Thursday, June 05, 2014

Handwringing Over King Sparks Dem Debate, Plus: Slamming Sam; Did Dem Chair Drop The Ball? And: How Webber Went Wrong  

Here's a cool map of how the night went in the 2014 race for the Dem nod for Governor. Gary King's counties are in blue. Political whiz Steve Cabiedes put it together for us and reports that. . .

King either placed 1st or 2nd in all 33 counties. He placed 1st in 23 counties and 2nd in 10 counties. Nearly all of King's 2nd place finishes were close ones.

Alan Webber--in green--placed 1st only in Santa Fe and Los Alamos counties. He garnered 2nd place in 8 counties. Unfortunately for Webber, his second place finishes had him trailing King by 8 percent or more.

Although Howie Morales--in yellow--placed fourth statewide, his showing is notable for the strong regional placing. He garnered six 1st place finishes and several of those with commanding majorities. Winning Doña Ana proved he can organize in a big county.

Lawrence Rael--in red--won Sandoval and Taos counties. Sandoval was a squeaker of a win and he almost won Colfax, but fell short. Had Rael not placed a near tie for 2nd in Bernalillo County, he would have landed in 4th place statewide.

The only highlight for Linda Lopez was a 2nd place finish in McKinley County. Unfortunately for her, that result was 40 percent behind King.


As predicted, the hand-wringing among NM Democrats over Gary King capturing the Dem Guv nomination has begun in earnest. But the Dems don't have the luxury of navel-gazing over whether King would be the strongest contender against Republican Governor Susana Martinez. He is the contender--like it or not.

Dem central committee member Michael Folsom doesn't like it and blasted the party's choice in Wednesday's blog. That brought out other Dems who see it different. Among them is Fred Moran, chairman of the Chaves County Dems:

Regarding Mike Folosm’s comment: Gary King has plenty of record to run on, where Susana has failed this state so miserably that the only thing she can refer to is that “she sold the jet.” Democrats remember Gary's father--Governor Bruce King--with respect and admiration, but Attorney General King, although he alludes to his father from time to time, is his own man. Gary has worked hard keeping our children safe from sex traffickers and Internet perverts. The Martinez administration on the other hand, has not had the same results protecting children from abuse that in some cases have resulted in death. Democrats are already falling around Gary and the momentum will keep building. The primary results show just how strong Gary is. Susana won’t be able to count on Hispanic women to secure her election this time.

The Dem guv candidates all joined on hailing King Wednesday, but it's clear King and the Dems are going to have to work especially hard to make inroads with progressives and younger voters.


Here they come:

The low turnout and increasing power of senior citizens in the Dem primary is a direct result of Democratic Party Chairman "Silent" Sam Bregman's inability to make good on his threat to Martinez the day he won the chairmanship. He warned Gov. Martinez that  "a storm is coming, beware." Sam's threatened storm never materialized, and the stage was never set for the gubernatorial candidates to ride any kind of wave of interest or momentum in the democratic primary. Thus, the under-65 crowd just never showed up. Combine that with a bunch of namby-pamby ads from the candidates and you get a low-interest, low turnout primary. 

Now Sam is left with a ticket led by Gary King, someone Sam called, "the worst attorney general in New Mexico history." If the party leaders---meaning the congressional delegation--aren't kicking themselves at this point for allowing Sam to win the chairmanship, they ought to be and they ought to be thinking of his removal and finding a replacement.


And what of Alan Webber who plunked down $450,000 of his own cash in an unsuccessful effort to capture the guv nomination? Back to the Gator pond:

I remember the halcyon days of early spring when this man was going to launch a movement across the state ala Barack Obama. This gentle soul was sold a bill of goods by highly paid consultants that told him they could put together a strategy to win the primary if he only raised $1 million and didn't attack Gary King. Well, that money went to waste with weak ads and an overpaid staff. Webber spent upwards of 30 percent of his funds on staff and consultants. The man paid for the Cadillac campaign but it only drove him around the block. He ought to ask for his money back.

Well, that's the tough stuff and Webber knows it's part of the game. But he is a business guy--not a politician--and he did stick his neck out there and give it a go. That's not common these days. Most of our politicos seem to be professionals. (Webber came with these final thoughts on the campaign).

Webber brought fresh thinking to the table and in a state that in so many ways is flat on its back, it was a significant contribution. Finally, if the worst your critics have on you is that you hung out at a party with a fella who used to be a 60's radical, well, that's a pretty well-lived life.


Wertheim & Eichenberg
It was the nastiest of the contests this year--the Dem primary between John Wertheim and Tim Eichenberg. But in the end the peace was made:

Wertheim early Wednesday called his former opponent, Tim Eichenberg, to congratulate him on his victory and to commit to helping Democrats up and down the ballot win in the general election. “I am proud of the campaign we ran and the spirited debate that it generated,” Wertheim said. “Now it is time for all of us to come together and support our nominees to ensure Democratic victories up and down the ballot in November.”

In this photo of Wertheim and Eichenberg at the Dems post-election "unity news conference" John looks like he's been up all night. And he probably was. The final returns in the race were posted in the race during the wee morning hours. Eichenberg won with 53 percent.

This photo of a sleep-deprived Wertheim and a near catatonic Eichenberg now becomes physical evidence of the lore of La Politica. That means it can be exchanged among future treasurer candidates  for either a breakfast burrito or a bowl of chicharrones at Barelas Coffee House.


Callan Martinez comes with this report on the absentee ballots:

Gary King won all but six counties in the absentee vote and he never came in lower than second place in those six counties. King received 3,292 votes out of 8,416 or 39 percent. His victory percentage among all voters was 35 percent.


A lot of pundits expected a Dem primary turnout of around 100,000 or so. But it jumped to near 130,000. Veteran political analyst Steve Cabiedes explained how the predictors went astray:

It is clear that many Democratic voters were in a wait and see mode. People were trying to figure out who the frontrunners were. Also, likely King voters did not see King media until the very end. Some of these King voters would have voted early, but did not make up their minds until very late. As a result, we saw an anemic early vote and used that to forecast an anemic Election Day turnout. In this, we were wrong.

Someone admitting they were wrong in La Politica? Buy that fella an enchilada plate. . . .

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