Friday, November 16, 2007

ABQ Council Prez Race Has Senate Contest As Backdrop, O'Malley, Sanchez Vie For Post, Plus: Some Bottom Lines For A NM Friday 

The somewhat obscure race for President of the ABQ City Council could have an impact on the race for the Democratic nomination for US Senate, so we note that our City Hall insiders say Dem City Councilor Ken Sanchez's effort to win Republican councilors to his side and take over the presidency of the nine member council from Democrat Debbie O'Malley remains in motion, but he has yet to nail down the votes.

"If you put a gun to my head and made me pick, I would say (Councilor Debbie) O'Malley gets it again, but that could change," said one of our veteran City Hall watchers.

Sanchez, who has 2009 mayoral ambitions, is a key ally of Chavez which is a problem for him because he would like to have the support of GOP City Councilor Brad Winter who is an ardent foe of Chavez. Winter may be concerned that giving the high-profile presidency to Sanchez will help Chavez advance his Senate bid with a friendly assist from Councilor Sanchez.

Chavez, preparing for a primary face-off with US Rep. Tom Udall, would like nice headlines coming out of city government as he hits the campaign trail. Sanchez might be able to help. But liberal councilors are lined up behind O'Malley who is seeking a second one year term. They say the development community is pushing the Sanchez presidency.

Dont count out Winter. If there is a 4-4 deadlock he could emerge as the new Prez. It's a longshot that has happened before. Councilors pick their leader December 3.


In checking on the council prexy story, I ran into another one: The council and the Mayor, for a change, are getting along. "He's been really nice and easy to get along with since he announced his Senate candidacy. Contracts we support are getting approved and the atmosphere is greatly improved," one of the councilors told me in an off the blog record conversation.

Chavez, already the underdog in his race against Udall, doesn't need his previously poor relations becoming an issue outside of ABQ, and for the time being they aren't.


Now that Tom Udall is running for Senate will the congressional leadership which supports his bid be more friendly toward the budget for Los Alamos and Sandia Labs? Udall has been embarrassed by the funding cuts making their way through the Dem Congress. Maybe his Senate run will give the leadership pause over those proposed cuts for a year? Maybe.


Perhaps we should have said backed away instead of "backed off" Thursday when we described the ABQ GOP congressional plans of State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones. She tell us to leave the door open a crack for her as she is still looking into raising enough money to run. But we would not call it a likely event...The national Dems think Darren White will be the likely nominee for the seat. A Dem source reports an opposition researcher from back East has been in ABQ recently checking over Darren's record as sheriff...NM columnist Ned Cantwell is at again, using bloggers as a jumping off point for his latest missive on La Politica...

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