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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday's Pre-Primary Results; Pearce Beats Wilson; Lujan, Heinrich & McCamley Finish First In Dem Congress Races; White & Dunn Take GOP Victories 

Steve Pearce scored a victory over Heather Wilson at the GOP pre-primary nominating convention, beating Heather Wilson 236 to 197. That gave Pearce 54.51% to Wilson's 45.49%. Pearce had boasted prior to the convention that he would beat Wilson. He gets a solid win, but not the landslide that could have put pressure on Wilson to abandon her run. Pearce will get a bounce among casual Republican voters who know Wilson better and may have expected her to win. The expectations among insiders here and in D.C. will not be impacted much. Pearce was seen as having an edge going into the convention, and that's how it will be seen coming out of it.

In the First District Congressional race, ABQ State Senator Joe Carraro failed to get the 20% to get on the ballot, garnering only 24 votes or 15%. Darren White won 138 votes or 85%. Carraro will have to submit petition signatures to get a spot on the ballot.

Second Congressional District--Aubrey Dunn 40 votes--29.6%, Earl Greer 33 votes, 24.4%, Ed Tinsley 33 votes or 24.4%, Monty Newman received 25 votes, 18.5%; Terry Marquardt received 2 votes, 1,5% and Craig Sowards 2 votes, 1.5%. Greer will appear second on the ballot after winning a draw with Tinsley to break their tie. Newman, Marquardt and Sowards will have to turn in additional petition signatures to win a place on the ballot.

Expectations were all over the map going into the 2nd CD GOP contest, but Dunn did himself a favor by scoring first place. He has been under attack for having only recently switched his registration to Republican. Greer showed that he remains popular with party insiders, but can he raise the funds needed to compete? Tinsley's crowd is pleased that he made the 20% mark and will be glad to put the convention behind them. Sowards has said he will join Dunn and Tinsley in committing several hundred thousand dollars in personal funds. He will need every penny.

Third Congressional District--Marco Gonzales, 91 votes, 67.9%, Dan East 43 votes, 32.1%.

DEMOCRATS

In the Third District Democratic CD 3 --Benny Shendo, Jr. 111 votes, 16.4. % Don Wiviott 200 votes, 29.6 % Jon Adams 16 votes, 2.37 % Ben Ray Lujan, Jr. 271 votes, 40.21 % Harry Montoya 74 votes, 10.98 % Rudy Martin 2 votes, .30 %.

As expected, Lujan won, but Native American Benny Shendo, Jr. was the surprise even though he came up short of the 20% needed to get on the ballot. He will have to get petition signatures to do that. Wiviott's 30% was solid for a first-time candidate, but does not change expectations. Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya came up shorter than his campaign expected. Lujan just picked up the endorsement of the League of Conservation Voters and is expected to soon get the nod of the Conservation Voters NM, two groups that Wiviott could have used for a boost.

In the First Congressional District, Robert Pidcock 25 votes, 4.16 %, Martin Heinrich 339 votes, 56.41 %, Rebecca Vigil-Giron 67 votes, 11.15 %, Michelle Lujan Grisham 170 votes, 28.29%. Jessica Wolfe dropped out to run against ABQ GOP State Senator Kent Cravens.

Heinrich scores the victory, as expected, but not a knockout. Michelle Lujan Grisham surpassed expectations by getting nearly 30% of the vote. If Vigil-Giron were to reconsider running, that could be a significant change in the calculus of the race. Heinrich has a big lead in fund-raising and will be on TV heavy in May. Grisham has to raise more money.

In the Second Congressional District it was Al Kissling 57 votes, 13.41 %, Bill McCamley 207 votes, 48.78 %, Frank McKinnon 6 votes, 1.41 %, Harry Teague 155 votes, 36.47 %.

This is a good win for Dona Ana County Commissioner Bill McCamley. He will be inclined to stay and fight even though he will be overwhelmed by Teague's fund-raising. Teague's campaign had lowered expectations going in to lessen the impact of McCamley's win. They will point out that the southern Dem electorate at large is more inclined to support Teague than the activists attending the convention

2:55 p.m.--There was a serious traffic accident at the Bernalillo exit off of Interstate 25 this morning, delaying the start of the Democratic pre-primary convention by half an hour. About 2000 are in attendance at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. Speeches from the congressional candidates are being delivered. Voting is done. Results should be in by 4 p.m.

Political newcomer Jessica Wolfe told the delegates she will withdraw from the ABQ congressional race and seek the ABQ State Senate seat held by Republican Kent Cravens. That leaves four candidates in that race.

On the Republican side, delegates at the convention being held at the Marriott in uptown ABQ have voted on the US Senate race between Steve Pearce and Heather Wilson. Votes have also been cast in the race for the ABQ congressional contest between Darren White and Joe Carraro. A candidate must get a minimum of 20% of the vote to make it on the ballot. If not, they will have to seek additional petition signatures to win a spot. We await the results.

Winners at the pre-primary get the top ballot position in the June 3 primary election.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2008
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