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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

GOP Gaming Still Going On Over AG; Who Will Be The Contender? Plus: Abortion Measure Supporters Get TV Up, And: Advice For the Dem Guv Candidates 

Amy Orlando
Still no word on a GOP candidate for attorney general in '14 but several scenarios are floating that will soon be resolved by a decision.

The latest one is that Amy Orlando, who succeeded Gov. Martinez as Dona Ana County district attorney, gets in the race.

The thinking being that two Hispanic females atop the GOP ticket in '14 would be a crowd pleaser. Orlando, a BFF of Susana, is now working for state government as the associate deputy director for Juvenile Justice Services of Southern New Mexico.

But what about Clovis area District Attorney Matt Chandler? He took a beating from Gary King four years ago when he was the GOP AG nominee. He is still high on the list, but lingering in the  background is the continued scuttlebutt that Chandler could end up on the Fourth Floor as chief of staff. That would mean replacing current chief Keith Gardner who would presumably be given a soft landing.

An attorney as chief of staff also flows with the theory that it's not a bad idea having a lawyer at the helm during a Guv's second term. That's when legal woes seem to mount.

The Dem picture is much less cloudy. State Auditor Hector Balderas is the lone Dem contender for AG and has raised substantial money. He is well on his way to the nomination.

For Hector, Orlando could be more of a problem than Chandler. She could cut across party lines easier than Chandler who hails from the east side and she has that tie-in with Susana. If the Guv remains popular, it could rub off easier on Amy than Matt.

Only one woman has been attorney general in the state's 100 year history--Democrat Patricia Madrid.

The Dems have history behind them. No Republican has been elected NM attorney general since Hal Stratton did the trick back in '86.

ELECTION SPECIAL

Those supporting the proposal to ban late term abortions in ABQ are finally getting some air support. They are up with a $50,000 TV buy urging a "For" vote in the Nov. 19 election. It is financed by a national pro-life group.

National pro-choice groups fighting passage of the abortion restriction and urging an "against" vote have been on the air for several weeks with a buy of well over $100,000.

The TV ads against the abortion measure were a key reason the measure was failing in an exclusive poll conducted for New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan on Nov 6, says pollster Bruce Donisthorpe. The survey showed the proposal to ban late term abortions failing 56% to 37%.

PRIEM PRIMED

Richard Priem
We told you Friday about the plans of retired Army Lt. Colonel and businessman Richard Priem to toss his hat into the race for the GOP nomination for the ABQ congressional seat. He made it official this week, saying:

We don’t have time for the endless bickering that occurs today. Our citizens want action, not politics. We’re in the new fiscal year and our Federal government doesn’t have a budget. . . .and our nation’s debt limit continues to soar. Young Americans are graduating from college with huge debts. Many don’t have prospects for good jobs. The government is engaging in unheralded spy operations against honest, law-abiding U.S. citizens. We can’t afford to continue an agenda of paralysis and inaction.

Priem is a former project manager for Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) and this year was awarded $1.88 million for blowing the whistle on the company’s billing for training first responders under grants administered by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. He is making his first bid for elective office. (His full announcement is here.)

Former ABQ GOP City Councilor Mike McEntee is also in the race as is Mike Frese of Corrales.

The ABQ seat is held by freshman Dem US Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham who will be seeking a second term next year. She is unopposed for the Dem nomination.

OUT BY DEC. 31

Fred Moran, chairman of the Chaves County Dems, says the '14 Dem candidates for Governor need to put up or shut up. He says any hopeful who hasn't shown the right stuff by the end of the year should get out so the party can begin to choose among the strongest contenders:

We Dems do ourselves a huge disservice simply by virtue of the process in which we choose our candidates. Our guys spend money and waste valuable time getting through the March preprimary convention, only to spend more and bigger money to try to knock out their opponents in the June primary, without dividing the party.

After all of this, the victorious candidate, has only 5 months from the primary to rally the part and mend fences  Five months, in my opinion is too short a time to take it to Gov. Martinez.

We know that it is going to take a substantial war chest to defeat an incumbent Governor. Candidates, in the party's best interest, should be realistic and put egos aside. If you haven't raised enough cash to compete by Dec 31, 2013, then concede and throw your support to the candidate that has a realistic chance of victory. And maybe consider running for the lieutenant governor position. 

There are four contenders for the '14 Dem Guv nod with that field expected to grow to five.

#2 Chase

Speaking of light guv, longtime Dem activist Peter Zollinger has been the sole announced Dem candidate, but he is now joined by Marie Julienne, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of New Mexico. Her bio says:

Her research interests include the critical examination of public education policies that impact. . . underrepresented groups. Topics concerning tribal education and technology are also of special interest. A graduate of the Emerge 2013 class, Marie (has) strong ties to the Native American community. She lives in Albuquerque...

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