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Friday, May 17, 2013

Filling Out '14: Who Will GOP Run? An Insider Games Potential Players, Plus: Alligator Strike On Junior Dem Legislators Who Supported Tax Cut, And: At The Movies 

The Dems may be fretting over what many of them perceive as the lack of a strong Dem Guv contender for next year, but what about the R's? They have Susana for Guv, but there's work to do in filling out the rest of the '14 ticket. One of our GOP insiders has the latest scuttlebutt on possible contenders and we add our take to theirs:

GARY JOHNSON--It's hard to see the former GOP Governor running for anything after his Libertarian presidential candidacy last year, but more Republicans are saying he should run for the US Senate against Tom Udall--and run as an R. 

We don't see Gary taking the dive, but we'll stay tuned.

SIMON KUBIAK--We haven't had a Republican state auditor in decades. ABQ attorney Kubiak is weighing a run for the post being vacated by Hector Balderas, or a run for the ABQ congressional seat held by Dem Michelle Lujan Grisham'.

Either one seems plausible, but both races heavily favor the Dems.

NATE GENTRY--Some insiders are trying to convince him to give up his ABQ state House seat and run for Land Commissioner. They are claiming they'd raise a lot of oil money for him and that it could set him up for a run Governor after Susana is out. Sounds pretty wild but that's the chatter.

That is wild. We see Gentry--the new state House Minority Whip--staying put.

PAT LYONS--While many thought he'd challenge Democrat Ray Powell for Land Commissioner, we are told he will run for re-election to the Public Regulation Commission. Lyons is definitely not happy about not being PRC Chairman anymore, but he loves that safe check. The job pays $90,000 a year.

This looks like the right move for Lyons. Powell is hard to beat.

MATT CHANDLER--Still seen as our mostly likely go-to guy for us for attorney general. No other names are circulating. Chandler is the District Attorney in Clovis and was the GOP nominee in 2010 but lost to Dem Gary King. He seems ready to run again.

Yes, despite his recent follies in a Las Cruces corruption case, we see Matt as a potentially strong candidate for the R's. We think he's ready for another go.

DEMESIA PADILLA--She is the head of the state taxation department.  She could end up being our Republican nominee for state treasurer. Her name is out there. She ran once before and we need Hispanics on the statewide ticket.

And if Dem Patrick Padilla wins the Dem treasurer nomination, you would have Padilla vs. Padilla. That would be interesting,

JOHN SANCHEZ-- Still hearing rumblings about a GOP primary challenge to Lt. Governor John Sanchez. One of the names you previously reported--Randy Baker--owner of ABQ's DRB Electric. Another name bandied about is Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela. As you know, there is no love lost between Sanchez and Susana. It will be interesting to see if she lets a challenge go forward. Meanwhile, Sanchez has given himself a busy schedule and is traveling across the state.

Why are some in the Susana faction so resentful of Sanchez? Maybe they dread the thought of him succeeding her some day. He is popular with the public and press and does a decent job of presiding over the state Senate. Messing with him is only going to hurt Susana.

GATOR STRIKE

Here they come, kids. The Alligator strikes on those "progressive" legislative Democrats who went along with Republican Governor Martinez's tax package that included a corporate tax cut. The news that the administration gave lawmakers bad numbers on the impact of the bill has the Gators teeth especially sharp. A sample from the email:

I guess Senate Majority Whip Tim Keller, House Speaker Ken Martinez and State Reps Brian Egolf and Moe Maestas are not the "masters of the deal" they appeared to be (or tried to sell us) at the legislative session. Remember when they were boasting about this tax deal? Trying to be grown-up bi-partisan legislators? Better go back and delete those Tweets and Facebook posts, boys! Blame needs to be spread around for this mess. Blaming (Department of Finance and Administration Secretary Tom) Clifford for handing out bad numbers is convenient for the Dems, but believing Clifford and trusting this administration really makes these junior Dems look like punks.

Does that Gator mean these Dems were "punked"? Well, the blame game is alive and well....

AT THE MOVIES

Blog reader and movie reviewer Eric Lucero is back at the movies for the weekend and into darkness with Star Trek:

Star Trek: Into Darkness (4 Stars out of 5) is the summer's first film entrant to finally blast into our Universe. I happily advise you to see the 3D version while viewing the latest adventures of the intrepid crew of the USS Enterprise. It will blow your mind, even if you are not a fan.

This well-produced and directed Sci-Fi epic by pioneering director J. J. Abrams is the much anticipated follow up to the successful re-boot of the original movie franchise based on Gene Rodenberry’s 1960's TV series. It achieved cult status and this 12th movie installment may very well become the best and most profitable one yet. 

Fans outside of North America have already seen Captain Kirk’s (Chris Pine) response to the villainous military terrorist, Khan Noonien Singh. Hard core fans of the TV series will remember “Khan” as portrayed by the late Ricardo Montalban. The rest of crew reprises their roles. This is the 23rd century world of the ‘Federation.’ Enough said!

Thanks for stopping by this week. Reporting from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2013 
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