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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Heather's Fan Club (Including Susana) Hits Sanchez Hard; What That Tells Us, Plus: Sanchez Math: Can He Compete in ABQ? 

Susana & Heather
The furious efforts to put John Sanchez in his place can be looked at two ways. The Lt. Governor will be diminished by the onslaught from GOP establishment figures and his candidacy will fizzle long before it takes hold, or Sanchez is a major threat whose chances of beating Heather Wilson for the GOP Senate nomination are pretty darned good.

We're going with the second theory, in part because Governor Martinez wasted no time in giving Wilson a quasi-endorsement by showing up at an Economic Forum breakfast Wednesday and making a point of being seen with her. Heather then posted it on her Facebook page.

That's on top of Susana dissing John right after he got in the race by saying she would "limit his responsibilities" as Lt. Governor.

You don't fire your big gun this early without reason. Wilson and Martinez want to nip the Sanchez candidacy in the bud, but it is not going to happen--no matter how many members of the Legislature, the mainstream media and various others try.

And that's not an opinion.

Go outside of the New Mexico for a moment and take a look at what the editor of Redstate.org, one of the most widely followed conservative web sites in the USA has to say:

The number one goal of conservatives in 2012, other than defeating Barack Obama, has got to be defeating Heather Wilson in New Mexico. She’d be Mike Castle terrible in the United States Senate. Luckily, we have a strong, viable challenger to her in the primary named John Sanchez. We should rally early for Sanchez to stop Wilson.

The number one goal? That kind of national play will help Sanchez financially and it will also give conservatives here plenty of cover to stay off Wilson.

Having Martinez boost Heather early might help her stop momentum towards Sanchez, but on the other hand, Martinez might have been more valuable down the road. Now that it is known that Heather is the Guv's favorite, she will not factor as much into the year long campaign that lies ahead.

Wilson also relied on another GOP heavyweight when she last ran for the Senate nod in 2008. Then-Senator Pete Domenici, who had more stroke in the party than Martinez or any other R in recent history, gave a late endorsement of Heather, but it still wasn't enough to stop the conservative grassroots from giving the victory to Steve Pearce.

We do like the fact that for Wilson this is do or die. It is her last bite out of the political apple and we should see the best of her. You can't really say she's ever run a bad campaign--even when she lost. And no one is going to argue that she wouldn't make a solid US Senator. But this near frantic early push by the front-runner against Sanchez shows she knows what we know--this may be her most dangerous opponent yet. She just can't write it on a blog.

WHERE'S THE BASE?


We agree with pollster Brian Sanderoff and UNM poly sci professor Lonna Atkeson that Lt. Gov. and GOP US Senate candidate John Sanchez lacks the strong regional base that Steve Pearce had when he beat Heather for the Senate nomination in 2008. However, it needs to be noted that in winning the 2010 GOP nomination for lieutenant governor Sanchez, an ABQ native, trailed ABQ State Senator Kent Cravens in a three way race by less than three percentage points in Bernalillo Countyy.

Sanchez has the possibility to do something Pearce did not and that's run competitively with Heather in the ABQ metro--her critical home base. That in turn means he will not have to carve out as much strength in the south as Pearce. Remember, Heather landslided Pearce in the metro and nearly overcame his 3 to 1 win down south. Will it be as easy for her to landslide Sanchez when both are from here? If Sanchez could run well here, he would not need as strong a southern showing as Pearce.

Of course, all of that is contingent on Sanchez being viewed as a competent and qualified Senate contender, something that has yet to be established statewide and which Wilson will work mightily to prevent.

REBUTTING SUSANA

Okay, since they've been unloading on Sanchez with both barrels, here's another view from reader Kathryn Carroll:

Governor Martinez said:

"To prevent this race from becoming a distraction, Lieutenant Governor Sanchez will not be given responsibilities in my administration beyond the select few provided for in the state constitution...."


....And her eighteen-month campaign seeking the Republican nomination and general election for governor were NOT a distraction to the important work of the Dona Ana County district attorney's office? She announced her candidacy in August, 2009, campaigned until the November, 2010 election, and still did not vacate the office of district attorney until hours before she was inaugurated as governor, insuring that Richardson would not be able to name her replacement. Isn't this the pot calling the kettle black? Or perhaps, "what's good for me isn't necessarily good for you, Mr. Sanchez" or a little of both, sprinkled with a heavy dose of hypocrisy?

Point well made, Kathryn.

And ABQ Republican US House hopeful and GOP Cit Councilor Dan Lewis draws some reader fire for wanting to put before voters whether the controversial red light cameras in the city should stay or go:

He now says he wants the public to vote on the controversial cameras at the Oct. 4 city election. Someone should point out to Mr. Lewis that we operate in a representational democracy. We elected him to do the dirt work of running our city. His idea barely works at the this level, imagine if he floats this plan at the federal level. If he can't or won't make the decisions we elected him to, then why run for office?

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