Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Grisham Dodges A Balderas Bullet As AG Nixes Guv Run; Anyone Else Out There? New Name But An Old Face Surfaces For GOP Guv Field And Caucasian In Taos  

Balderas and Grisham
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham dodged a bullet as Attorney General Hector Balderas, seen as her chief potential rival for the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, decided not to enter the race and instead will seek a second four year term as AG.

That puts Grisham in the catbird's seat to secure the nomination with the important caveat that here is still a year to go until the primary and other major entries are possible, if increasingly unlikely.

ABQ businessman Jeff Apodaca and anti-alcohol educator Pete DeBenedettis are the only other Dem contenders in the contest and both have a major hill to climb in raising money and garnering name ID.

Back in March Don Ana County state Senator Joe Cervantes told us he "is all in" for the governor's race and would make an announcement in April, but that date has come and gone and Cervantes still has not made a move.

Despite the lure of a race with no incumbent, observers see the high cost of running a primary election--upwards of $2 million--as a major disincentive to join the fray. Cervantes has personal wealth that could make him competitive but still there has been no outcry from Democrats against the easy ride Grisham has been getting.

Grisham's supporters will start to argue more convincingly that the bare field is because she is a superior candidate and that will help with fund-raising.

The Republican problem recruiting a major name candidate is well-known. Gov. Martinez is unpopular and her record will be hard to defend. So far, no R has decided to take up that challenge.

As for Balderas, he will be an odds-on favorite to win a second term as attorney general next year with probably no Dem primary opposition and only token Republican opposition. A Guv run would have forced him to give up that job--a high risk move. At 43, he can afford to wait for better opportunities and he will.

And there's this from Michelle who was ready to lower the axe on the neck of Balderas if he challenged her, but now it's all peace and love. Cue the Beatles, here she comes:

Hector Balderas would have been a tough competitor if he chose to run for Governor because he has such a strong record as a legislator, Auditor and Attorney General. In addition to his successful prosecution of Internet crimes against children and Medicaid fraud cases, Attorney General Balderas is leading efforts to challenge President Trump’s executive orders to ensure they are Constitutional, fair and just. I look forward to a strong partnership with him as we work together to meet the challenges in New Mexico and serve and protect our citizens.

Hey, when he carried her across the threshold as shown in the photo above, we knew love was is the air.


Southern NM GOP Congressman Steve Pearce has the ability to raise the money and the tough political skin to subject himself to the stern attacks he would endure if he chose to seek the '18 GOP Guv nomination, but Pearce is sinking deeper and deeper into the Trump quagmire and in no small part because of his vote in favor to repeal and replace Obamacare. Take a look at his recent congressional newsletter:

We’ve seen and heard a lot of misinformation being shared online and sparking debates on social media, which is why I’ve taken this opportunity to address some of your biggest concerns. As your representative, it is my job to ensure that you have all the facts so that we can work better together to bring greater opportunity to New Mexico.

The problem for Steve is when you're defending, you're not advancing.

By the way, we blogged that Pearce's only statewide race was against Dem Tom Udall for US senate in 2008 and which he lost, but an informed reader points to Pearce's ill-fated run in 2000 for the US Senate GOP nomination against Bill Redmond as another example of a statewide Pearce contest. Well, kind of. Only R's were eligible to vote in that race, so we did not consider it a true statewide battle, but for those who see it that way, we mention it. Pearce lost to Redmond, a former congressman, 60% to 22% with other candidates making up the margin. Dem Senator Jeff Bingaman crushed Redmond in the general election 62% to 38%.


So, if not Pearce for Governor (who is still mulling over a run) and not ABQ Mayor Berry (although he could still dive in) and not Lt. Gov. Sanchez (who has all but announced for the US Senate seat held by Dem Martin Heinrich) then who? How about outgoing Public Regulation Commissioner (PRC) Pat Lyons?

Insiders say if none of the three Rs listed above go for the nomination, the  GOP may turn to Lyons for a name candidate, even if he does carry plenty of political baggage accumulated over the years.

Our Alligators inform that Lyons, who is term-limited on the PRC, was recently reaching across party lines regarding 2018 and met with a former Santa Fe County Dem Party official who has worked the north. He'll need a lot of reaching out if he is to defy the odds and make it to the Governor's chair, but the news is he just might get the chance.

One other thing, if the call goes out to Lyons he might be a sacrificial lamb but given his statewide performance in the past, he could limit the damage the GOP might take in lower ballot races such as the state House.


We all know of the aging hippie class in Taos that dominates liberal politics there but we never heard it quite described this way until Taos News reporter Jesse Moya penned:

The event was attended by more than 50 individuals, largely representing the left-wing Caucasian baby-boomer generation in the Taos area.

Not for anything, but isn't the Taos news owned by Caucasian left wing baby boomer Robin Martin? And it would take an Anglo...err...we mean Caucasian from Pennsylvania like us to point that out.


We characterized the jobs at Trader Joe's grocery store as of the $10 an hour variety but reader Laura Sanchez writes: 

Several sites regarding company wages report Trader Joe's average wage as $13.20.

We were comparing the Trader Joe's jobs that the mayor of Rio Rancho is hoping to attract to those being lost at Intel there and that are some of the highest paying in the state. Not to knock Trader Joe's. We like the name, of course, and when the time comes for us to hang up our spurs, bagging groceries at Trader Joe's beats that Wal-Mart greeting job the Alligators are trying to push us into.

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