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Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Watching And Waiting: Who Will Break Out Of Pack In Dem Congress Chase? And: Will History Be Made In June Primary? Plus: A Carl And Andrea Update 

Here's what we're watching and mulling over as Primary '18 starts to hit its stride. . .

Is it possible that two candidates who failed to get 20 percent of the delegate support at the March Dem pre-primary convention can defy history and win their party's nominations June 5?

Former US Attorney Damon Martinez only managed 10 percent of the delegate support yet is showing some momentum in the contest for the ABQ Dem congressional nod. His anti-Trump TV is keeping him in the game with base voters.

Neither Deb Haaland or Antoinette Sedillo Lopez--the two leading candidates--have taken command with their first wave of TV, according to campaign insiders, and that leaves alive the theory that they could split much of the women's vote and allow the moderate Martinez to take the prize. Much will depend on whether Haaland or Sedillo Lopez can begin exciting this electorate which so far has escaped them.

Meantime, that third party ad buy from the independent veterans group "With Honor" we told you about yesterday turned out to be a biggie. The group has purchased $112,000 for just the first week. The ad is here. In it a former US Attorney who served with Martinez, Carmen Ortiz, praises him.. And there you have that battle over the female vote as the PAC supporting Martinez tries to splinter it further.

Also, the independent Native American PAC supporting Deb Haaland is coming on the air with a $46,000 TV buy spread over two weeks. The ad is here.

Haaland also came with another campaign ad, a testimonial. Five women praise Haaland in the spot but only one man. That tells you all you need to know about the battle over the women's vote between Haaland and Sedillo Lopez. If one of them can break out with women, they will win. If not, we could be in for a long primary night.

LAND OFFICE BATTLE

Then there is the Dem chase for state land commissioner. State Senator George Munoz also failed to garner 20 percent of the delegates at the Dem pre-primary while Garrett VeneKlasen and Stephanie Garcia Richard went over that mark. Yet Munoz is alive and well. He has loaned himself $200,000 and has a decided financial advantage over VeneKlasen and Garcia Richard. Both are working furiously to close the gap so they can compete on TV with Munoz this month.

VeneKlasen advocates sense the urgency of the moment. An environmental group is running a negative ad against Munoz, claiming he is in bed with "special interests.”

VeneKlasen’s campaign released two 15 second ads, one of them in which Dem US Senator Martin Heinrich, who has backed VeneKlasen from the beginning, endorses him. The other ad has VeneKlasen touting wind power.

Only one candidate--Dem Gary King for Governor--has failed to secure 20 percent pre-primary support and went on to win his party's nomination for statewide office. Will Munoz and/or Martinez do the feat and make some history?

And what if ABQ City Councilor Pat Davis pulled the upset and won the ABQ congressional nomination? He's a candidate the R's have said they would like to run against. Would they decide to bolster their nominee, Janice Arnold-Jones, if Davis were the foe? The R's currently have no plans of targeting the seat.

PEARCE POVERTY BEAT

His first ad said he spent his first two years poor with no indoor plumbing and now that's followed by a second spot in which he again cites that poverty and that of the state and says jobs are the way out. He calls for apprenticeship programs in the state's high schools for students not going on to college.

In both spots Pearce holds the camera well and the scripts are tight. No doubt they are building the positives of the GOP Guv contender as intended. And he will need every positive point as the Dems and independent money groups will soon be on his tail.

TRUJILLO VS. ROMERO

As expected the sexual harassment complaint leveled against Santa Fe County State Rep. Carl Trujillo by then-lobbyist Laura Bonar involving the '13 and '14 legislative sessions has been forwarded to an investigative subcommittee of the Legislative Ethics Committee. What's not expected is any kind of resolution of the complaint before the critical June primary featuring Trujillo and his Dem challenger Andrea Romero. If such a decision were to come it could tilt the race to whomever came out best in the investigation--Romero if Bonar's complaint is found true or Trujillo if it isn't. But, hey, in Santa Fe you never know. We'll keep a close watch for any curve balls. Three Dem state reps have called on Trujillo to resign--Miguel Garcia,Christine Trujillo and Debra M. Sariñana but he has no plans to do so. The primary is critical because there is no R running for the seat. The winner June 5 is essentially elected to the two year term.

NM DRUGS

Several informed readers commented on our description of the state's drug problem for including fentanyl, but they report fentanyl has yet to make a major presence here as it has in a number of other states. They report meth, heroin and opioids are the drugs most widespread and causing the pain.

THE BOTTOM LINES

In a first draft Tuesday we had the incorrect address for in-person voting at the BernCo Clerk's Annex. The correct address is 1500 Lomas Blvd.

And we were not clear on this so we repeat it:

Secretary of State Toulouse Oliver announced NMVote.org is where New Mexico voters can request an absentee ballot online for the first time in the state’s history.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

E-mail your news and comments. (jmonahan@ix.netcom.com)

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2018
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