Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bingaman Makes Tube Move; GOP Rivals Stay Dark, Plus: More Campaign Media Kicks In; First Newspaper Endorsements Too; A Bloggin' Wednesday Starts Now 

One of the candidates for a New Mexico U.S. Senate seat is hitting the TV airwaves in a big way, but he needs to be there a lot less than his rivals. Dem U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman has gone up with a soft 60 second bio piece that you will be seeing quite a bit of between now and the June 6 primary. (20 spots a day in the ABQ market.) Trouble is, it's Jeff's Republican foes who need to be on the tube, according to campaign experts checking in here.

The three way contest for the GOP nomination to take on Bingaman in November has been featureless and apparently will stay that way as none of the candidates indicate they will be on the tube. Farmington urologist Allen McCulloch was the only one of the three hopefuls who raised enough money to make a decent TV buy, but R's report he has opted to spend his cash on direct mail. ABQ State Senator Joe Carraro and ex-city councilor David Pfeffer did not raise enough funds to hit the tube. Pfeffer earned good free media with a highly publicized walk of the U.S.-Mexico border and Carraro is counting on high name ID in vote-heavy Bernalillo county to push him over the top.

"It is a mistake for anyone who hopes to run a competitive race this year with a veteran U.S. Senator not to introduce himself now to the public. Television is the way you do that," offered one campaign vet.

He may be right, but you need money for those ads and, as we said, it hasn't been raining green on the R senate wannabes.

Bingaman's team decided on a relatively heavy TV buy even though he is unopposed for the Dem nomination because "the field is clear and Jeff's spots will stand out," as one of his aides put it. Bingaman's campaign consultant is The Campaign Group out of D.C. which did Big Bill's 02' Guv effort.


Gary King joins Lem Martinez in highlighting the NM meth problem in his latest TV ad. King's spot appears aimed at female voters. Geno Zamora is another Dem AG hopeful and he's celebrating his first round of newspaper endorsements. The Las Cruces Sun-News and the Hobbs News-Sun call Zamora "best qualified for the job." The Sun-News also gives the nod to Dem secretary of state candidate Stephanie Gonzales and land commission hopeful Jim Baca. Baca takes a bite out of the Bush administration in a radio ad airing on outlets in ABQ, Santa Fe and Taos. Baca is fighting it out with another former land commissioner, Ray Powell, for the Dem nomination.


And how about this one. A state House candidate is up on TV. You don't see that very often. But Republican Mike Kakuska is throwing everything at his race with Nora Espinoza as they square off for their party's nomination for a Roswell area open House seat. Both candidates are tough. Lurking in the background is State Sen. "Lightning" Rod Adair who is vigorously supporting Espinoza. Oilman Mark Murphy, a possible future candidate for NM GOP party chairman, is helping the Kakuska cause. It will likely be the most expensive legislative primary this cycle.

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