Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Jockeying To Succeed Keller As Auditor Starts, Keller Makes Direct Strike On GOP Hitman At TV Debate And Lewis Outspent On TV 2 to 1 In Runoff 

If Tim Keller makes it to mayor it could be only a matter of hours before the race to replace him as state auditor is joined. Behind the scenes the action is already warming up.

Insiders expect ABQ congressional candidate and attorney Damian Lara to reconsider his run for the US House seat if Keller is victorious and consider launching a campaign for the Dem nomination for Auditor. And he may have quick company.

The Alligators report that Las Cruces area State Rep. Bill McCamley is making calls saying he's considering an Auditor run. Also, add Bernalillo County Assessor Tanya Giddings to the list of possibles. There could be more.

But there's a wrinkle for those Dems. If Keller wins, GOP  Gov. Martinez will get to name a replacement to fill out the remainder of his term through 2018. Not that that will slow the Dems down. No R has been elected state auditor in decades. But the Martinez appointee could have the advantage of the incumbency, if the person Martinez selects decides to seek the four year term.

Another office that has not seen a Republican elected to in decades is state treasurer. Current Dem State Treasurer Tim Eichenberg is running for another four year term. The R's are fielding a political unknown Jason Hessler out of Artesia to take him on. Not much action there unless Eichenberg blows himself up with some kind of controversy.


Republican operative and attorney Pat Rogers has been merciless on Tim Keller, publicly calling him a "cheat" for alleged campaign ethics violations. Verbal brawling is par for the course for Rogers and the Governor's political machine to which he has sworn his allegiance, but the worm is about to turn.

After absorbing numerous Rogeresque hits quietly, Keller is now on the offense. At last night's KOB-TV debate he responded to Rogers using language that Democrats have mostly shied away from these past seven years:

This was never an issue until right before the election, and then here come a litany of ethics complaints all coming from one person: a disgraced lawyer, a partisan operative who was literally kicked out of their law firm for sexist emails. That's where all of this is coming from.

It seems the Dems, poised to retake power after a long exile, are no longer easy pickings for Rogers and the machine. You could almost hear that worm turning last night.

(Rogers resigned from the Modrall law firm in 2012 after an uproar over an email he sent in which he said Gov. Martinez had dishonored General Custer by attending a summit with tribal leaders. Rogers is a former GOP National Committeeman who was defeated for re-election last year by Harvey Yates, Jr.)

And the mayoral appearances roll on. The NM Business Coalition is conducting "job interviews" for the mayoral hopefuls as well as for candidates for the Westside city council run-off:

The Job Interview BASH is going down on November 9, 2017, from 5:00 - 7:00 pm, at the MCM Elegante Hotel, Candidates will not know what the questions are in advance, will be limited in time on their responses, can only talk about themselves and must answer the question that was asked. No debate, no one talking over anyone - only one candidate will be in the room at a time. This format means New Mexico voters will be able to hear where these candidates stand on several issues in just a few short minutes.

Tickets for the event are here.


One of the major developments of the mayoral run-off is how Republican Dan Lewis has been heavily outspent on TV by Dem Keller. Media veteran Chris Brown reports from Santa Fe:

Joe, Lewis has spent a total of $140,681 for 1,130 TV ads--646 for cable and 484 spots on the four network affiliates.

Keller's campaign has spent $92,317 for 662 spots (15 seconds). All of the money went to the network affiliates. However, the independent committee supporting Keller--ABQ forward--has bought $184,215 for 654 TV ads--213 on cable and 441 on the network affiliates.

That's $276,532 for pro-Keller ads and $140,681 for Lewis. Keller's nearly two to one spending advantage is significant and will impact this race.

Brown reports another committee supporting Keller has not spent money on TV but is apparently supporting him with mail and field support.


Reader Hal Gershenson writes:

Hey Joe, How come you haven't mentioned the Facebook ad that Lauren Poole and that former Mayor Marty Chavez did for Tim Keller? It's had 100k views which is as viral as it gets in an Albuquerque mayoral race. Marty may get a Golden Globe for his pronunciation of "sandwich."

Okay, here it is, Hal.


A state lawmaker is proposing a way to have public comment from New Mexicans who cannot physically be in Santa Fe to testify. ABQ Dem Sen. Jacob Candelaria wants to introduce legislation in the upcoming session aimed to allow people to give their testimony before legislative committees through online means. 

Candelaria said many New Mexicans cannot make the trek to Santa Fe, especially those living in rural parts of the state.

Why go to Santa Fe and catch a cold at the Roundhouse when you could do your business in your pajamas--just like a blogger.

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