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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Back On The Campaign Trail With The Land Office Face-Off, The Latest Endorsements And Even More Mayoral Forums  

The chase for the Dem nomination for NM Land Commissioner is more complicated now that Gallup area state Senator George Muñoz has joined the chase. Could he capture a large slice of the important Hispanic vote, leaving the two Anglo candidates--former Land Commissioner Ray Powell, Jr. and longtime environmentalist Garrett VeneKlasen coming up short? Muñoz, a conservative Dem, obviously thinks so.

The Munoz candidacy has to make freshman US Senator Martin Heinrich a bit nervous. He made the unusual play of endorsing political unknown VeneKlasen for the nomination, but if Muñoz takes the prize the land office would not be half as friendly to the enviro movement as Heinrich's pick would.

Powell was celebrating this news when the Muñoz candidacy threw some cold water his way:

Animal Protection Voters announced its endorsement of Ray Powell for Land Commissioner in 2018. . . Ray Powell’s record on serious animal protection and wildlife habitat conservation issues, both during and beyond his past tenure as Land Commissioner, reflects a deep commitment to caring for the health of New Mexico’s land, communities, and animals.

State Senators do not have to seek re-election until 2020 so this is a free ride for Munoz. The sole GOP contender is former Land Commissioner Pat Lyons. For the 18' general, the race is rated lean Dem.

TIS THE SEASON

Tis the endorsement season with the primary 10 months out and candidates scrambling to impress potential donors. In the crowded race (now 9 candidates) seeking the Dem nomination for the ABQ congressional seat, we get this:

Antoinette Sedillo Lopez’ campaign for Congress announced the endorsement of national progressive leader, Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD). “Antoinette’s career has been devoted to the pursuit of social and economic justice, and I know that she will stand with me and other Democrats in our fight for strong democracy and progressive change in America."

Raskin is Vice Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

If endorsements in the ABQ mayor's race decided the contest Dem Tim Keller would win by a landslide, and he comes with another:

The Sierra Club announced has endorsed Tim Keller in the mayoral race. "Tim truly believes in the importance of environmental protection," said Richard Barish, the Political Chair of the Central New Mexico Group of the Sierra Club. "He understands that now, more than ever, it is important to do what we can to fight climate change at the local level.

Republican Ricardo Chaves, 81, isn't getting many endorsements but he says he has a number of ideas that set him apart from the 8 candidate pack:

Ricardo Chaves is the only candidate who will sell the city bus service to the private sector, saving $40 million a year. Ricardo Chaves is the only candidate who will sell the four city-owned golf courses, which are now losing $1 million a year.

In the race for Governor, veteran network newsman Sam Donaldson, 83, a native New Mexican who retired to ABQ four years ago, has endorsed Jeff Apodaca for the '18 Dem Guv nod. He does so in this video, saying:

Jeff Apodaca is the leader that I think should be our next governor. He has a plan as a successful businessman to try to solve all of our problems. And in addition to having a plan, he's the kind of leader who does not work to divide people, but to bring us together.

CRIME BEAT

Longtime reader Robert Palacoiz writes:

Joe, is there not an enterprising lawyer who would be willing to do a class action suit against the governor & mayor of Albuquerque for my increase in auto insurance of $220.00. They have failed the people of New Mexico, they have failed our wonderful state, and now, we are literally paying the price with increased auto insurance rates do to crime.

MORE FORUMS

We listed a number of mayoral forums on the blog this week and that brought more. This one will be held tonight at City Hall:

Police Oversight Mayoral Candidate Forum Hosted by Albuquerque PD in Crisis Thursday at 5 PM - 8 PM. City Hall 400 Marquette Ave NW.

And another:

Three Neighborhood Associations are co-sponsoring a Mayoral/District 7 City Council Candidate Q&A on Saturday, September 9, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Q and A will be moderated by the League of Women Voters of Central New Mexico.

And the group APD Forward has one slated:

We want you to be able to hear from the candidates running for mayor and learn how they will continue to restore trust between impacted communities and APD. September 6  from 6 pm - 7:30 pm at the African American Performing Arts Center, 310 San Pedro NE

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