic backgrounds. Earl Greer, seeking the GOP nod in the Southern district, is half-Hispanic on his mother's side. Marco Gonzales, seeking the GOP nomination in the Northern district, is a native of Santa Fe. The last Hispanic Republican to serve in Congress from NM was Manuel Lujan Jr. who held the ABQ seat from 1969-89.

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