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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Second Banana: Updated Dem Light Guv List; New GOP #2 Contender Eyes Run, And: State's Current Second Fiddle Feels Some Summer Heat 

It was famously said by Vice-President John Nance Garner that his office was "not worth a bucket of warm spit." The same might be said for New Mexico's #2 position, but never have so many wanted so little. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the latest list of prospective and announced Democratic 2010 Lieutenant Governor candidates as updated by our Senior Alligators:

ABQ State Senator Linda Lopez; Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano; Mid-Region Council of Governments executive Lawrence Rael; NM Democratic Party chairman Brian Colon; State Auditor Hector Balderas; former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron; State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino; ABQ State Senator Tim Eichenberg; Espanola Mayor Joseph Maestas and State Senator Pete Campos.

If there was ever a recipe for a political free for all, this race for lieutenant governor is it. Even the Alligators can't handicap this race. But let's see how many of these prospective candidates are left standing come October when it will be time to get serious and gather petition signatures.

THE CLAYTON CANDIDATE?
Brian Moore
The list of prospective #2's is not nearly as long on the Republican side of the aisle, but there is interest. Today we can tell you that former Clayton area State Rep. Brian Moore is looking at starting up a campaign, and doing it as soon as mid-July. Moore, owner of the Clayton Ranch Market, says education and ethics are two of the obvious issues for the 2010 cycle. He is a native of southern Colorado (Trinidad) who came to the state in the mid-90's. He voluntarily retired from the Legislature where he sat on the appropriations committee and was respected on both sides of the aisle for his financial acumen. Moore would conceivably balance a Republican Guv ticket with an ABQ candidate at the top. Santa Fe's J.R. Damron is also eyeing a Light Guv run.

CURRENT NUMBER TWO

She may have donated to an affordable housing nonprofit group the $5,000 she collected for her Guv run from characters involved in the housing authority scandal, but Lt. Gov Diane Denish is not being left off the hook by the Republicans--and one e-mailer identifying himself most appropriately as "Al. E. Gator" who says:

Denish's choice of the United South Broadway Corporation (USBC) for the Housing Authority contributions still smacks of political gain from tainted sources. After all, USBC is a politically connected non-profit. It's executive director, Diana Dorn-Jones, has even run for elected office and is former Chief Operating Officer for Mayor Chavez. Is Dorn-Jones staying out of the 2010 cycle perhaps, or should we now expect her to put her political muscle behind Denish? There were scores of worthy non-profits Denish could have given the tainted money to, non-profits without the serious political undertones...

Dorn-Jones ran for the ABQ City Council in 2005 and was defeated by Ike Benton who is seeking re-election this year. Her candidacy imploded when she did not correctly answer the Journal questionnaire about whether she had ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy.

AND MORE PUSH BACK

Denish was also pushing back this week against all the politicians forming "exploratory committees" to weigh a possible Guv run, saying with a bit of bravado:

I, however, do not need to explore the idea of running for Governor; I am running and want to be the next Governor of New Mexico.

Now there is push back to Di's push back. And why wouldn't there be as this Guv race draws closer and closer? From Santa Fe and Democrat Jim Terr comes the retort:

"I’m very aware that you’re running for Governor because I keep reading about the incessant fundraisers. Do you suppose you’ve got enough money in the bank, enough of a lead in fundraising, to consider how rotten is this system of constant fundraising? I don’t plan to vote for any candidate who doesn’t stop and take a stand for public campaign financing. I would like to see you have a little time for study, contemplation, governing, and looking out for my interests--which you must know is inhibited when you have to spend all your time fundraising.

That's some good ol' fashioned summer heat there. But Denish supporters can be consoled that she wouldn't be getting any if she wasn't leading the race.

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