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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Dem Lt. Gov Candidates Coming in, Apodaca First With TV In Guv Race, Balderas Guv Decision In Next Two Weeks And Some City Council Action 

There are too many possible Dem lieutenant governor candidates to mention but the definite hopefuls are starting to surface.

Former state House Majority Leader Rick Miera tells us he will announce "soon" and supporters of state Senate Majority Whip Michael Padilla say he is "99 percent in" and can be expected to join the race after the special legislative session slated for May 24.

Both Padilla and Miera are from ABQ. Taos educator Jeff Carr has been actively campaigning for months. As for the R side, as with their Governor's race their potential lieutenant governor candidates are few and far between. . .

Democrat Jeff Apodaca is the first Dem Guv candidate up with paid TV ads. The commercials are created from an introductory video he made when he officially announced this month. He says the ads are running in the ABQ and El Paso TV markets but isn't saying how much the campaign spent on them. The primary is still over a year away, but Apodaca faces Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham for the nomination and she commands high name in the ABQ metro. Still, that's pretty early paid media. . .

Hector Balderas political consultant Caroline Buerkle says the attorney general will make a decision on an '18 Dem Guv run in "the next two weeks." Insiders are betting that he decides to seek re-election as AG next year and point to a photo of him holding Rep. Grisham in his arms like a bride at a recent Dem state convention. But until we hear it from his lips the watch goes on. . .

ABQ mayoral candidate Dan Lewis is out with a video that firmly confronts the serious issues the city faces--crime and economic stagnation. It's playing to a Facebook audience. Lewis has been on the council for nearly eight years which is both a blessing and a curse. He is well-acquainted with the issues but his opponents will soon begin to fault him for not doing enough about the problems his video effectively outlines. Those opponents include GOP Commissioner Wayne Johnson who could be front and center in leading the opposition against his fellow R.

Is Gov. Martinez Chief of Staff Keith Gardner jealous over this:

One of Gov. Martinez’s deputy chiefs of staff is leaving the Governor’s Office this week to work for a private law firm in Albuquerque. Jeremiah Ritchie, who has worked in the Governor’s Office since 2011, has been one of Martinez’s top legislative negotiators and helped craft a new 22-year gambling compact between the state and five Indian tribes that was signed in 2015.

Gardner has been chief of staff for the governor since she took office in 2011. The Santa Fe rumor mill constantly swirls with reports of his imminent departure.

CITY COUNCIL ACTION

Borrego
Our blog on GOP attorney and Gov. Martinez backer Robert Aragon emerging as a leading candidate for city council in District 5 on ABQ's northwest side brought a load of email, including a request for equal time from one of his opponents in the October election. She's Democrat Cynthia Borrego:

I consider myself a moderate as my mother's family (Martinez from Chimayo) we're strong R's, and my Father's family (Borrego's from Santo Nino) we're strong Democrats. I'm a registered Democrat, but because of this experience I am not afraid to reach across the isle in making decisions.  I retired from the city of Albuquerque after working as a City/County Planner for over 28years. In addition, I worked for years with the community (both at the neighborhood and the business levels) developing sustainable communities.

I believe in Albuquerque and that is why I've never left (though I've had other out of state job opportunities), and that is one of the reasons I'm running for office. I truly believe we have a responsibility to do better.

Environmental issues are extremely important to me for a sustainable future for our children. The rising crime in our city is paramount and requires strategies to reign it in, one of which is creating land use design opportunities to curb it. I could continue, but I will wait until my first debate. . .

And we'll be hearing from all the council and mayoral candidates as we cover Mayoral Election '17.

SHOWING THE FINGER

First it was the soda tax now Santa Feans are getting ready to show their middle fingers yet again to city officials:

A city commission charged with determining what salary Santa Fe’s mayor should get when the position changes next year from part-time policymaker to full-time chief executive is considering a pay range of $145,000 to $175,000. . .. It’s also at least $35,000 more than the governor of New Mexico’s $110,000-a-year salary and higher than the mayor of Albuquerque’s $125,000 annual pay.

They call Santa Fe "the city different" and it's doing all it can to live up to that moniker.

THE BOTTOM LINES

In a first draft Tuesday we said the special legislative session is slated for March 24. Of course, that date is long gone. The special has been called by Gov. Martinez for May 24.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2017
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