Friday, November 27, 2009

Turner's Turkey Day TV; Can It Shake GOP Guv Race?, Plus: New ABQ Mayor: "We're Regular Folks." It's All Next On Your Black Friday Blog 

GOP governor candidate Doug Turner will know soon enough whether his decision to unveil TV spots on Thanksgiving Day was a turkey. He says he will do follow-up polling to measure the impact of the commercials unveiled on Thursday on statewide cable and which he says will be on at least until the end of the year. (Video here.)

The TV--coming nearly a full year before the 2010 election--is the earliest veteran observers can recall for a governor’s race. Presumed Dem nominee Diane Denish is appearing more frequently in public service TV ads, but has not yet aired any campaign spots.

Turner, 40, is making his first bid for elective office. His 60 second spot centers on his biography as a business and family man. He owns an ABQ public relations firm. He also makes use of his previous foray into politics, noting that he served as a key aide to the election bids of GOP Guv Gary Johnson in 1994 and ‘98. Turner does not identify himself as a Republican in his TV, even though he is seeking the GOP nomination.

"We are going on the air to build name ID and let people know who I am," Turner said.

Turner believes the audience can tell from the ads that he is a Republican, especially since he references Johnson's Guv wins.

He will also air 30 second and 15 second versions of the bio spot. The buy will be about $10,000 a week or about $40,000 to $50,000. He says the ads will also air on broadcast TV, but the main buy is on cable. Turner recently loaned his campaign over $200,000.

Whether Turner will stay up on the air after this initial run is undecided. The GOP pre-primary convention is expected to be held in mid-March. That's where it will take 20 percent of the delegates to win a spot on the June primary ballot.


The field so far also includes former NM GOP Chairman Allen Weh, Dona Ana County District Attorney Susana Martinez and ABQ State Rep. Janice-Arnold-Jones. 2002 GOP Guv candidate John Sanchez told me recently he was weighing a run. Other names are also being mentioned as possible candidates before the final GOP field is set.

The GOP race rapidly deflated when former ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson decided not to make the run. She was seen as the party's best bet to take on Lt. Governor Denish, the only announced Dem Guv contender. Sanchez floated his name after Heather demurred.

Turner's main challenge is getting the 20 percent at the pre-primary. He is not as well-known or as connected with party insiders as his foes. No candidate who has failed to get on the ballot at the pre-primary has gone on to win the nomination.

Insiders, wall-leaners, Alligators and analysts see Weh as the early front-runner because his demographic profile--an Anglo male with heavy military and business experience--best matches the make up of the small GOP. He also has no financial worries. He is using his personal wealth to finance his campaign. Martinez, with backing from national Republican types in D.C., is seen as Weh's main rival. Fund-raising is one of her main challenges.

Turner wants to upset this early conventional wisdom and begin to break the race open. He is gambling that the Turkey Day TV will help him do the trick.

Berry with son (Journal)
He likes to hunt and fish, do some woodworking, plays the guitar but not very well, has a Jack Russell terrier named Skip and is a season ticket-holder to University of New Mexico football and basketball games. During a recent interview Mayor-elect Richard "RJ" Berry said of his family: "We're very much regular folks. Berry married Maria Medina in 1990. They have a 13 year old son, Jacob.

Berry, 47, will take the oath of office at the ABQ convention center ballroom downtown at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Also being sworn into office for four year terms will be City Councilors Ken Sanchez, Ike Benton, Dan Lewis, Michael Cook and Don Harris. They were all elected or re-elected along with Berry in the October city election.

The inauguration is open to the public and a reception will immediately follow. Maybe if they need music at the reception Berry can whip out the Fender Stratocaster he keeps hidden away in his spare bedroom.

The Berry transition team has announced no other inaugural events.


A suggestion made here by the Alligators--that Berry not hire a chief operating officer to save money--will be taken up by the new administration--at least for now. New city hall spokesman Chris Ramirez says the COO position will not be immediately filled. It will be determined next year if it is needed. The position is one of those paying well over $100,000 a year.

Current chief administrative officer Ed Adams was being mentioned for the post. It will be interesting to see where he ends up. My City Hall insiders said City Councilor Debbie O'Malley went ballistic when she heard that Berry was considering naming Adams COO. Not only did she publicly complain, but our sources report she took her concerns directly to Berry and told him that if Adams was shifted to the COO post, the mayor-elect's nomination of David Campbell as the city's chief administrative officer would be put in danger when it comes up for a council vote.


It is indeed out with the old and in with the new as 12 year ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez--the man Berry upset---prepares for private life. KOB-TV did an interesting exit interview with the 57 year old Chavez who seems undecided about what his future may hold.


We gave a wrong number Wednesday in blogging on the median sale price of an ABQ home. It recently fell below $180,000 to $170,000.

US Senator Tom Udall is touting his new Web site, and it does look pretty spiffy, incorporating all the new bells and whistles of the Internet circa 2009. The Democratic lawmaker says: "I'll even give you a tour of the Web site."

The first year lawmaker is the envy of the three freshman congressmen. They all have to stand for re-election in what may be a very hostile environment next year. Udall doesn't face voters again until 2014. Now that's something to give thanks for.

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