Monday, July 26, 2010

Big Name Visitors For Guv Candidates Mulled; Will Obama Drop By? Plus: The Lewis Brothers: One On ABQ Council; Another Goes For House 

We've already had that other Big Bill---Bill Clinton--campaign in ABQ for Dem Guv hopeful Diane Denish, but it was a closed event. Expect to see him back here more publicly before the election, especially with his strong approval numbers among critical independents. And what about Hillary? She too could make an appearance for Denish who was an early supporter of her presidential campaign.

As for the President, Obama retains popularity in the ABQ metro. We suspect a stop here and maybe in the north could be in the offing before Campaign '10 heads to the history books. And depending on how Dem Congressman Harry Teague is doing, we could also see the Prez touch down in Las Cruces.

As for GOP nominee Susana Martinez, she dropped Sarah Palin on the state right before the primary. Don't expect her back in the spotlight for Susana--too polarizing. The R bench is lighter on celebrities, but we'll probably see some B-listers here before it's over.

Will such visits help? The candidates can raise money from them and get supporters more enthusiastic. Denish could use Obama around the center of ABQ to spike turnout for her which is always a major concern for Dems in a mid-term election in which older and conservative voters traditionally turn out in larger numbers.


Some out-of-state Guv analysis from the WaP0:

Doña Ana County District Attorney Susana Martinez's (R) latest TV ad pretty much sums up the race: Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (D) is struggling to separate herself from the unpopular administration of Gov. Bill Richardson (D) while Martinez is running as an outsider who will shake up the system. Polls show the race is still neck-and-neck, but unless Denish can find a way to change the topic away from Richardson this could be perilous for Democrats in the fall.

The paper ranks the 15 Guv races around the nation most likely to switch parties this fall. They put New Mexico at #15.


Corruption will continue to be a major theme of of GOP Guv nominee Martinez, but the Dems were given a break when the corruption trial of former Dem Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron was delayed until Jan. 3. That means no splashy TV and newspaper corruption stories in the middle of October. Such stories could help Martinez press her corruption case against the D's.


A reader writes:

Joe, There is a change in the tone of the political ads now that the mudslinging has subsided between Denish and Martinez.

Denish is bringing out the Latina women to show that she might be white on the outside, but that she will be the first Latina Governor because she is more like a Latina woman. Sort of like Bill Clinton being the First Black President.

On the other side, Martinez is bringing out the old stereotype of the Latina coconut, that she might be brown on the outside but trying to convince the right wing Republican that she is just as white as them on the inside. Sort of like Linda Chavez.

At least they are both sticking to the fact that they are both women and not trying to be too manly!


Reader Dr, Moises Venegas writes:

The most basic question I have is, “Why is there such poverty in NM and why have we had it so long? We will soon be celebrating 100 years of poverty as a state. Why do we not compare with our good neighbor states but find ourselves in the good company of the South? Are there patterns of poverty in NM or as some Americans say,”they just do not want to work.”

Diane y Susana where are you?

Tim & Dan Lewis
The move to replace Tonia Harris as the GOP candidate for the Rio Rancho state House seat held by Dem Jack Thomas gets interesting. Tim Lewis, a Cibola High school teacher and brother of ABQ west side GOP City Councilor Dan Lewis, is asking the Sandoval County GOP Central Committee to put his name on the ballot. Tonia Harris has withdrawn from the race, citing family concerns.

Another name floated by the Alligators will have veteran politicos taking a second look. Former Roswell GOP State Rep. Dan Foley now lives in the Thomas district. Will he try to get appointed by the committee and go for a political comeback?

Maybe, but Lewis, 47, a certified high school athletic coach and longer term resident of the Rio Rancho area than Foley would seem to have the upper hand if any contest did develop between the two.

The 195 member central committee is expected to make their decision within a couple of weeks.

A notable sidebar: Dan Lewis, 40, donated a kidney to older brother Tim who is now a member of the National Kidney Foundation. Also, political consultant and attorney Doug Antoon, who helped Dan Lewis win his '09 city council race, is serving as political director of the state GOP this cycle, concentrating on state House races.

The politics of Dan Lewis, and we presume brother Tim, has drawn particular support from evangelical Christians who are aligned with the R's. Dan Lewis is the pastor of a west side church.

Harris was considered a strong candidate because she is the widow of slain Sandoval County Sheriff's Sgt. Joe Harris who was killed in a shoot out last July with the "Cookie Bandit."

District 60 seat can swing either way. Thomas took it over from Democrat Tom Swisstack in 2008 when Swisstack left it to become mayor of Rio Rancho. Expect the R's to throw some money at this one as Thomas goes for his first critical re-election test.


Our Friday missive about the new and lucrative contract signed by University of new Mexico basketball Coach Steve Alford drew reader reaction, including this from ABQ's Andrew Leo Lopez wjo is squarely in the coach's cheering section:

Steve Alford and other UNM coaches are among the few employees of the state of New Mexico whose work people actually pay to see. Further, the academic qualifications and performance of the student athletes attracted to UNM by Steve Alford and other UNM coaches disproportionately raises the quality of the student body. Therefore, Steve Alford and other coaches at UNM are worth the money they take home. Go Lobos!

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